Drivers risk sporting penalties if they break new FIA restrictions on expression · RaceFans

The FIA has confirmed the full range of penalties available to punish drivers who violate its new rules which prohibit political expressions at certain times during events.

The sport’s governing body issued a detailed clarification of its recently-introduced regulations today. Drivers will be forbidden from expressing a range of political and religious views at many stages during events, including pre- and post-race ceremonies, track activities and FIA press conferences.

It has also detailed the penalties available to the stewards if any driver is found to have breached the new clause for 2023, article 12.2.1.n of the International Sporting Code. A guidance note issued to teams states “the stewards may impose any of the penalties listed under Article 12.4.1 of the ISC” in the event of a breach.

This clause details 15 different potential penalties. Of these, 11 are sporting, and vary from minor sanctions such as lap time deletion in any session, to in-race penalties, all the way up to disqualification, suspension and exclusion.

Four non-sporting penalties are also available. These are a warning, a reprimand, a fine and “obligation to accomplish some work of public interest.”

Before the clarification was issued, some drivers indicated they were prepared to risk a penalty in order to express themselves as they choose.

“I think it would be silly to say that I would want to get penalty points for speaking out on things,” Lewis Hamilton told media including RaceFans on Wednesday. “But as I said to you, 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.”

Available penalties for drivers who violate ISC article 12.2.1.n

Penalties may be inflicted as follows:

  • Warning
  • Reprimand (blame)
  • Fine
  • Obligation to accomplish some work of public interest
  • Disallowance or deletion of a Driver’s race, qualifying and practice lap time(s)
  • Drop of grid position(s)
  • Obligation for a Driver to start a race from the pit lane
  • Time penalty
  • Penalty lap(s)
  • Drop of place(s) in the classification of the Competition
  • Drive-through penalty
  • Stop-and-go or stop-and-go with a prescribed stop

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