Lewis Hamilton fires FIA warning as he braces for grid penalties and fines

Lewis Hamilton's 2023 helmet is set to be banned under the FIA's updated International Sporting Code, due to it featuring streaks of the LGBTQ+ flag.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he will defy the FIA come the season opener in Bahrain, with the 38-year-old set to lock horns once again with the governing body.

Whilst Hamilton clashed with the FIA last season over continuing to wear jewellery, the issue this time around is considerably more pressing.

Hamilton and several other drivers have hit out at the FIA for effectively banning freedom of speech during a Grand Prix, following an update to the International Sporting Code (ISC).

The FIA has banned personal, religious and political statements from being made; however, they have detailed where drivers can talk about certain matters without getting a penalty.

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Noticeably, though, the details revealed by the FIA show that drivers can only really talk about certain matters when they are asked a question.

It’s also been understood by Sky Sports News that wearing themed helmets will also be banned, meaning Hamilton will be unable to legally use his already revealed 2023 helmet, which includes streaks of the LGBTQ+ flag.

Should Hamilton wear his helmet or discuss political matters in a banned location or time in Bahrain, then the FIA will presumably punish him accordingly, something that’ll likely result in further anger against the FIA.

The range of penalties goes from a warning all the way to potential disqualification, forcing the drivers to choose between supporting a campaign or community but risk punishment, or remain silent under the FIA’s rules.

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Despite the risk of punishment, Hamilton has revealed that he will “continue to fight” for what he’s “passionate about”, with the Mercedes star set to portray a message of not letting anybody restrict your freedom of speech or expression.

“These issues are still so important to be spoken about,” Hamilton told Sky Sports News.

“I think we’ve come a long way. I think we’ve seen great progress, but there’s more to do and we are still going to places where there are still issues and I know there is work being done in those places too and these things can take time.

“I’m going to continue to be me and continue to fight for things that I am passionate about. I wouldn’t let anybody stop me from doing that.”

Hamilton isn’t surprised by the FIA’s dramatic clampdown on political statements but won’t let it “stop” him from raising awareness for campaigns and communities that need it, for example, women’s rights in the Middle East.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” he admitted. “But nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I feel that I’m passionate about and issues that there are.”

How strict the FIA will be remains to be seen, considering that they’re set to allow some political statements if a driver can give them a good enough reason to do so.

Effectively, for a driver to legally share their opinion on a political matter, they must seek permission from the FIA first, something Lando Norris hit out on by stating “we are not in a school”.

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Of course, Hamilton isn’t going to try and get a penalty, but at the same time he recognises that there are so many areas “we need to tackle”, with F1 boasting an incredible platform to do so.

“I think it would be silly to say that I would want to take extra penalty points for speaking out on things,” said Hamilton.

“But I’m still going to be speaking my mind and because we still have this platform, there’s still a lot of things that we need to tackle.”