FIA moves to prevent podium protests after Hamilton t-shirt

Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

FIA moves to prevent podium protests after Hamilton t-shirt

Formula 1

FIA moves to prevent podium protests after Hamilton t-shirt

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The FIA has informed drivers they are not allowed to wear anything other than their race suits during the podium ceremony after Lewis Hamilton wore  a provocative t-shirt during the ceremony at Mugello (pictured above).

Hamilton wore a black t-shirt with the words ‘Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’ after winning the last race in Italy, displaying it during post-race interviews and on the podium. While no action was taken against Hamilton directly, the FIA has now circulated a race director’s note that informs drivers they are not allowed to wear anything other than their race suits until after the podium.

“For the duration of the Podium Ceremony and Post Race Interview Procedure, the Drivers finishing in race in positions 1, 2, 3 must remain attired only in their Driving Suits, ‘done up’ to the neck, not opened to the waist,” the director’s note reads. “For the avoidance of doubt this includes a Medical Face Mask or Team Branded Face Mask.”

Once the podium ceremony is complete, drivers are allowed to change out of their race suits but the FIA has also banned them from wearing non-team kit.

“For the duration of the TV pen interviews and FIA Post Race Press Conference, all Drivers finishing must remain attired in their respective teams’ uniform only. For the avoidance of doubt this includes a Medical Face Mask or Team Branded Face Mask.”

The face mask point is also likely to apply to Daniel Ricciardo’s attire this week in Russia, where the Renault driver wore a mask that was not team branded and simply read ‘Equality.’

Hamilton stated on Thursday that he expected to be told not to repeat the t-shirt, and even though he says he has no plans for a specific protest this weekend in Russia he says it won’t stop him in future.

“What was really positive was the support I got from the fans — I think the fans have been amazing,” Hamilton said. “I don’t regret a single moment of it. I usually follow my heart and do what I feel is right and I felt that was me following my heart. I also did something that has never really happened in Formula 1, and obviously they’ll stop it from happening moving forwards.

“People do talk about sport not being a place for politics and ultimately it’s human rights issues, and in my opinion that is something we should be pushing towards. We have a huge collective group of amazing people that watch our sport from multiple different backgrounds and cultures and we should definitely be pushing positive messages towards them, especially for equality. We push towards road safety, you could say that’s human rights also.

“Lots of rules have been written for me over the years and that hasn’t stopped me. But what I will do is continue to try and work with Formula 1 and with the FIA to make sure the messaging is right. Could it be better? Of course, it could always be better, but that’s part of the learning curve.”

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