Lotus insists that it is the way modern media works, rather than teams, that is to blame for Formula 1 drivers no longer having big personalities.
Former champion Emerson Fittipaldi suggested earlier this week that sponsors and teams were turning drivers into 'robots' because they not longer allowed them to say what they wanted.
“If you drive for Ferrari, for example, before the press conference you will be told 'you cannot say this' or 'you should not say that'. That's shit!” he told Motorsport.com.
"Am I a robot? Or am I a personality? That's what is missing."
Teams not controlling
Lotus deputy team principal Federico Gastaldi thinks that Fittipaldi is wrong to accuse the teams, as he thinks it is the way the modern media works that is to blame.
“I understand what Emerson’s saying but I know that we as a team don’t do anything proactive to stop our drivers from saying what they think,” Gastaldi said on Friday.
“The drivers themselves are free to decide to say what they think, but they are talking in a very different world from when Emerson was a driver.
“Now if you say anything even slightly out of the normal it’s repeated, misreported, analysed and regurgitated across all forms of media and I think many drivers have taken a wise approach to this.
"The less controversial you say, the less time you have to spend answering questions about it! This is part of the reason why drivers have evolved into sounding like politicians when asked many questions.”
He added: “They want to drive, not spend hours discussing their opinions on whether Kim Kardashian should appear on the front of Rolling Stone magazine.”