Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

New FIA administration to decide over sanction for Hamilton’s prizegiving absence

2021 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton’s failure to attend yesterday’s FIA prizegiving ceremony puts him at risk of a sanction from the sport’s governing body.

The Mercedes driver, who finished second in the world championship to Max Verstappen, did not attend the formal ceremony which took place in Paris yesterday.

Article 6.6 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations states “the drivers finishing first, second and third in the championship must be present at the annual FIA prizegiving ceremony.”

New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, a former rally driver who won election to the role earlier today, acknowledged Hamilton’s frustration over losing the world championship in the controversial end to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“As a driver I feel emotional,” said Ben Sulayem. “But at the end of the day rules are rules. So we are going to look into there, decide the rules there to be employed, was he in breach, I have to look into it.”

It will be up to Ben Sulayem to decide whether the matter is referred to an International Tribunal hearing or is decided on by the FIA stewards at the next round of the world championship, at Bahrain in March.

While indicating his willingness to reconsider regulations and stressing he understood the depth of Hamilton’s anger over the championship decider, Ben Sulayem said he need to familiarise himself with the details of the matter before deciding how to proceed.

“[Rules] are made by humans, they can improve and change by humans. Rules are there to be improved. I know that Lewis is really sad about what happened. In one word I would say he is broken.

“But, if there was any breach, I cannot – just a few hours now I’ve been president – just start giving answers without going back to the facts.”

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203 comments on “New FIA administration to decide over sanction for Hamilton’s prizegiving absence”

  1. Jean-Christophe
    17th December 2021, 16:40

    “Rules are rules”. That sounds both sad and funny.

    1. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
      17th December 2021, 16:43

      Yes, the irony, as we have discovered sometimes “Rules are NOT rules”

    2. Indeed – when are rules not rules, only when the FIA is ruling on something the FIA has done to breach them.
      Even when the FIA representative themselves stated in public that the 7 WDC record should be left as is.

      The more the FIA speaks lately, the bigger hole they dig.

      1. Not really. The only ones going through some existential crisis right now are the less sophisticated Hammy fans. Eveyrone else understands it was controversial, divisive, that rules need to be refined; but some crisis in the sport. Your implying that FIA wanted to keep the record of 7 WDCs unbroken is laughable. It’s not unlike our American friends who still think Donald Trump won the election

        1. @ajpennypacker

          ‘It’s not unlike our American friends who still think Donald Trump won the election’

          It’s about as far from that as anything is possible to be.

    3. I can only conclude that he’s either been so preoccupied with his own election that he doesn’t know what happened on Sunday or that he is being just as insensitive (at best) as the rest of the FIA have been so far.

      While I strongly support a “rules are rules” philosophy, that needs to apply across the board and it needs strong, well defined rules. It gives the optimistic side of me more hope, but saying this with no mention, or even hint, of Sunday’s farce feeds the pessimistic side much more.

      1. No idea what this rules can be improved line is… The rules regarding safety cars are clear and are perfectly fine. The problem was not the rules it was that the rules were broken. How can they claim that Lewis should be punished for breaking ceremony rules given that the very reason he was not at the ceremony was because the FIA broke the rules that cost him a championship. If he is punished then the FIA have found a whole new level of hypocrisy!

        1. Yes, I didn’t mean that there safety car rules are unclear: they are very clear and well defined, Masi just didn’t follow them.

        2. @Lee1

          How can they claim that Lewis should be punished for breaking ceremony rules given that the very reason he was not at the ceremony was because the FIA broke the rules that cost him a championship.

          No, the reason why he wasn’t there is because he chose not to come.

        3. He doesn’t broken the rule.
          The rule doesn’t have the word “ALL” should be at the gala. The same as the laped cars rule doesn’t state that ALL the cars should pass. It’s the same interpretation of the rules

      2. Mark in Florida
        18th December 2021, 15:31

        (@drmouse) if this had been the other way around and Verstappen had been in the lead and Hamilton had made the call for tires like he had at other times and it was Masi who told Horner this is a race. I don’t think that for one minute anybody who is a Hamilton fan would be calling for the race results to be overturned and to lose his eighth championship. If we want to play the rules are rules then Hamilton should have been excluded from Silverstone for deliberately causing an opponent out of a race. But he got a pass on that from the stewards because they didn’t want to affect the championship. So Hamilton’s had plenty of opportunities to put Verstappen away before the last race. You can’t have all the calls go your way sometimes they go for other times against and hopefully it all evens out at the end of the year. So it just comes down to petulance and bad sportsmanship on the part of Mercedes who have basically mopped the floor with the competition over the last 8 years. It shows they have no respect for the sport and the fame it has brought both Mercedes and Hamilton.

