The Federation Internationale de I’Automobile (FIA), the regulatory body for automobile racing events, including Formula One (F1) amended Article 12 of the International Sporting Code which deals with offences and penalties, thereby incorporating Article 12.2.1.n under breach of rules. This new amendment prohibits the participants of motor racing events from expressing their political or religious affiliations or making other statements in this regard to the media or otherwise in public. The clause states as follows:
“The general making and display of political, religious and personal statements or comments notably in violation of the general principle of neutrality promoted by the FIA under its Statutes, unless previously approved in writing by the FIA for International Competitions, or by the relevant ASN for National Competitions within their jurisdiction.”
If a participant issues a statement in violation of this clause, then he or she would be liable to be punished with a fine, suspension, etc., under Articles 12.3 and 12.4 of the Code.
This amendment is in line with the IOC’s Code of Ethics. Article 1.2 of said Code specifies that the political neutrality of the Olympics must be maintained, and such a principle should be respected. The amended FIA International Sporting Code applies with effect from 2023 onwards and would also apply to the upcoming F1 race scheduled to commence on March 5, 2023.