Lewis Hamilton's ex-teammate speaks out on FIA banning 'political statements'

Sir Lewis Hamilton’s former teammate Valtteri Bottas has criticised the FIA’s decision to ban Formula 1 drivers from making political statements.

Back in December, the governing body introduced new legislation that new prohibits: ‘The general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments unless previously approved in writing by the FIA.’

Over the past few years, drivers, most-notably Hamilton and the now-retired Sebastian Vettel, have been increasingly willing to make political gestures before, during and after grand prix weekends.

They have campaigned on a variety of issues such as ending racism, LGBT rights and combatting climate change.

The decision has received much-criticism from human rights groups but due to the news dropping in the F1 off-season few drivers have been able to comment on the matter.

Alfa Romeo racer Bottas has now spoken out, telling Swedish newspaper Expressen: ‘Personally, I don’t like politics.

‘I like to do what I love, which is racing, but at the same time politics is part of today’s society.

‘I think Formula 1 has done a good job of bringing attention to some of these types of issues and many drivers have raised their voices, including Sebastian.

‘I don’t understand why they want to control us. I think we should have the right to talk about what we want. That’s how I see it, but we’ll see what happens.’

Finnish driver Bottas joined Alfa Romeo last year after spending five seasons alongside Hamilton at Mercedes.

2023 pre-season is officially underway now after Haas became the first team to unveil their new car on Tuesday.

Alfa Romeo will launch their 2023 challenger, the C43, next Tuesday ahead of the new season which starts on March 5th in Bahrain.

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