        1. Mark. He did not “get a pass” in Silverstone. He got a ten second penalty. Which was fair for the type of mistake he made.

        2. if this had been the other way around and Verstappen had been in the lead and Hamilton had made the call for tires like he had at other times and it was Masi who told Horner this is a race. I don’t think that for one minute anybody who is a Hamilton fan would be calling for the race results to be overturned

          I can only speak for myself, but I’m not calling for anything to be overturned. I also believe that I would be just as outraged about Masi refusing to follow the rules of the situation was reversed. I cannot say for certain, of course.

          Hamilton should have been excluded from Silverstone for deliberately causing an opponent out of a race

          It’s absolutely obvious to me that Silverstone was a mistake. Not only is it quite clear from watching the footage, but there was a very high chance that it could have ended his own race too, which would have been worse for Hamilton than Verstappen. The risks far outweighed the rewards. It was a small error with large consequences.

          You can’t have all the calls go your way

          And the same is true in reverse.

          So it just comes down to petulance and bad sportsmanship

          Nope. It all comes down to the race director refusing to follow the rules he knew, and had previously stated he had no option but to follow. This has nothing to do with Max vs Lewis, it has to do with the officials knowingly breaking their own rules.

        3. Mark In. Florida, I agree with you 100% and I was a Hamilton fan but it like he’s throwing all his toys out of the pram, grow up Lewis. The championship was over many months and many racing not just the last one.
          There have been times when it fell on Lewis’s side and other’s o0n Max’s side.
          Be mature and move open. Lewis always complains wee. he is not winning.
          Maybe it’s time for hime to retire

    4. The irony of the FIA pointing out that “rules are rules” is priceless.

    5. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      17th December 2021, 19:23

      I was eating peanuts as I read that sentence and almost spat them out! This article needs an irony warning at the top!

    6. Article 6.6 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations states “the drivers finishing first, second and third in the championship must be present at the annual FIA prizegiving ceremony.”

      Hamilton only finished second but not first and third so he did not need to go.They should have used the words ‘first, second ‘or’ third. I’d take this one to court….

      1. It says drivers, in plural, not singular driver.

        1. Correct, it does. Neither one driver nor many drivers were first, second and third. So still, no drivers had to attend.

        2. It’s about as clear as the safety car rules. This is as ridiculous as the any vs all argument, which I believe was the point.

          1. The any versus all argument was not made by fia!

          2. I didn’t say it was, but it does keep being parroted by some on here.

      2. That’s why there are commas after each position in that there sentence :) it is to indicate that each one is to be present.

    7. They are and are not – if a certain British driver stands to benefit from no rules then there shall be no rules! However when such absence of rules may cause discomfort to said driver and/or his following there most definitely are rules!

    8. There are no rules in F1 since 2021 Brazilian GP. Forget about rules in F1!

      1. I would say since Silverstone

        1. yeah, cause in silverstone there was no reason to penalize HAM for a racing incident.

    9. Not a good start for the new guy.

      Maybe show Lewis some of the respect he deserves?

    10. Emotions still running high at some. Its been quite some time now. Time to move on. And he is not wrong. You can disagree with the referee (albeit a bit more civilised in the future please) and even get FIA to investigate and improve processes for the future. Mission accomplished. No need to keep whining. You simply didnt deserve the championship anyway, at best a race win only. Now get with the program or leave the sport. We are not toddlers anymore. It just emphasises the entitlement we’ve seen throughout the year which created a large part of this mess in the first place.

      1. And there was no sense of entitlement at all from Red Bull, Max or their fans? You’re funny sometimes!

        1. What about ism in optima forma.

      2. HAM was the deservinc champion, but was robbed by race control.

  2. Is this the first time he did not attend?
    Minimal 25000 euro fine. More serious then touching a wing.
    But that’s only 10 minutes of salary for Lewis.

    1. Ten second penalty appied retrospectively to the last race would be fitting. Missing the FIA ceremony is about on par with a brake test I would say erikje.

