In December, FIA, the federation that governs Formula One and other racing series, updated its International Sporting Code for the 2023 season and included a new article stating that political, religious and personal statements during race weekends will require written approval.
Ahead of the start of the 2023 F1 season, seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton was asked about the clampdown on political statements, and the star driver said the new rules will not stop him from speaking his mind.
"It doesn’t surprise me, but nothing will stop me from speaking on the things that I feel that I’m passionate about and issues there are," Hamilton said Wednesday. "I feel the sport does have a responsibility, still, always, to speak out as a means to create awareness on important topics, particularly as we are traveling to all these different places, so nothing changes."
When asked whether he was prepared to be penalized for violating the rule, Hamilton said he will continue to "speak his mind" even if it costs him points.
"I think it would be silly to say that I would want to get penalty points for speaking out on things," Hamilton said. "But, as I said to you, I’m still going to be speaking my mind, and as we still have this platform, there’s still a lot of things that we need to tackle."
The penalty for violating the new rule is not yet clear.
Multiple drivers have made statements with their clothing in past years, including Hamilton.
At the Tuscan Grand Prix in 2020, Hamilton wore a T-shirt with the message "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor."
Last week, Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali said F1 will "never put a gag on anyone" while expressing that the sport will "give everyone the chance to speak in the right way."
The Associated Press contributed to this report