A human rights group says Method 1’s governing physique the FIA is “suppressing drivers’ freedom of speech” with a rule that was launched this 12 months.
The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Chicken) questions the FIA’s dedication to human rights.
Chicken says it’s stopping “drivers from making their voice heard on points together with human rights and racism”.
It says the rule “seems to be a response” to Lewis Hamilton elevating such considerations.
The letter, from Chicken director Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, and seen by BBC Sport, refers to a brand new rule added to the FIA’s sporting code this 12 months that forbids “the overall making and show of political, spiritual and private statements or feedback notably in violation of the overall precept of neutrality promoted by the FIA below its statutes, until beforehand accredited in writing by the FIA”.
Alwadaei says the transfer “seems to be a response to drivers, specifically Lewis Hamilton, elevating their considerations concerning the places chosen for F1 races, together with the human rights information of host international locations, and making highly effective interventions the place your personal organisation has been silent”.
The letter – addressed to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and copied to F1’s industrial rights holder, all of the groups and Hamilton’s representatives – contrasts the rule with final 12 months’s determination to cancel the contract of the Russian Grand Prix.
And it underlines what it believes is a contradiction between F1’s remedy of Russia’s struggle in Ukraine and the involvement of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which all maintain grands prix, in a struggle in Yemen.
Alwadaei says Hamilton has “used his platform to precise assist for Black Lives Matter and human rights in international locations with problematic human rights information, together with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia”.
“All through his profession, not one of the statements Hamilton has made may be thought-about any extra political than the choice by the FIA to withdraw from racing in Russia within the final season resulting from its invasion of Ukraine,” added Alwadaei.
“In your personal assertion final 12 months, you condemned the Russian invasion and expressed ‘unhappiness and shock’ for victims in Ukraine. Whereas I applaud this assertion, it’s clearly a political one.”
In a press release issued to BBC Sport, Alwadaei added: “When the FIA and F1 select to grant races to a number of the world’s most repressive regimes, like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, they’re facilitating sports-washing and permitting these dictatorships to launder their horrifying rights information.
“It’s critically disturbing to see the FIA now mimicking the ways of its despotic enterprise companions by trying to muzzle the voices of critics and advocates.
“The place the FIA and F1 failed, it was drivers like Lewis Hamilton who stood up and referred to as out abuse, and his vocal assist for political prisoners in Bahrain make clear appalling injustice.
“Now, the FIA needs to silence him and others, and punish them in the event that they dare to talk out. We’re saying to Mohammed Ben Sulayem that this coverage is flawed and it have to be reversed instantly.”
Alwadaei refers to a gathering with the FIA on 19 March 2021, when Frenchman Jean Todt was president, at which he was “given the encouraging assurance that your predecessor was eager for the FIA to undertake a human rights coverage”.
He provides that the assembly was Chicken’s “final significant engagement with the FIA” and that “sadly, Jean Todt’s presidency ended and not using a human rights coverage in place and it isn’t clear whether or not that is nonetheless one thing the FIA is working in direction of below your management or not”.
The FIA has been contacted for remark. A spokesperson has beforehand mentioned the brand new rule is supposed to codify an present association.
It’s mentioned to be directed on the sporting of clothes bearing campaigning statements on the rostrum or earlier than the race – resembling these Hamilton wore through the peak of the Black Lives Matter motion following the homicide of George Floyd by US police in 2020 – relatively than basic feedback in assist of progress on human rights.