      1. Appropriate penalty for Lewis would be this – Michael Masi is obliged to show Lewis Hamilton a black and white flag at Lewis’ next social event (be it fashion, music etc.)!

    2. I can’t tell if you are being serious or just deluded.

      Not turning up to an end of year award ceremony vs touching a competitors car.

      While didn’t ‘damage’ the car or likely do anything to change the rear wing, there has to be a strict line drawn to prevent an argument over what the impact of touching the car had. Therefore just touching has to warrant a potential penalty/fine.

      It is a different argument regarding the consistency of penalties/fines being issued when other drivers have done this. However they should have been pulled by the letter of the regulations. Blame the FIA for that.

      If there is a rule in place that says drivers must go to the ceremony – then he does deserve whatever penalty it may be. Likely a fine – but like you say that wont have much impact on him. But trying to say that is a more serious offence is laughable.

      1. @Pemz

        Yet somehow nobody cared when Vettel did it many times. Formula1 even made a video about it for their social media!

    3. Why can’t you win with grace? There’s only one thing worse than a poor loser and that’s a poor winner.

      1. Nope.

    4. 10 minutes?

      Ok minutes, seconds, hours, the point stands.

      He also has some extra protection, doesn’t he?

    5. I admired the way Lewis acted post race – gracious even though he had lost so unfairly.

      Acted is the appropriate word because 3 days later he sends a “shove it up your @$$” statement to the FIA and others, including fellow drivers, by not attending the event. That is the easy path.

      Although it may seem to be an appropriate response by many of his fans, it proves he is still just another arrogant, pampered out of touch celebrity. There are a lot of kids out there who admire him – this is not the kind of example he should be proud of.

      I guess I shouldn’t be surprised knowing he still refuses to this day to speak a word to ROS after the latter reached his goal of winning a WDC and promptly quit. As if ROS owes it to him to remain another year and risk life and limb so HAM can prove it was a fluke.

      Toto is worse. What kind of a leader acts so childish? A complete ass! And corporate Mercedes may well pay a price for their childish behavior and they should.

      As ugly as the race ended, it pales in comparison to the shenanigans afterwards.

      1. Funny, I was just about to say the same about shameless Max Verstappen celebration of a gifted title from the cheats FIA – it proves Max is still just another arrogant, pampered out of touch celebrity.

      2. Gracious? He has done nothing but whine and complain, like all season

        1. well, no. he raced brilliantly and only complained when there was a reason to

        2. At nearly every race, Max and Horner “whined” about the stewards decisions and a variety of other matters.

          I wish people would tone down their partisan responses on both sides of this. I know this has been a polarising season, but the constant “my team did nothing wrong, their team did everything wrong” is toxic.

    6. Not going to a “party” is more serious than tampering with the wing of your competitors car, which was later found to be 0.2mm out of compliance? The f…

      Checks poster username…

      Ah, there it is.

      1. Oh yeah..
        The superman approach. Using max to explain why you drove with a illegal wing.
        Lol

        1. the wing was broken, like RB wings througout every 2nd race. but they wanted a new champ

    7. Apparently he did not go when Rosberg won the Championship either….. think that’s says it all.

      Ham fans blamed Mercedes for rigging the World Championship, claimed he was the true winner and history would record it that way. Just as much sour grapes as this year.

      A few years on dven they seem too have forgotten.

  3. Never liked the idea of being forced to attend functions.

    1. FIA would have no hope of getting the drivers to any event if they did not force it. Many of them want to be there, its just important for the image of F1 and celebrations.

      1. *dont want to be there

    2. Clearly he wasn’t _forced_ to be there, since he was absent.

      He might have to pay a fine since undoubtedly it’s written in the contract he signs to compete in Formula 1.

      I feel for Hamilton. I’m not a great fan of his, but what happened has got to be tough to handle.
      I was happy to see Verstappen win, but definitely wish it had happened differently.

      That said, blowing off the awards ceremony is a bad look for him. Continuing his grace in defeat through the ceremony would have been epic in terms of respect. Being too emotionally distraught to attend just day(s) after being Knighted smells too much like poor-loser, which I don’t really think he is.

      1. No one really cares about the FIA gala except the people attending it. Yes, Hamilton did break the sporting regulations and he may get fined for that. But let’s not pretend that his absence is a bigger deal than it really is.

