Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel most notably used their F1 platform to raise awareness for social issues but, ahead of the 2023 season, the FIA insist on granting permission to drivers before they make statements or gestures.

“It's tricky, right? Because some of the topics are really good, some are controversial, some are polarising,” Brown told ESPN.

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"I think in general we want to be a sport that is doing good. We just need to find a balance there and not have every start of a race being a new political agenda for someone. 

“I don't think that's healthy as it can detract from what everyone has tuned in to, which is they want to watch a grand prix.

"I'm glad the door is open for drivers and teams to talk to the FIA if there's an issue they want to discuss. It wasn't a 'you can't do it.' It was 'you can't do it without our permission'. So at least the door is open.

"Everyone is allowed freedom of speech. It did get out of control at times with so much messaging going on. Does it detract from the focus of the sport? 

“These drivers can do this stuff in their own time, so I think it is within Formula One and the FIA's right to say here's the code of conduct we expect for you to follow during a grand prix weekend. You're free to do whatever you want to do Monday through to Friday, so to speak, but obviously it's at a grand prix weekend the drivers have the most cameras on them.

“Politics is tricky by nature. That's what they're probably, at a macro level, trying to avoid is let's not have Formula One become a political hotbed for various topics. But it is damned if you do, damned if you don't, on some of these topics.

"I think that's what we're trying to avoid, let's not turn Formula One into a political sport. Let's just go racing and be respectful of where we're racing.

"There's not a one-size-fits-all in this world for political parties or political agendas, so I think there's a good way that every team, driver, can carry their values in a way that's noncontroversial.

"It's becoming a hot topic in all these sports. In NFL it was taking a knee, that started there. You've got the armbands in Qatar. I think those things can start to deviate away from sport, and that's where we need to find the right balance."