David Coulthard hits out at Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

David Coulthard has hit out at Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, while defending the FIA.

Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard has shared his views on the controversial update to the FIA’s International Sporting Code (ISC), with drivers having been effectively banned from supporting any campaign or community during a Grand Prix weekend.

Over recent years, it has become the norm to see the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton using their incredible platform as an F1 driver to raise awareness and show support for a campaign or a community, with the pair having created some incredibly famous moments in doing so.

In what is arguably one of the most powerful shots in the history of the pinnacle of motorsport, Vettel famously became the first driver to take the knee alongside the seven-time World Champion in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’, following the inhumane murder of George Floyd in 2020.

Both Vettel and Hamilton have gone on to demonstrate support for the LGBTQ+ community in areas of the world where same-sex marriage continues to be illegal, with the pair having also done considerable work to promote human rights.

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Other drivers have also gone on to raise awareness for campaigns and communities, with Lando Norris being a huge campaigner in promoting mental health.

The drivers have raised awareness through themed helmets, clothing and occasionally brief speeches; however, following the update to the ISC, all methods are banned.

Under the new regulations, “the general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA under its Statutes, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA for International Competitions.”

Effectively, the only way in which a driver can legally support a campaign or community during a Grand Prix weekend is by being granted permission from the FIA first, something which has resulted in mixed opinions.

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Valtteri Bottas has questioned the FIA over why they are attempting to “control” the drivers, with their freedom of speech having essentially been taken away; however, Coulthard views the update to the ISC slightly differently.

“It’s a bit like an acceptance speech at the Oscars,” Coulthard said.

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“If everyone uses the opportunity to make a political statement, there is no issue that is not important to someone.

“So we either have to mention everything or maybe it’s better not to say anything at all and concentrate on the sport. As an athlete, you are very lucky to be paid to do things that others would do for nothing.

“We also have to remember that it is the sporting rules that we are talking about, not some set of political regulations.”