Drivers will need written permission to make ‘political, religious and personal statements’, head of governing body says.

Formula One drivers must not use the platform to make statements for their own “personal agenda”, the president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) says.

From next season, the drivers will need written permission from the FIA, Formula One’s governing body, to make “political, religious and personal statements”, Mohammed Ben Sulayem said on Tuesday.

“We are concerned with building bridges,” Ben Sulayem told reporters. “You can use sport for peace reasons, … but one thing we don’t want is to have the FIA as a platform for private personal agenda.

We will divert from the sport. What does the driver do best? Driving. They are so good at it, and they make the business. They make the show. They are the stars. Nobody is stopping them.

“There are other platforms to express what they want. Everybody has this, and they are most welcome to go through the process of the FIA, to go through that.”

Former world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel were among the high-profile drivers who expressed their personal views in recent seasons.