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Motor Sports

Lewis Hamilton could be punished for missing FIA’s awards ceremony

FIA Gala 2021
FIA Gala 2021.Photo/FIA

A punishment for Lewis Hamilton’s boycott of the FIA’s awards ceremony on Thursday has not been ruled out.

This is according to the new FIA president, Mohammed ben Sulayem.

Neither Hamilton nor Mercedes team Principal Toto Wolff showed up at the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix press conference. Formula One mandates that the top three drivers in the championship must be present at the event.

In a press statement, Sulayem said, “If there is any breach in this, there will be no forgiveness.”

Mohammed ben Sulayem

FIA new president Mohammed ben Sulayem. Photo/Sky Sports

On the question of whether or not Hamilton would be penalized for missing the event, he said: “There is always forgiveness available. Even so, there are rules.

Sulayem said that his thoughts and prayers are with Hamilton because ‘he is damaged’ But, FIA will still investigate for any possible breach. He said that the first few hours in the office taught him not to give responses without re-examining the evidence.

Wolff said on Thursday that Hamilton was “disillusioned” following the events in Abu Dhabi and that he could not promise the seven-time champion would return to Formula One in 2017.

F1 bosses have begun an investigation into Michael Masi’s conduct in Abu Dhabi. It led to Hamilton’s championship being handed to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a late safety-car period, which Masi appears to have flouted the organization’s own regulations about.

This scandal has “tarnished” the reputation of Formula One, according to the FIA.

In Wolff’s view, Masi has “a freestyle reading of the rules and it left Lewis like a sitting duck,” and has “robbing” Hamilton of the championship. According to him, Mercedes intends to “restrain the FIA” from causing further trouble.

In 2008, Sulayem, a 60-year-old former rally driver and member of the FIA World Council, said: “There will always be a person who is displeased.”

“To my surprise, I found myself paying attention to him. He began to cool off as soon as I finished listening to him. Make sure that if something like this happens again, we’ll have an immediate response in place. There are so many places where we can improve.”

For him, it’s possible that in 2022, everyone involved in Formula One, including Hamilton and his Mercedes team will start afresh.

Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton. [Photo/Lewis Hamilton]

Sulayem it is paramount people forget past progress. He opined that being proactive also helps in succeeding in every facet of life.

Sulayem is a 14-time Middle East rally champion and a motorsport administrator for 16 years.

Voters chose him after he ran on the goal of bringing more people into motorsports and ensuring that its members had a voice in its governance.

Richard Burns’ co-driver, Scot Robert Reid, won the World Rally Championship in 2001 as his deputy president for sport.

Fabiana Ecclestone, the wife of former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, serves as his vice-president for South American affairs.

For her work with the FIA and the Brazilian Grand Prix, Ecclestone has been nominated for her experience and integrity.

FIA vice-president is the first position in the organization to be filled by a woman.

Sulayem stated that Ecclestone had nothing to do with the meeting other than to introduce the two.

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