Valtteri Bottas says the FIA clampdown on political and personal statements for Formula 1 drivers is not necessary after the governing body clarified the rule.
Towards the end of 2022, the FIA updated its International Sporting Code and outlined that drivers across all of its categories were prohibited from making unapproved political, personal and religious statements.
The regulation received backlash from several drivers before the FIA moved to clarify the rule earlier this month.
Drivers can seek permission to voice their opinion on a matter in places such as the grid four weeks in advance, and they are allowed to speak out on issues through social media or in direct response to questions.
But Bottas, who was one of the drivers to criticise the FIA prior to the clarification, says that clampdown is still unnecessary.
“What was new for me and that was something that was not communicated earlier was that you can actually show your ideas and push for things if we want, if we ask the permission and if they accept it,” he said.
“So at least you can discuss if it’s OK or not, depending on the topic but my view is still that it’s not really necessary, but I’m sure we’ll discuss it with them when we see them.
“We’re trying to organize a GPDA [Grand Prix Drivers’ Association] meeting this weekend, but it seems to be tricky because of the different team’s schedules so, latest, we’ll have the meeting at the start of the race weekend.”
Bottas enters his second F1 season with Alfa Romeo, having joined it from Mercedes last year.
The Finn racked up 71 laps throughout the opening day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, ending the session 12th in the order.
Reflecting on his day of running, Bottas didn’t jump to conclusions regarding Alfa Romeo’s pace but was pleased with how the C43 felt underneath him.
“It felt good but I don’t know how good the other cars are,” he said.
“I could clearly feel some improvements from last year’s car and, what is the most positive thing compared to last year, we didn’t have a single problem, which is a huge contrast with the first test of last year.
“At least we started on the right foot and got some proper mileage which is, at this point, so important.”
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