Rumor: F1 to stop Hamilton podium activism

(GMM) F1 will have clamped down on drivers making overtly political statements on the podium, according to former driver Vitaly Petrov.

The Russian was referring to Mugello, where Lewis Hamilton wore a t-shirt calling on American police accused of shooting a woman during a raid to be arrested.

Six-time world champion Hamilton has been wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt on the grid all season to date, but that may be interpreted as a statement rather than an endorsement of the controversial political movement.

Mugello was the first time he took an overtly political statement onto the podium and post-race interviews.

“For me, this t-shirt, on top of calling for everyone to kneel, was too much,” Petrov told Championat.

“It is a personal matter for every adult. You have the right to speak out on social media or give interviews, but I think the US government is well aware of these problems already.

“But to call on that in Formula 1 itself … I think half of the spectators didn’t even know what the shirt was about until it was explained to them,” he added.

“And let’s say a driver admits to being gay – will they come out with a rainbow flag and urge everyone to become gay as well? I think the FIA will no longer allow such behaviors,” said Petrov.

Petrov also said Russians – including Daniil Kvyat – do not kneel for any reason except “before God and to propose to your future wife”.

“In Russia we have a different mentality, and we do not have the problems that Hamilton is talking about. There should be respect for everyone,” he said.