        1. So much this. Been watching F1 for 40 years and I have never seen one of these ceremonies. Nobody cares.

      2. funny… really funny ancker

        i would like them to discuss and penalize him and make up a rule to justify it… maybe after he announce his retirement, he would give them the his KNIGHT FINGER as a gesture of good will.

        i really do hope he retires with a strong statement like enjoy your show and show awards that you choose to give to whoever you feel like from now on…

    3. Michael Counsell
      17th December 2021, 18:41

      Particularly in person functions when there is a virus going round the world… A lot of organisations are cancelling Christmas / end of year parties.

  4. Your rules can go to the trash bin directly. The last time i checked these same rules were not applied during the race which caused his “heart break”. #MasiOUT

  5. Whahahaa the drama has not even stopped even after the season, off the track and even after the FIA Prize Ceremony. LOL.

  6. Ben Sulayem said… “But at the end of the day rules are rules

    WOW what an admission to make, and there’s me thinking the FIA had no idea what hat a ‘rule’ is

    Not sure if that has restored some faith, or made things worse

    1. Rules are rules for other people. If they sanction Hamilton and not Masi, they confirm that.

      1. Rules never apply to Lewis.
        Only for others to prevent Lewis from losing.

        1. maybe they can invent some rules, like last sunday

    2. It’s funny, but at least he is putting his foot down on day one. It’s a good sign. Jean Todt never admitted as much.

  7. Maybe give him 10 place grid penalty on 2022 race 1… LOL
    What a bunch of clowns!
    FIA will have to do A LOT to recover from that Abu Dhabi catastrophe…!

    1. i really hope hamilton announces his retirement followed by mercedes…

      we heard so much drama from redbul every other race they threaten to leave… 2 teams 4 cars big deal…
      FIA is clueless to the dangers of actual danger if mercedes decided to pressure in…
      if mercedes leaves, 4 team/8 carss, half the grid! good luck recovering from that!

  8. Yes, this does sound ridiculous after the events in Abu Dhabi. But he has just been elected the new FIA president, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In general his “rules are rules” attitude is the right one and I hope that is the way FIA is heading.

    1. Rules are rules until an FIA representative decides to interpret any differently to how others have perceived their meaning and then it is not clear what a rule actually is meant to mean.

      1. Rules are rules, until you want them to mean something different, at which point you go over them and wilfully misinterpret another regulation out of context to mean you can do whatever you want regardless of what the rules say, going back on your previous statement that you can’t change them.

      2. Massi did not interpret the rules he flat out ignored them. The rules that were broke are so clear they are not open to interpretation…

        Now I wonder if the rules say “any drivers in F1 should attend” if so he can use the red bull excuse of “any does not mean all”….

  9. Imagine being elected to lead this shower of [redacted].

    Just imagine for one second, that your first job is to oversee your organisations punishment of Lewis Hamilton after last weekends “sporting” event.
    And then somehow convince people that F1 is credible.

    I feel sorry for, and laugh at, him in equal measure.

    1. Don’t feel sorry, he put himself up for election. Also being the head of the FIA he has the power to ignore the gala infringment. He certainly should be speaking more along the lines of “we messed up so badly, I think we can forgive him this once for not attending and we will be putting things right for next year”.

  10. Why do you think that of the FIA? Did you not read the stewards report? Did you not understand it? Or are you willfully ignoring it, because it doesn’t fit into your worldview?

  11. oh.. now we are talking about rules…

    ok///

    1. Yes, rules must be followed, especially when it really matters.

  12. A different lens: Not going to the gala IMHO was already blessed by Todt as part of the deal to get Mercedes to drop the appeal. i.e. Todt did his job and got this mess pointed in the right direction before the new President took over.

    Whatever happens to LH for not attending was predetermined (along with a lot of other things) before either the FIA or Merc went public. Merc will likely get to play the upset role for x amount of time and the FIA will take a serious look at stewarding. As for Masi, we will have to wait and see who won that battle. My guess is Masi will have a family issue come up that doesn’t work with the job, so he will step down. wink wink

    1. @blueruck Agree that would have been the deal. I hope all this is just the media talk and hopefully, they will focus on what’s more important for the next year — stewarding consistency.

    2. If his words have been accurately reported Bin Sulayem’s response is heartening, the FIA. may regret electing an actual driver with years of experience in International competition as it’s President especially one without direct ties to the clique of European F1.

