Valtteri Bottas ‘personally’ doesn’t like politics but defends Lewis Hamilton

Under the updated FIA International Sporting Code, Lewis Hamilton will be unable to support human rights or the LGBTQ+ community unless he is granted permission.

Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has become the first Formula 1 driver to question the FIA’s controversial update to the International Sporting Code (ISC), with the Finn believing that the governing body are trying to “control” the drivers.

It was announced following the 2022 season that a fleet of changes would be made to the ISC, in order for the FIA to be more in-line with other sporting governing bodies across the globe.

This meant making a substantial change to a driver’s right to make a political statement, with “the general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments” having been disappointingly banned.

The update to the ISC means that should Lewis Hamilton wear a rainbow-themed helmet in support of the LGBTQ+ community at the Bahrain Grand Prix, then he would be breaking the ISC, something that’ll all but certainly result in the seven-time World Champion being punished.

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However, political statements will be allowed should a driver be granted permission by the FIA first, although, it’s yet to be seen how lenient the governing body will be.

Bottas is clearly disappointed by the FIA’s decision, especially with the governing body having often been praised for doing a “good job”.

“I personally don’t like politics,” the Finn told the Swedish daily Expressen.

“What I love is racing, but politics is part of today’s society. I think F1 has done a good job of bringing attention to these kinds of issues and many drivers have taken a stand, including Sebastian.

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“I don’t understand why they want to control us. I think we should have a say in things if we want to. I’m looking at the big picture, but we’ll see what happens.”

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Some have questioned the timing of this particular update to the ISC, given that it’s been done following Sebastian Vettel’s retirement from Formula 1.

In the latter years of his F1 career, Vettel supported several communities and campaigns at virtually every single Grand Prix, with the German having also been the first driver to take the knee alongside Hamilton in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’.

Whether the drivers will obey the ISC remains to be seen, given that the first race of the 2023 season is just over a month away.