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Bottas: FIA free speech clampdown still 'unnecessary' despite clarification

Valtteri Bottas reiterated his belief that a clampdown by the FIA on F1 drivers’ free speech on race weekends is “unnecessary” despite the governing body’s clarifications on the new sporting rule.

Last week, the FIA clarified several aspects of its controversial ban on free speech and political statements by F1 drivers, including the penalties a driver’s potential misconduct could warrant.

F1’s governing body felt compelled to elaborate on its policy following a unanimous backlash from the sport’s drivers and from several F1 team bosses.

  • Read also: FIA issues clarification on F1 drivers free speech ban

Bottas acknowledges that the FIA’s new sporting rule is now clear, but the Alfa Romeo driver still feels that the controversial provision is “unnecessary”.

And the Finn would also like to see the GPDA and the FIA open a dialogue on the matter.

“It is clear, but I still feel it’s a bit unnecessary,” he told the media on Thursday in Bahrain.

“I think I’m speaking on behalf of all the drivers, we haven’t had a GPDA meeting yet. Hopefully that’s soon to discuss and especially with the FIA.”

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen agreed that the drivers need to sit down and discuss the issue among themselves.

“It’s something that we need to talk about as drivers and see what we really think about it,” he said.

“I’m from a part of the world where free speech is a thing. I like that and think that’s a good value and would like to see that everywhere I go.

“But that’s not always how the world is.”

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