Shut Up & Drive may be a great song by Rihanna, but it also appears to be the theme of a new FIA rule coming into effect in 2023.
Formula 1 has been the backdrop for various political protests (and controversial destinations) over the last few years.
Now, however, the big wigs are cracking down. F1 drivers now need permission in writing from the sport’s authorities before making any kind of “political statements” during next season, if they don’t want to cop punishment.
This comes after the governing body updated the International Sporting Code for 2023. This code is published on the FIA website. Notably, there is a new clause in reference to “the general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA under its statutes.”
Drivers who make these “political, religious and personal statements” will now be breaking the rules unless the FIA gives prior written approval. The current president of the FIA is Mohammed Ben Sulayem of the United Arab Emirates.
According to The Guardian, an FIA spokesman said the update was “in alignment with the political neutrality of sport.”
ABC reports that an athlete rights group has called the move “blatantly hypocritical.”
At the time of writing, retired great Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (both of whom are known for their protests on the Formula 1 track) are yet to publically comment on the new FIA clause on their respective social media pages.