David Coulthard backed the FIA’s controversial rule banning Formula 1 drivers from making political statements, urging to focus on the sport despite the benefits of speaking out.
The matter of the FIA’s decision to prohibit political statements by F1 drivers without prior consent from the governing body has been the subject of many discussions and statements, criticizing the decision, but a new opinion by former F1 driver David Coulthard has a different stance on it.
Coulthard while acknowledging the importance of speaking out and promoting political and social beliefs, feels that this might open the door for everyone to speak out on his own issues, especially that not all F1 drivers are doing so, mainly the retired Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, the latter now on his own in that regard.
Coulthard said: “Sport is watched by millions of people all over the world and therefore it can be used as a platform to do something good.
“But as an athlete, you are also very lucky to get paid to do things that others would do for nothing at all,” the winner of 13 grands prix added.
Either speak out about everything, or don’t
“And it’s a bit like an acceptance speech at the Oscars. If everyone uses the opportunity to make a political statement, there is no issue that is not important to someone.
“So we either have to mention everything, or maybe it’s better not to say anything at all and concentrate on the sport,” the Scot maintained.
“I understand that there are people who promote freedom of speech and all that, and that is absolutely an important thing to keep in mind, but I also think that we have to remember that it is the sporting rules that we are talking about, not some political regulation,” Coulthard explained.
FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has been under fire for mandating the “no politics” rule in F1 recently , not to mention his statements on Formula 1 value he recently made.
A London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), has recently urged Ben Sulayem to allow Hamilton to speak out, while it was also revealed that Liberal Democrat life peer Lord Paul Scriven has sent a letter to the FIA President on the freedom of speech matter while demanding response on a previous one regarding staging races in locations like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.