Stefano Domenicali claims F1 is not trying to control drivers amid clampdown on public statements

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is adamant they are not trying to gag drivers despite their public and controversial clampdown on speaking out about political issues.

In order to give more weight to what he is saying, he also stated the FIA are planning to clarify exactly what is meant by the new rule and what they are trying to police.

Starting from the 2023 season, the FIA banned drivers from making any comments about issues that could be deemed to be political, religious or personal.

This after the past two seasons in which Sir Lewis Hamilton has been very vocal on political and racial issues.

"F1 will never put a gag on anyone," Domenicalli told The Guardian.

"Everyone wants to talk so to have the platform to say what they want in the right way the better it is. We have a huge opportunity because of the position of our sport which is more and more global, multicultural and multivalued.

"We are talking about 20 drivers, 10 teams and many sponsors, they have different ideas, different views. I cannot say one is right, one is wrong, but it is right, if needed, to give them a platform to discuss their opinions in an open way.

"We will not change that approach as a sport. That should be the line of our sport, to give everyone the chance to speak in the right way, not with aggressive tones or to offend, but with respect."

Domenicali also claims that he is in constant conversation with the drivers and that they were all aware of the intended rule change.

"I had a discussion with the drivers about this last year," he said.

"About how F1 could be a platform, to have a spotlight on certain things we believe are right to talk about. F1 should help the drivers if they want to discuss certain subjects.

"It is important to have a very constructive dialogue. If this is not happening it can create either confusion or problems where there need not be problems.

"We keep monitoring the situation. We keep the drivers informed, we meet with the GPDA to discuss it. How we can allow the drivers to be open as human beings in our sport.

"Athletes can be very emotional and passionate about some things, and they need to discuss that constructively with people they trust."

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