Lewis Hamilton could be punished for snubbing Formula One’s prize giving gala in Paris this week as the new FIA president warns there will be ‘no forgiveness’ if the Mercedes driver has broke the rules
- Lewis Hamilton faces a fine or potentially a 10-place grid penalty as a sanction
- Mercedes driver didn’t attend the traditional FIA trophy gala in Paris this week
- It came after Max Verstappen snatched the F1 world title from him in Abu Dhabi
- New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will see if Hamilton broke rules
- Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff also missed the end-of-season event
Lewis Hamilton could face punishment for snubbing the end-of-season Formula One prize giving gala this week after dramatically losing the world title to Max Verstappen.
Both Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff skipped Thursday night’s ceremony in Paris after the controversial denouement to the season in Abu Dhabi.
New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said the British driver could face sanctions – a fine or a reprimand that triggers a 10-place grid penalty for the 2022 season opener in Bahrain.
Lewis Hamilton could face a punishment for missing the Formula One prize giving gala
Max Verstappen received his drivers’ championship trophy at the gala in Paris on Thursday
Article 6.6 of F1’s sporting regulations state that failure to attend the ceremony is a breach of the rules.
And Ben Sulayem said: ‘First of all, as a driver, I would feel emotional but at the end of the day rules are rules.
‘So we are going to look into the side where the technical rules are there to be employed.
‘Was he in breach? I have to look into it. We have to be following our rules, but in the meanwhile it doesn’t stop us from making a champion feel good about the sport.
‘It’s easy to be nice to people, it’s cheap to be nice, and also to motivate people. But if there is any breach there is no forgiveness in this.’
New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem will see if Hamilton breached the rules
Verstappen (right) passed Hamilton on the last lap in a controversial ending to Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which saw him pip his fierce rival to the world championship
Dutch Red Bull driver Verstappen won his first world championship after overtaking Hamilton on the final lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last Sunday.
It came after the safety car was deployed after Williams driver Nicholas Latifi spun five laps from the end, allowing Verstappen to pit for fresh tyres.
Race director Michael Masi then allowed only some of the lapped cars between the two title contenders to overtake the safety car ahead of the one-lap shoot-out, putting Verstappen on Hamilton’s tail.
Verstappen’s victory at the Yas Marina circuit confirmed his world championship success
Mercedes chief Toto Wolff also didn’t attend the ceremony in Paris on Thursday
Wolff said this week the events in the UAE had left Hamilton feeling ‘disillusioned’ and there was no guarantee he would continue in the sport.
But Mercedes withdrew their appeal against the FIA.
During the prize giving in Paris, Verstappen said of his rival: ‘Of course, I can understand that the first few days, after a race like that, you’re not happy.
‘You should also understand this is racing and these things can happen to you.
‘I think he should just look back at what he has achieved, and that should give him a lot of comfort and that drive to keep on going.
‘He is still trying to challenge for that eighth title and he can do that again next year, so I don’t see any reason why to give up or stop now.’