Lewis Hamilton has been threatened with a race penalty by FIA chief Mohammed ben Sulayem if he continues to use the sport as a platform to make "political statements". The FIA president wants the drivers to focus on racing rather than use the sport to propagate their personal agendas.

The Mercedes driver was a vocal advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement that began in 2020. The seven-time world champion remains an active voice fighting against racial injustice occurring around the world, and has roped in other drivers to also voice their anger against it.

Late last year, the FIA issued a directive banning drivers from making statements about the political and social injustices occurring around the world. It banned "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."

Hamilton was quick to voice his concern about the FIA's latest rule. The Briton was concerned that the blanket ban will affect the good work done by a number of organisations to try and eradicate the problems, and even threatened to quit the sport if he cannot use his global fame to promote equality and inclusivity.

"If I can't defend human rights and I can't continue with what I've been doing these years, I'd rather not race anymore," Hamilton said.

The FIA president has now responded and made it clear that the governing body will not tolerate any form of political agenda by the drivers. In the event a driver wants to make a statement, he will have to get written permission or be ready to face a penalty.

"We are concerned with building bridges," Ben Sulayem said, as quoted by The Sun. "You can use sport for peace reasons."

"But one thing we don't want is to have the FIA as a platform for private personal agenda," he added. "If there is anything, you take the permission."

Ben Sulayem feels the drivers should focus on what they do best - driving - rather than ally themselves with political and social situations. He wants the sport's biggest stars to focus on making F1 a better show.

"What does the driver do best? Driving. They are so good at it, and they make the business, they make the show, they are the stars. Nobody is stopping them."

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