Sports | September 28, 2020 6:30 am

FIA Updates Stance on Political Shirts Worn by Drivers

The FIA has regulated what can appear on shirts and when they can be worn

F1 Grand Prix of Russia
Drivers kneel and stand in support of ending racism before the F1 Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom.
Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images

This year, nearly every competitive sport has seen an increase in the amount of political statements made by its participants — either verbally or via a message on a shirt or some other form of clothing. Formula One is no exception, with Lewis Hamilton wearing an “ARREST THE COPS WHO KILLED BREONNA TAYLOR” shirt at a race earlier this month.

Now, Formula One’s governing body, the FIA, has released its own set of guidelines governing messages on shirts, among other things. In an article for Jalopnik, Elizabeth Blackstock provides a good summation of the guidelines, which don’t ban political messages entirely but do seem designed to exert more control over them.

The guidelines were announced on the day of the Russian Grand Prix, and mandated that the top 3 finishers remain in their driving suits on the podium and when in the press pool after the race.

Blackstock writes that the FIA “did implement a new rule that explicitly bans anything but race suits on the podium. That means no political t-shirts allowed.”

Another change in the regulations comes for what can be worn before a race. Previously, wearing the official Formula One anti-racism t-shirt was acceptable, along with “anything else a driver may feel comfortable to do.” That line, which had given drivers some leeway in choosing their own messaging, has now been removed.

As for the race itself, Valtteri Bottas finished first, followed by Max Verstappen and Hamilton.

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