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Mercedes boss calls on FIA boss to meet Lewis Hamilton – to stop F1 driver being BANNED for political statements

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MERCEDES boss Toto Wolff has called on the FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem to meet Lewis Hamilton – to prevent his driver from being BANNED from making political statements.

The FIA have announced radical plans that mean drivers and teams must get written permission before making any “political, religious and personal statements”.

AFP

Lewis Hamilton’s ability to speak out could be hit if the FIA bring in new rules[/caption]

Reuters

Mercedes Team principal Toto Wolff wants the FIA to sort the matter out by meeting with British driving legend Lewis Hamilton[/caption]

The move seems targeted at Hamilton, who has become a global advocate for anti-racism and diversity and spoke out on a variety of issues before F1 races.

And Wolff wants clarification from race bosses before the new season starts in Bahrain on March 5.

He said: “We need to see how this really pans out. We understand that sport is not here to mix with politics but on the contrary and to unite.

“I have no doubt Mohammed and the FIA mean well and want to achieve the right things.

“It is just about aligning it with the drivers who have been more outspoken in the past.

“When Lewis has spoken with Mohammed in the past it has always ended up in a positive discussion, so when people sit around the table together I don’t think things will be as harsh as they are written down.”

Meanwhile, Williams have signed James Vowles as team boss after poaching him from Mercedes.

Vowles has been in F1 for 21-years and won nine F1 constructors’ championships with Brawn GP and Mercedes.

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The 43-year-old Brit was most recently Motorsport Strategy Director at Mercedes, a position he held for over four years.

However, he has disputed any suggestions he is turning Williams into any “mini-Mercedes” after George Russell also spent some time on loan at the team.

“I wouldn’t consider it a mini-Mercedes,” said Vowles.

“Williams is an incredibly independent team in its own right that has formed its own history, its own heritage.”

Vowles added that Williams was “an entirely independent organisation”.

He said: “It doesn’t mean that Mercedes and ourselves won’t have collaboration in some form or another, it was collaborating before I joined.

“But I have to do what was best for Williams from now onwards.”

Getty

Former Mercedes’ Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles has become team boss at Williams[/caption]

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