Haas junior Santino Ferrucci was blocked from running President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan on the side of his Formula Two car at the weekend.
In an unrelated incident, the American driver has been banned for four races after deliberately crashing into Trident teammate and fellow Haas junior Arjun Maini at the end of Sunday's F2 race, which preceded the British Grand Prix. After the ban, Trident released a series of tweets accusing Ferrucci and his father of "unsportsmanlike" and "uncivilized" behaviour during the weekend.
On Monday, a letter circulated online that showed the FIA rejected a request from Trident to place Trump's 2016 election slogan on the side of Ferrucci's car. Political slogans or symbols of any sort are banned under the regulations.
Trident confirmed to ESPN that this request had been made by the Ferrucci family.
"Everyone in the Motorsport field is aware that it is forbidden to affix to their automobile advertising that is political in nature," team principal Maurizio Salvadori said. "When I was approached with this request on behalf of the Ferrucci family, I tried to explain the impossibility to adhere to this demand. Against their insistence, I requested a written opinion from the FIA that once received, I forwarded to the Ferrucci family.
"The fact that this letter is circulating today on social media seems to me like a clumsy attempt to take the attention away from the principal problem that is, Santino's and his father's behavior on and outside the track in these last weekend races. Obviously Sunday's tweet had nothing to do with Ferrucci's MAGA livery request and was based solely on Santino's and father's behavior on and off the track."
F2 declined to comment on the story.
Haas is still "in the process of gathering all the pertinent information" regarding Ferrucci's ban and his actions at the weekend before making a decision on the 20-year-old's future.
The Connecticut native's weekend also included a disqualification from the Sunday sprint race, having forced Maini off the road at Turn 4, as well as fines for driving from the support paddock to the pit lane wearing just one glove and holding a mobile phone. He left Silverstone with 66,000 Euros worth of fines. Ferrucci has released a statement apologising for the clashes with Maini.
"I want to send my sincerest apologies for my actions on Sunday at the FIA F2 race at Silverstone Circuit," Ferrucci said in the statement. "I used extremely poor judgement at the conclusion of the race getting far too close to my team mate Arjun Maini and swerved away only to graze his tire, very fortunately causing no damage or issue to his car.
"There was no intent, premeditation or any type of retaliation by my actions, only anger and frustration as this has been a horrific year. I have no excuse other than the fact I am a 20-year-old Italian American with a deep passion for motorsport, which is a very emotional sport.
"While there has been much provocation leading to my mental lapse, it is still not an excuse and I will make sure that this does not happen again. I realize I have embarrassed many people and I apologize to my Sponsors, Trident, my fellow drivers, Haas F1, FIA, FIA F2, my fans, friends and family."
Ferrucci also explained that his failure to attend the stewards' hearings, which led to his disqualification and ban, was due to an ill-timed drug test.