A human rights group has accused motorsport's governing body, the FIA, of "suppressing drivers' freedom of speech," following a ban on political statements ahead of the new Formula One season.

On Tuesday, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) questioned the governing body's commitment to human rights in a letter addressed to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, all participating teams and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton's representatives.

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