The FIA has issued new guidelines to drivers regarding post-race protocol in the wake of Lewis Hamilton wearing a Breonna Taylor t-shirt on the podium at Mugello, the governing body imposing a ban on any attire that isn’t a race suit.
On the Tuscan GP podium, Hamilton displayed a message of support for Taylor, a 26-year-old black medical technician who was wrongfully shot last March by plainclothes policemen in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky.
The six-time world champion’s gesture, which was perceived as a potential breach of the FIA’s sporting codes, was not sanctioned.
But a new directive banning the wearing of anything other than a zipped-up race suit on the podium was issued on Sunday morning at Sochi by FIA race director Michael Masi.
“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 avoidance of doubt this includes a medical face mask or team branded face mask,” states the new directive.
“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.”
The directive also covers the protocol involving the presence of dignitaries on the Sochi podium.
“One dignitary will present all four trophies. Four other dignitaries will be present on the podium but will not participate in the presentation. If a handshake is offered by the dignitaries, drivers should kindly offer a ‘fist bump’ to acknowledge the gesture.”
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Pre-race procedures remain unchanged, with drivers compelled to wear the official anti-racism t-shirt.
On Thursday, Hamilton said that he expected the FIA to issue new guidelines after his Mugello protest message.
“I’ll just try to continue to work with them,” he said. “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.”
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