An updated version of the FIA’s International Sporting Code for 2023 forbids "the general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA under its statutes, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA”.

Speaking at the Race of Champions in Sweden, Bottas criticised the revised regulation that will stop the likes of former teammate Lewis Hamilton from raising concerns about political matters. 

Explained: New rules for F1 2023 season

“Personally, I don’t like politics,” Bottas told Swedish newspaper Expressen. “I like to do what I love, which is racing, but politics is at the same time part of today’s society. 

“I think Formula 1 has done a good job of paying attention to some of these kinds of issues and many drivers have raised their voices, including Sebastian [Vettel].”

Bottas added: “I do not understand why they want to control us. I think we should have the right to talk about what we want. That is how I see it, but we will see what happens.”

The FIA’s new rule has been backed by McLaren CEO Zak Brown, who said political gestures from drivers got “out of control”

Meanwhile, a human rights group has accused F1’s governing body of “suppressing drivers’ freedom of speech”, suggesting the rule is clearly targeting seven-time world champion Hamilton. 

Hamilton famously caused a stir at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello when he wore a T-shirt on the podium that stated: 'Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor’. The back of Hamilton’s T-shirt featured a picture of her and the words: ‘Say her name’. 

Drivers were subsequently banned from wearing anything other than their race suits in post-race podium ceremonies. 

Sebastian Vettel, who has now retired from F1, has also worn clothing to raise awareness of political and environmental issues in recent years.