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Hamilton: No talks with FIA over Mugello podium T-shirt

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Hamilton: No talks with FIA over Mugello podium T-shirt
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Lewis Hamilton says he is yet to speak with the FIA over wearing a t-shirt paying tribute to Breonna Taylor at Mugello, but expects a ruling on Friday.

During the anti-racism demonstration ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix two weeks ago, Hamilton wrote a T-shirt carrying the message: "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor."

Taylor was a black medical technician from Kentucky who was shot eight times by police during a no-knock investigation at her home in March, and has become a central figure in ongoing anti-racism activism around the world in recent months.

Hamilton also wore the T-shirt on the podium after the race, prompting the FIA to commence a review into guidelines over what statements can be made during such ceremonies. The FIA has always maintained neutrality in all that it does, as detailed in its statutes.

Hamilton said ahead of this weekend's Russian Grand Prix that he was yet to speak with the FIA about the T-shirt and his messaging, but said he felt no regrets for wearing it at Mugello.

"I have no idea, I have not spoken to them," Hamilton said. "What was really positive was the support that I got from the fans. I think the fans have been amazing, and I don't regret a single moment of it.

"I usually follow my heart and do what I feel is right. I did something that has never really happened in Formula 1.

"Obviously they may stop it from happening moving forwards, but I think people talking about sport not being a place for politics, ultimately it is human rights issues, and in my opinion that is something we should be pushing towards.

"I don't know what they are going to do this weekend, but lots of rules have been written for me over the years that hasn't stopped me. But what I will do is continue to try to work with Formula 1 and the FIA to make sure the messaging is right.

"Could it be better? Of course, it could always be better but that is part of the learning curve."

Both F1 and the FIA have worked with the drivers to arrange the anti-racism demonstrations that have been held ahead of each race so far this season.

Hamilton acknowledged that the FIA had "some limits that they feel that they have to work within", but felt it was important to have difficult conversations to enact change.

He also revealed that he is expecting word from the FIA on Friday regarding its guidelines moving forward.

"This is a learning process for everyone, because people have been happy with the norm here, of how life and society has operated," Hamilton said.

"But ultimately, the world, and the younger generation particularly, is more conscious that things aren't equal and changes needed. So it does take conversations with people and things like Mugello happening for people to spark a conversation that perhaps would never have taken place if it didn't happen.

"So I haven't spoken to them. But I've heard that tomorrow they'll come out with a new ruling of some sort, saying what you can and cannot do.

"I'll just try to continue to work with them. 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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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Luke Smith