FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has quickly moved to backtrack from the controversial comments he made about the stance taken on social issues by the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Lando Norris.

During a recent interview, the newly appointed FIA chief called out the aforementioned drivers for using their influence to "impose their beliefs" on the sport. He even cited former F1 stars to suggest that drivers should simply stick to driving their cars.

Hamilton and Vettel have been vocal about their opinions on a number of issues ranging from matters relating to human rights, the environment, as well as being allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. Norris, meanwhile, has been an advocate to address mental health issues in sport.

"Niki Lauda and Alain Prost only cared about driving. Now, Vettel drives a rainbow bicycle, Lewis is passionate about human rights and Norris addresses mental health. Everybody has the right to think. To me, it is about deciding whether we should impose our beliefs in something over the sport all the time," Ben Sulayem said, as quoted on Crash.

F1 Lewis Hamilton
Premiership clubs have adopted a similar stance to Formula One personnel in uniting against racism but wary of the political views of Black Lives Matter Movement some teams have opted for other ways of showing their support. Bryn Lennon/POOL

"I am from an Arabian culture. I am international and Muslim. I do not impose my beliefs on other people? No way! Never. If you look at my operation in the UAE: 16 nationalities! Name me one federation that has that many nationalities."

Hamilton and Vettel, who have a combined 11 F1 world championship titles between them, are clearly not imposing their personal beliefs or religious choices on the world. The duo are simply shining a light on a number of issues being addressed by a number of groups and individuals around the world.

Ben Sulayem clearly felt the backlash for his comments and has now quickly moved to clarify his statements without specifically pointing at his previous comments. He has now lauded the likes of Hamilton and Vettel for taking a stand on issues like "sustainability and inclusion".

"As a driver, I have always believed in sport as a catalyst of progress in society," he wrote on Twitter.

"That is why promoting sustainability, diversity and inclusion is a key priority of my mandate. In the same way, I value the commitment of all drivers and champions for a better future."

The F1 juggernaut is at the Baku City Circuit for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix this weekend. Red Bull and Ferrari are expected to resume their battle at the front with many expecting Mercedes to join the party imminently.

Lewis Hamilton
'Mind-blowing': Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win at the Russian Grand Prix POOL / Yuri Kochetkov