Late last year, the FIA announced that as part of the new rules, drivers would be banned from making political statements during race weekends from this year onwards. The ban seems to be a reaction to Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in particular, who regularly took the opportunity to speak out on several issues. Consequently, the ban earned the FIA a lot of criticism from the likes of Toto Wolff, Helmut Marko and even a human rights organisation which argued that it restricts drivers' freedom of speech.
'They should not become robots'
Horner can now also be added to this list. The Red Bull team boss does acknowledge that sport itself should not be used as a political tool and that the main purpose of sport is to entertain. But he said that is not the whole story. "I think it's a matter of finding a balance, and in the world that we live in today, everybody has a voice, and that shouldn't be suppressed. So we don't want a load of robots that are without opinion going racing, but like with all these things, there just has to be a sensible balance."
In addition, Horner stressed that within Red Bull's organisation, there has never been a similar ban. According to Horner, drivers at Red Bull have always been given the space to express their opinions on political and social issues that matter to them.