The Federation Internationale De L'Automobile (FIA) revealed updates to its International Sporting Code (ISC) regulations on Monday, giving teams and drivers an idea of what to expect for the 2023 season. One update immediately stood out: Drivers now need written permission to make "political, religious, and personal statements or comments."
As WTF1 points out, it's not just Formula 1 drivers who need to follow these new rules. Every driver participating in FIA championships, whether they be driving in stage rally, endurance racing, or even karting, must abide by the regulations. Here's the full code, found in article 12.2.1.n of the "breach of rules" section of the ISC:
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, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA for International Competitions, or by the relevant ASN for National Competitions within their jurisdiction.
So essentially, you can't say anything political, religious, or personal unless the FIA agrees with what you're saying. Got it.
Legendary drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel haven't held back when it comes to raising awareness on global issues like racial discrimination, climate change, and support for the LGBTQIA+ communities. We've also seen no shortage of one-off helmet designs and other apparel supporting those causes on the grid in the past. Thanks to this new rule, we'll likely be seeing less of that next year.