Sep.22 (GMM) F1 will have clamped down on drivers making overtly political statements on the podium, according to former driver Vitaly Petrov.
The Russian was referring to Mugello, where Lewis Hamilton wore a t-shirt calling on American police accused of shooting a woman during a raid to be arrested.
Six-time world champion Hamilton has been wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ t-shirt on the grid all season to date, but that may be interpreted as a statement rather than an endorsement of the controversial political movement.
Mugello was the first time he took an overtly political statement onto the podium and post-race interviews.
“For me, this t-shirt, on top of calling for everyone to kneel, was too much,” Petrov told Championat.
“It is a personal matter for every adult. You have the right to speak out on social media or give interviews, but I think the US government is well aware of these problems already.
“But to call on that in Formula 1 itself … I think half of the spectators didn’t even know what the shirt was about until it was explained to them,” he added.
“And let’s say a driver admits to being gay – will they come out with a rainbow flag and urge everyone to become gay as well? I think the FIA will no longer allow such behaviours,” said Petrov.
Petrov also said Russians – including Daniil Kvyat – do not kneel for any reason except “before God and to propose to your future wife”.
“In Russia we have a different mentality, and we do not have the problems that Hamilton is talking about. There should be respect for everyone,” he said.