Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton states that "nothing will stop him" from expressing his opinion when it comes to his personal beliefs. This comes after the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) introduced new rules in December 2022 that limit drivers' abilities to make "political religious, and personal statements" during races.
"Nothing will stop me from speaking on the things I am passionate about," Hamilton said while speaking at the launch of the Mercedes 2023 F1 car. "The sport has a responsibility to speak out and create awareness on important topics, particularly as we are traveling to different places. So nothing changes."
In December, the FIA made changes to its International Sporting Code and banned the display of political, religious, and personal statements unless they were approved in writing by the governing body. Drivers that don't adhere to the new guidelines will be subject to financial penalties as well as penalties on the track.
The seven-time world champion has spoken out about social justice issues in the past. When competing at the 2020 Tuscan Grand Prix, Hamilton wore a black t-shirt that had the words "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" written on the front.
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton wore this shirt while winning the Tuscan Grand Prix on Sunday — which marked 6 months since #BreonnaTaylor was killed by police.— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 14, 2020
He said: "There's someone that got killed in her own house. And those guys are still walking free." pic.twitter.com/KIerOZswWF
In addition, Hamilton has participated in races in the Middle East and worn a rainbow helmet to show his support for the LGBTQIA+ community in Qatar.
"I'm still going to be speaking my mind, and as we still have this platform, there's still a lot of things that we need to tackle," Hamilton added.
The 2023 Formula One season gets underway on March 5 in Bahrain.