‘I get the political side’: Sergio Perez breaks silence on controversial rule

Drivers will be banned from making political, religious or personal gestures in 2023 unless they have been approved by the FIA.

Formula 1 drivers are some of the most powerful and influential people on the planet not only because they are watched weekly by millions of people all around the world, but because unlike other sports there are only 20 of them, making their actions more powerful.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been very influential in recent years, making a number of political statements such as wearing t-shirts and helmets that display messages protesting against various injustices and problems in the world.

The drivers will be somewhat silenced in 2023 and beyond however, as the FIA have now changed the rules surrounding political, religious and personal gestures, making them a punishable offence unless they have been approved by the FIA.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez has now revealed that the drivers plan to discuss their disapproval for this new rule with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, with the Mexican himself believing the drivers should be free to express themselves.

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“We haven’t discussed [it] with the GDPA but it’s something that we don’t feel comfortable with because we want to be ourselves and we want to be able to express ourselves in any way that we want,” said Perez.

“We all have different views, different beliefs in religion… I get the political side but we should all be free to express ourselves the way we want.

“I just struggle to think that they will be able to control what you say or are able to say or not to say. That to me is not current. But we will discuss that.”

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Liberal Democrat life peer Paul Scriven has recently written a letter to the FIA to express his concern surrounding the FIA’s decision, suggesting that F1’s most successful driver, Lewis Hamilton, is being targeted and silenced.

Scriven believes that the FIA have brought this rule into effect to protect the likes of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are becoming more and more prominent in Formula 1, despite their poor human rights records and lack of equality.

The FIA are yet to respond to this letter, leaving fans and drivers unclear on where they stand heading into the 2023 season.