“A bit unnecessary” - Verstappen backs Hamilton in row against the FIA

Two-time F1 champion Max Verstappen has sided with arch rival Lewis Hamilton in a row against the FIA over free speech.
Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton & Max Verstappen

At the end of last year, the FIA announced that they would be looking to clampdown on any “political, religious or personal statements” and drivers would need to obtain permission from the governing body before doing so.

The move has been met with overwhelming criticism from a number of drivers, including Verstappen.

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While the Dutchman hasn’t been too vocal himself, unlike Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, Verstappen believes drivers should be “allowed to” talk.

“I think you first have to know that everyone is different,” he told Sky Sports. “Some people are a bit more outspoken than others.

"Normally I'm not that outspoken. First of all, it's difficult for a driver to fully focus on that. You really have to throw yourself into everything and have all the facts straight, but I don't think it's necessary.

"You ensure that people are not allowed to talk anymore. I think people should be allowed to. Like I said, some people will talk a little more, some a little less. I think it was a bit unnecessary."

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22,
Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal in the FIA Press…

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner also backed Hamilton, insisting F1 shouldn’t have “a load of robots that are without an opinion”.

"We certainly at Red Bull have never constrained our drivers of their freedom of speech, or the ability to speak their minds because they do have a voice," Horner added.

"I think it’s a matter of finding a balance. In the world that we live in today, everybody has a voice and that shouldn’t be suppressed.

"But of course, it does have to be done responsibly. So, we don’t want a load of robots that are without an opinion going racing.

"Like with all things, it just has to be a sensible balance."

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