Albon reveals F1 driver 'concern' about FIA’s free speech clampdown

Alex Albon says F1 drivers are “all concerned” about the FIA’s clampdown on political statements ahead of the new season. 
Albon reveals F1 driver 'concern' about FIA’s free speech clampdown

In an update to the governing body’s international sporting code, F1 drivers will be banned from making or displaying “political, religious and personal statements” without prior approval. 

Speaking at Williams’ season launch to reveal their new livery and Gulf Oil partnership for 2023, Albon admitted there is concern among his fellow drivers about the FIA’s latest move. 

Remote video URL

"We are all concerned,” Albon said. “I know that between F1 and the FIA they are trying to get everything together in the same form of communication. At the minute there is a little bit of confusion.

"We need clarity from the FIA on what they are trying to tell us.

"It is hard to see as drivers what they are trying to say. We need to be able to speak freely to a certain extent.”

Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas has already publicly criticised the FIA’s clampdown, which has been accused of deliberately targeting Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. 

Albon reveals F1 driver 'concern' about FIA’s free speech clampdown

The seven-time world champion caused controversy at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix when he wore a T-shirt on the podium which read “arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor”. 

Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have been two of F1’s most outspoken drivers in recent years, with both using their platform to highlight concerns surrounding discrimination, human rights, and the environment. 

With Vettel having retired from the sport, Hamilton has been urged to continue to speak up against injustice and not be “muzzled” by the FIA

Albon said it feels as though the FIA are “trying to go away” from initiatives such as F1’s We Race As One campaign. 

"Politics and stances - it is a very sensitive area,” he added. “We were very much for We Race As One. We need clarity and I am sure we are going to get clarity.

"With who we are, and the media, and the engagement we have to our fans and the people who watch, a lot of people look to us as spokespeople for issues around the world and I do feel it is a responsibility for drivers to make people aware of these situations.”

Albon’s new teammate, Logan Sargeant, said: “The team is still waiting for a bit of clarity from the FIA as to what that exactly means. 

“But the goal is to definitely come to a sensible outcome for everyone.” 

Read More