    3. There is no deal except the “commission” Mercedes never would have won.

  13. I am really stunned by some of these quotes from the officials. There’s an elephant in the room — and all we want to do is this? I think everyone has lost perspective. This is like addressing the symptoms and not the cause.

    “As a driver I feel emotional,” said Ben Sulayem. “But at the end of the day rules are rules. So we are going to look into there, decide the rules there to be employed, was he in breach, I have to look into it.”

  14. It will be really pathetic if the penalty for not attending the gala is even considered next year. They should just close it this year and be done with it. Also, given that this is among the first set of things to consider for the incoming President, it will also set the tone for what he considers as priority and what is not. Let’s wait and see.

  15. I would expect some community work for Lewis.

    1. May I suggest he supervise Christian Horner’s marshalling course next year?

      1. Well at least not the behavioural correction course of toto.
        That seems a bit like old boys network.

    2. How about some comunity service for Michael Masi?
      The yard around my house is not clean – Michael Masi could come here as yard keeper.

      1. @Bulgarian not sure I’d trust him with it!

  16. Why is everybody going on about rules? Apparently, none were broken, except Lewis and Mercedes skipping the ceremony.

    1. Another who has failed to read all of the stewards decision.

      1. Please ask Santa for a new sarcasm detector.

        1. @sham given the posting history of the first poster, his comment probably isn’t sarcastic.

      2. @andyfromsandy I really think he was joking.

  17. I imagine that it’s going to be a toss up between crucifixion, public stoning, or just straight up “disappearing”.

  18. With hindsight he should have turned up drunk, made it very public he didn’t want to be there, and then went for a sh whilst the prizes were being handed out.

    1. Pretty much sounds like what Kimi did in 2018 tbh and most people loved that.

      I doubt Lewis would get the same reaction from fans though

      1. Kimi was sincere, Lewis…..

      2. We all know how important it is for Kimi to have the drink.

  19. It’s off season, hey wait! I need to go out and get more popcorn for this kerfuffle.

  20. Why should Lewis sit in a room with a group of hypocrites, who wanted him to lose, so that they could crown a new king by any means necessary. Why should he have to relive one of the worst moments of his career, in a room with the people who orchestrated it. Let them sanction if they chose too, they will just be compounding their problem. Why should Lewis follow the rules when the FIA does not

    1. @MPH Completely agree, I could not have put it better. Let’s face it if they wanted the champion to grace them with his presence… he is not a performing puppet – he is one of the most popular people in sport, he is in fact bigger than them, not richer maybe but bigger. He will pay the fine as that is all it will be and flip them the bird.

      Can you imagine next year without Hamilton, there will be a major haemorrhage of sponsors and casual public interest. If nothing else if I were him I would take a year off, compete in another motorsport and take the sponsors with him, if not quit altogether.

    2. Well said.

      Might as well they spat in his drink and asked him to drink the whole glass.

  21. I doubt very much will come of this. Completely understand Lewis’ frustration in this situation, but he had technically broken the regulations. Fine or community service I expect.

    Additionally, I know it’s very early days but encouraging signs on the next steps after Abu Dhabi imo. “Rules are written by humans, rules can be improved by humans” is a good start I hope. If he can follow through with this and apply it to the F1 Sporting Regulations I think we could see some changes for the better quite soon.

    1. How about a reprimand? His third of the season, so technically that’s a ten-place grid penalty. However, there are no events left to serve it this season, and reprimands aren’t carried over to the following year, so effectively no penalty.

    2. Exactly, this won’t lead to anything other than Hamilton perhaps attending a karting event during the off-season. Wasn’t it a few years ago now that Verstappen’s antics led to him being ‘forced’ to attend a junior race from the stewards’ office to see how that works? Something like that anyway.

      Everyone can understand Hamilton’s disappointment, but part of the game he’s playing involves going through the motions that make the whole circus run. Whether that’s showing up on the podium, participating in the official press conferences, or attending the official end-of-season FIA events. F1 has made all these people the rich and famous stars they are; and as Brundle once quipped in criticizing Villeneuve, it’s not a bad thing to give some of that back by playing along.

