F1: Hamilton and Vettel best not say anything at all – Coulthard
Political activists Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian received strong pushback from former F1 driver David Coulthard over the FIA’s new rule that bans drivers from making political statements during race weekends.
Speaking to Expressen, Coulthard explained how the sport is watched by millions of people and, hence, can be a great platform to spread positivity. However, he also made a connection between speaking in F1 interviews and giving an acceptance speech at the Oscars, explaining the impact of each word spoken by the F1 drivers. The former McLaren driver said:
“Sport is watched by millions of people all over the world and therefore it can be used as a platform to do something good. But as an athlete, you are also very lucky to get paid to do things that others would do for nothing at all.”
He further added:
“And it’s a bit like an acceptance speech at the Oscars. If everyone uses the opportunity to make a political statement, there is no issue that is not important to someone. So we either have to mention everything, or maybe it’s better not to say anything at all and concentrate on the sport.”
“I understand that there are people who promote freedom of speech and all that, and that is absolutely an important thing to keep in mind, but I also think that we have to remember that it is the sporting rules that we are talking about, not some political regulation.”
Speaking to The New York Times, Hamilton said:
“There are still so many barriers still in place. Hopefully, it’s not going to be like this for much longer, but it’s just sad to see we are still finding those things today.”
To which we say (to both Hamilton and Vettel), “when you are away from the racetrack you are free to make all the political BS speeches you want.
“How many hours in a week do you need to spew your BS that most people do not want to hear?
“You have all the social media platforms at your disposal to spew your beliefs, but when you are on F1’s clock, stick to driving and talking about what you are doing to win. Your fans came to watch you race and win, not spew politics.”
Mark Cipolloni, reporting for AutoRacing1.com