FIA clarifies podium rules, after Hamilton’s ‘Breonna Taylor’ protest

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

The FIA clarified podium conduct rules in reaction to Lewis Hamilton wearing a T-shirt that carried the message: “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor”.

The message was referring to a woman who was killed in her home by plain clothes police officers, while they were attempting to serve a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend claimed he thought they were intruders and opened fire. The police returned fire and shot Taylor eight times. The matter is still being investigated.

After Hamilton wore the shirt during his post-race celebration, the FIA announced it is looking into the matter to see if the Briton  broke any rules, but later said it will not investigate the matter further.

Ahead of the Russian Grand Prix Hamilton said he had not spoken to the FIA about the issue.

“I have no idea, I have not spoken to them,” said Hamilton.

“What was really positive was the support that I got from the fans. I think the fans have been amazing, and I don’t regret a single moment of it.

“I usually follow my heart and do what I feel is right. I did something that has never really happened in Formula 1.

“Obviously they may stop it from happening moving forwards, but I think people talking about sport not being a place for politics, ultimately it is human rights issues, and in my opinion that is something we should be pushing towards.

“I don’t know what they are going to do this weekend, but lots of rules have been written for me over the years that hasn’t stopped me.

„But what I will do is continue to try to work with Formula 1 and the FIA to make sure the messaging is right.

“Could it be better? Of course, it could always be better but that is part of the learning curve.”

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The Briton also said he is waiting for the FIA to provide clear guidelines on what is allowed and not allowed during the race weekend.

“This is a learning process for everyone, because people have been happy with the norm here, of how life and society has operated.

“But ultimately, the world, and the younger generation particularly, is more conscious that things aren’t equal and changes needed.

“So it does take conversations with people and things like Mugello happening for people to spark a conversation that perhaps would never have taken place if it didn’t happen.

“So I haven’t spoken to them. But I’ve heard that tomorrow they’ll come out with a new ruling of some sort, saying what you can and cannot do.

“I’ll just try to continue to work with them. Whether or not I agree or disagree is kind of irrelevant. It’s just trying to find a common ground and how we can do it together maybe.

“Do I believe that they truly understand? I don’t know, but perhaps in the future, we all will try to understand,” concluded the six-time champion.

Now the FIA’s clarification came and drivers are now required to remain “attired only in their Driving Suits” during the podium ceremony and the post-race interviews. Here is the new clause:

“For the duration of the Podium Ceremony and Post Race Interview Procedure, the Drivers finishing in race in positions 1, 2, 3 must remain attired only in their Driving Suits, ‘done up’ to the neck, not opened to the waist.

“For the duration of the TV pen interviews and FIA Post Race Press Conference, all Drivers finishing must remain attired in their respective teams’ uniform only.

“For the avoidance of doubt this includes a Medical Face Mask or Team Branded Face Mask.”

In short, from now on Lewis Hamilton will not be allowed to wear any custom T-shirts after the race. He is yet to react to this new clause.

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