Team set to defy FIA’s ban on political gestures

An update to the FIA's International Sporting Code has seen drivers and teams banned from making political statements during a Grand Prix weekend.

If what has been said is true, then the motorsport world will get the first glimpse of how the FIA are going to deal with breaches of the updated International Sporting Code (ISC), with Maserati MSG Racing set to be “vocal” about the team’s values in Formula E.

It was announced by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem that from 2023 onwards, teams and drivers would be banned from using the FIA “as a platform for a private personal agenda”.

Updates to the ISC have seen the likes of wearing decorative helmets and clothing in support of a campaign or community banned, unless permission from the FIA is granted beforehand.

The rule change has been met with high amounts of criticism, with the FIA having previously been praised for giving teams and drivers such freedoms of expression.

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Ben Sulayem recently explained why the FIA has banned drivers from making political or religious statements, with the FIA president wanting the focus to be on the racing itself.

“We are concerned with building bridges,” Ben Sulayem said at the Dakar Rally.

“You can use sport for peace reasons … But one thing we don’t want is to have the FIA as a platform for a private personal agenda.

“[It] will divert from the sport. What does the driver do best? Driving. They are so good at it and they make the show, they are the stars. Nobody is stopping them.

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“There are other platforms to express what they want. Everybody has this and they are most welcome to go through the process of the FIA. If there is anything, you take the permission. If not, if they make any other mistake … it’s very clear what you get.”

The FIA president won’t be in charge of implementing the rules himself, with the stewards having full responsibility for handing out penalties to those that breach the ISC.

Maserati are set to do just that, with team principal James Rossiter having revealed that the Monte-Carlo-based team “will continue to be vocal about their values”.

The Maserati Formula E outfit, who rebranded over the off-season from ROKIT Venturi, have been huge supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, with the community’s flag having always featured typically on their car’s front-wing.

It is set to feature on the front-wing once again on their impressive Gen3 challenger, with the first round of the new season of Formula E set to begin this weekend in Mexico City.

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“Maserati Formula E team is set to defy FIA’s new prohibition on political statements and to continue using pride flag colours,” it was revealed.

“TP James Rossiter says that the team “will continue to be vocal about their values”.

“So which F1 team will be the first one to invert at the FIA?”