Hamilton to be fined for FIA gala no-show

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, talking pre-Bahrain GP. March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, talking to the media before the Bahrain Grand Prix. March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton says a fine will be coming his way as a result of not attending the 2021 FIA prize-giving gala.

The 2021 title battle ended in controversial fashion in Abu Dhabi, as Max Verstappen passed Hamilton on the final lap to take the Drivers’ Championship from his rival, with the controversy around the Safety Car restart.

Hamilton fell silent for much of the off-season following Abu Dhabi, he and his Mercedes team feeling robbed of the Drivers’ title, which included Hamilton, as well as Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff, deciding not to attend the FIA’s traditional end-of-season event where the trophies and prizes are handed out.

Hamilton had been expected to attend to collect his trophy for finishing runner-up to Verstappen in the standings.

Those actions from Hamilton went against the sporting regulations, so after meeting with new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem in Bahrain, Hamilton confirmed that he will be fined.

Lewis Hamilton at a press conference during pre-season testing. Bahrain March 2022.
Lewis Hamilton talking at a press conference on the final day of pre-season testing. Bahrain March 2022.

“There will be some sort of fine re the gala,” he told reporters ahead of the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

However, Hamilton confirmed that the fine money will go towards a good cause.

“But we have worked together to make sure that the money will be put towards youth from underprivileged backgrounds getting into motorsports engineering,” Hamilton confirmed.

The cause which Hamilton’s funds will be used for aligns with his own vision, since the seven-time World Champion is highly active in creating pathways into Formula 1 for those from unrepresented backgrounds through Mission 44, thus increasing the diversity of the sport.

 

He also sees the appointment of Ben Sulayem as FIA president as a positive on this front.

Ben Sulayem succeeded Jean Todt as FIA president, who stepped down from the role at the end of last year.

“I met Mohammed a long, long time ago through an event that we had in Dubai so it is good to see him in the position he is in,” said Hamilton.

“It again adds to that diversity challenge that we are trying to overcome.”

 

Wolff 'very conscious' about Russell v Hamilton

Karun Chandhok has revealed that Toto Wolff is conscious of how the new Mercedes team mates will work together.