Formula 1 drivers expect more guidance from the FIA on what they can say at races this season after a rule change caused concern, Williams driver Alex Albon said today while questioning if “We Race As One” is still on the agenda of the sport’s governing body.
The FIA, updated the International Sporting Code last December with a clause requiring prior written permission for drivers to make or display “political, religious and personal statements or comments”.
The move has been a pre-season talking point, with uncertainty about how it might be applied in practice.
“It seems quite a broad subject … we need clarity from the FIA on what they are trying to tell us,” Albon told reporters during a livery launch at the team’s factory.
“On a personal side it is somewhat confusing … we were very much for ‘We Race As One’ and all these kind of situations and so now it seems like the FIA are trying to go away from that.
Alex: We’re all concerned
“So we need to see,” added Albon.” We need to be open in dialogue about what they are trying to do. We need to be able to speak freely to some extent. I’m sure we’re going to get clarity later on what really they are trying to say.”
F1 launched its “We Race As One” diversity, inclusion and sustainability platform in 2020, with drivers gathered on the grid pre-race to express their support with a gesture of their choice.
Some drivers, with seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton a vocal advocate for human rights and racial equality, chose to take the knee while others remained standing but wearing T-shirts supporting various causes.
“A lot of people come to us and look at us as spokespeople for issues around the world and I do feel like it is a responsibility for drivers to make people aware of these kind of situations. We’re all concerned,” added the British-born Thai. The F1 season starts in Bahrain on March 5. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)