Pierre Gasly has signed his name to a letter speaking out against Marine Le Pen as she runs for president in France.
Formula 1 drivers have grown ever more outspoken on real world issues in recent months, with Sir Lewis Hamilton affirming that he was not “comfortable” racing in Saudi Arabia.
Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen both denounced Russia after they began their invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, and F1’s contract with the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled shortly thereafter.
The drivers spent five hours in a meeting on the Friday night in Jeddah this year discussing whether it was safe to race given the missile attacks that had taken place that afternoon, attracting praise from Grand Prix Drivers’ Association [GPDA] chairman Alex Wurz.
“The transformation of young people taking this responsibility is impressive,” said the former Benetton and Williams driver.
FranceInfo, a Parisian news outlet, published a letter titled “block the far right,” and it included the signature of Gasly along with 51 other French athletes, among them Rugby player Antoine Dupont and Tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“The sport in which we believe, with the values of Olympism, is comprised of friendship and respect – it is the place of diversity,” it reads.
“It rejects all discrimination. It is because we believe in this sport, fraternal and inclusive, that we are committed to preventing our nation from placing at its head a president who embodies the complete opposite.”
The letter affirms that Le Pen is conducting “stigmatisation of the other, the withdrawal into oneself, and nationalism.”
“We therefore call for a vote for Emmanuel Macron on April 24,” they added.
Labour MP Owen Jones sees it as disturbing that there is little attention being paid to a “far-right” government potentially being elected in Western Europe for the first time since World War Two.
“There’s every chance Macron will win again, but the fact that the far right has a shot at winning the national election in a Western European nation for the first time in the post-war period hasn’t caused much self-reflection amongst exponents of neo-liberal ‘centrists,’” he tweeted.
Others, conversely, do not believe that Le Pen is on the far right at all, with another user suggesting that this is merely a trick from the media designed to influence voters.
“Every time the media have mentioned Le Pen this morning they say ‘Far Right’ Le Pen,’” they tweeted.
“Repetitive messaging designed to influence. So much for impartiality.”