The FIA trophy that went on a wayward journey after last week’s Prize Giving Gala is en route back to Lewis Hamilton’s possession.
Last week, Hamilton’s FIA trophy for third place in the 2023 World Championship went on a journey following the ceremony, with an attendee at the Gala claiming to have come into possession of the trophy after being gifted it by the seven-time World Champion.
The attendee posted pictures of himself with the trophy, as well as including some images of the FIA prize appearing to be sitting on a mantlepiece in his own home.
Lewis Hamilton’s trophy returns after an unexpected journey
PlanetF1.com understands from a source close to the situation that the trophy is now back in the care of the FIA, with the person in possession of the trophy having been identifiable due to having been a guest of the Azerbaijan Automobile Federation.
As stated in the explanation posted by the profile, the trophy was not gifted by either Hamilton or an FIA representative.
The trophy will now be delivered to Mercedes or Hamilton, following the normal procedure for the delivery of trophies who opt to have their prize sent to them after the ceremony.
With the misunderstanding cleared up and the trophy returned, it’s understood no further actions will be necessary.
What happened to Lewis Hamilton’s FIA trophy in the first place?
An X (formerly Twitter) profile, which has since been deleted, posted pictures of the night in Baku, posing alongside F1 luminaries such as Max Verstappen as the Dutch driver picked up his World Championship trophy.
But it was the profile’s posting of pictures of the FIA trophy handed over to Hamilton earlier for finishing in third place that raised eyebrows.
A picture of the trophy, on what looks like a mantlepiece in a home, was posted, with the caption: “Hello. I was at the Gala yesterday. Lewis Hamilton gave me the award and left. I have the prize at home now.“
Mercedes, understandably nonplussed by the situation as the claims went viral online, clarified that Hamilton had not gifted his third-place trophy to anyone.
“Immediately after leaving the stage, and as has been done at previous prizegivings, Lewis accepted the offer from officials for the trophy to be sent on to the team and therefore left it in their care,” said the statement.
“We can confirm he did not give the trophy to anyone ‘as a gift’ as has been speculated.”
With Hamilton understood to have left the table on a table backstage for safekeeping, the profile explained how the misunderstanding had occurred.
“Hello, good evening. I am very disappointed to see messages written to me like thief or something,” was posted on Sunday night, shortly before the profile was deleted.
“First of all I want to say I didn’t steal anything from anywhere. This is just a misunderstanding. Lewis Hamilton put the award on the table. I asked him if I could take the prize.
“He said to me, yes, you can take the prize. And I thought he gifted me the award. But now, after seeing the statement from Mercedes, I understand that Lewis did not gift me the award. He mistakenly thought I was the FIA official in charge of the award.”