Hamilton Not Responding To New FIA Boss Ben Sulayem
Ben Sulayem has hinted that Hamilton may be penalised for not showing up at the FIA prize giving gala in December
Lewis Hamilton’s heartbreaking loss at the Abu Dhabi GP last year has been well documented and there have been insinuations that the Briton may not even return in 2022 to finish his last two years at Mercedes. The Briton who was recently knighted is the most successful driver in the history of F1, however, he has been chasing a record-breaking 8th world title which he was denied by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. He was so disappointed with the way he controversially lost the world title, that he even skipped the FIA prize-giving a gala in Paris, something which is mandatory for drivers.
FIA which now has Mohammed Ben Sulayem as its new president had hinted that Hamilton could be penalised for breaching the rules, revealed that he tried to reach out to the 7-time world champion. “I’ve sent him messages. I don’t think he’s 100 percent ready to respond right now. We don’t blame him. I understand his position, as a driver, obviously, he is at a different level,” he said.
However, he also revealed that Hamilton will not be absolved from any breach of the regulations despite his heartbreak caused due to the race director’s controversial decision to only let the cars between the race leaders unlap themselves.
“But there are also rules. As you read in the press, the new president is going to sanction; of course, they [the media] spice things up a lot with what is important for others. But for me, it’s not particularly related to a certain driver or a certain team. It’s general. There are rules we have to respect, and we have to respect the integrity of the FIA,” the former rally driver said.
“And I can’t judge anyone until I know the exact facts. In fact, my first objective is to go through the whole Abu Dhabi file. I think of course by not being at the gala, it’s something that Lewis and his team knew. But at the end of the day, we’re human too. There was stress and pressure,” he added.
The FIA boss believes that Hamilton will show up for the 2022 season as he begins a new contract which lasts till the end of 2023 with the Mercedes team. He intends to oversee the FIA commission Jean Todt, his predecessor installed, in the wake of the race in Abu Dhabi which has polarised opinion even triggered appeals and protests by the Mercedes F1 team.