F1 to clamp down on Lewis Hamilton for using the sport to make political statements

Lewis Hamilton (Bryn Lennon / Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton (Bryn Lennon / Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon

• Formula 1 to clamp down on political statements made by drivers.

• Lewis Hamilton recently wore a t-shirt making a political statement.

• Former F1 driver says not all cultures make provision for kneeling.

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Formula 1 will have clamped down on drivers making overtly political statements on the podium, according to former driver Vitaly Petrov.

The Russian was referring to Mugello, where Lewis Hamilton wore a t-shirt calling on American police accused of shooting a woman during a raid to be arrested.

Six-time world champion Hamilton has been wearing a 'Black Lives Matter' t-shirt on the grid all season to date, but that may be interpreted as a statement rather than an endorsement of the controversial political movement.

OPINION | Driving with J9: Why Hamilton's message was more than just a controversial t-shirt

'It's too much'

Mugello was the first time Hamilton took an overtly political statement onto the podium and post-race interviews.

Petrov told Championat: "For me, this t-shirt, on top of calling for everyone to kneel, was too much. It is a personal matter for every adult. You have the right to speak out on social media or give interviews, but I think the US government is well aware of these problems already.

"But to call on that in F1 itself... I think half of the spectators didn't even know what the shirt was about until it was explained to them. And let's say a driver admits to being gay - will they come out with a rainbow flag and urge everyone to become gay as well? I think the FIA will no longer allow such behaviours."

Petrov also said Russians - including Daniil Kvyat - do not kneel for any reason except "before God and to propose to your future wife. In Russia we have a different mentality, and we do not have the problems that Hamilton is talking about. There should be respect for everyone."

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