‘Bloated’ FIA blasted by driver for ‘meddlesome’ involvement

The FIA have come under fire in recent seasons for its controversial decision making and lack of clarity with its investigations.

The FIA have been in the headlines such more often than they should be in recent years, as motorsport’s governing body continues to be criticised for various reasons.

2021 saw the FIA come under fire for Michael Masi’s controversial safety car procedure at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which cost Lewis Hamilton his eighth world title.

Meanwhile, 2022 saw outrage in the F1 paddock after a tractor was deployed on track in extreme wet conditions at the exact track where Jules Bianchi tragically lost his life in an almost identical circumstance.

Formula 1’s governing body now find themselves in the spotlight once again, as they have changed the International Sporting Code to forbid drivers and teams from making political statements without approval.

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This would prevent Lewis Hamilton from wearing his T-shirt protesting against the killing of Breonna Taylor at the Tuscan Grand Prix, and Sebastian Vettel from displaying anti-mining slogans on his helmet in Canada.

Such gestures are examples of drivers using their fame and influence to campaign for positive change in the world, but the FIA see it differently and have made it a punishable offence in the regulations.

IndyCar driver Dalton Kellett, who will once again be racing for A.J. Foyt Racing next season, has now taken to Twitter to demand a re-evaluation of the FIA’s role in motorsport.

“When I started in racing, the FIA seemed like a necessary (even commendable) organisation that strove to improve safety and protect fair competition,” began the Canadian.

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“These days, it’s become a meddlesome and bloated bureaucratic quagmire. Probably time to re-evaluate its scope and reach.”

A similar situation has recently unfolded in the football world, as players at the Qatar World Cup were told to stick to playing sport rather than campaigning against the treatment of homosexuals in the host country, a call which was met with equal controversy.

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Formula 1 will likely see drivers ignore the regulation changes in order to stand for what they believe is right, similar to how the German National Team made a gesture prior to their matches, hinted that they had been silenced.

Sebastian Vettel has recently been commended by Lewis Hamilton for his desire to campaign for what is right, while the next generation of drivers have appeared to pick up the baton, with Lando Norris becoming very vocal about the importance of mental health in recent seasons.

It remains to be seen how the FIA will deal with political and personal gestures next season, however the response from fans has been an immensely negative one, with the majority seeming to agree with Kellett’s opinion.