  22. Wow, just wow! Is this some sort of a bad joke? You have one of the biggest (if not the biggest) controversial end to a season with FIA not following their own rules and the first thing that comes out of your mouth as a new president of the FIA, the very same entity that didn’t apply their own rules barely a week ago, is a sanction for the affected driver of said entity not applying the rules, who refused to attend a farce of gala for a farce of a manipulated championship awards!!! He should be grateful that Toto and LH didn’t attend; if they had, they might have struggled to resist a very BIG dig at the FIA during the ceremony!!!
    Now I really wish the Mercs haven’t withdrawn their appeal.
    If I were part of the Mercs management, I will refuse to accept any ridiculous sanction for LH and see what happens…and bring it on, if it has to go to court!
    What a joker this guy!!!

    1. Toto does have a responsibility to a workforce of hundreds. His personal crusade probably does have certain limits.

      1. Personal crusade? You are really mistaken if you think this is about Toto; the whole team feel robbed!
        Did you read what he said yesterday? That Mercs cannot continue in a series that do things at random, and disregard their own rules whenever it suits them. He wouldn’t make that kind of statement if the team and the board are not behind him!

  23. I watched the ceremony, found the 20 minute Todt love in unbearable. I would Lewis to get sanctioned because it would show how ridiculous the FiA are. I think he’ll take a sabbatical next year.

  24. Hehe, well Verstappen touched his car..

    Just another of those slap of the wrist penalties.

    Or maybe new president can say he accepts protest.. Unusual for a s
    Saudi…

    There is nothing good for him to do at the ceramony, he inherited a Mess.

  25. Has Max retired Lewis? Only time will tell.

    1. Well given the facts and the events of the last week you must really want that to believe it. But I suppose some do.

      1. @theessence, no, FIA retired Lewis

        1. I thought it would have been Russell who retired him 🤷‍♂️

        2. @ivan-vinitskyy If this turns out to be the case (which personally I doubt, I would expect Lewis to have a greater urge to succeed based on my understanding of his mindset), I would hypothetically agree. What I’ve found very interesting recently is the two drivers talking about each other. Max and Lewis were both asked about this in (separate) interviews for the BBC, and they seem to share a similar opinion, that is, they’ve had their disagreements and moments this season, but on the whole they both still respect each other very highly and are on generally good terms.

          Meanwhile I think Lewis’ relationship with the FIA (and also most likely Toto’s) will need a long time to recover.

    2. What does Max have to do with this?

      I don’t get it.

      Or are you saying that the FIA robbed the race win for Max? hmm.

  26. Schumacher’s record will never be broken. Hamilton will be sanctioned and penalized so he never sniffs another title.

  27. And the new president that they selected really indicates what they think of women, diversity, and inclusion. We race as 1….dictatorship.

  28. Unsurprising.

  29. Well, I guess “the” does not mean “he”…

  30. F1 is known as a circus The FIA must be the clowns

  31. I have a bad feeling about this.

  32. Hamilton should have gone to the ceremony and gracefully accepted the award when Verstappen did the sporting and morally correct thing by marching off the stage and handing it to him whilst publically acknowleging Hamilton as the rightful WDC. How Verstappen can live with himself and accept that award when it was so illegally given to him is beyong belief. Verstappen handling that trophy is like a thief handling stolen property after another thief helped him commit the crime.
    Verstappen said “I’m going to try everything I can to at least keep the gap close. And that’s what we did.” HE didn’t, Masi closed the gap by letting other cars pass. Sulayem should make a good start, definitely apply the all rules in retrospect and recognise that Masi must lose his job, Vestappen should be stripped of the title and Hamilton fined 50p for not attending a ceremony riddled with hipocrasy.

    1. Verstappen is shameless, but it was the RD who robbed the title. Every honest person sees the illegitimate champ, who acts like he won fairly. Disgrace

  33. Guess it depends whether the rules state ‘all’ drivers finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd must attend, or whether it states ‘any’ driver finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd must attend, because as we know, they mean very different things apparently

    1. It states ‘drivers finishing 1st, 2nd AND 3rd’. Hamilton only finished 2nd, not 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Therefore didn’t meet the necessary criteria which would allow him to attend.

      1. Love it!

  34. This is getting worse and worse….. Every single thing coming out of FIA about this is making them look even more out of touch. First you break your own rules, then you tell others not to talk badly about your officials and how you may want to punish them, then viewers are stupid and simply misunderstand. Now you tell us ‘you understand’ but will consider some penalty for avoid a stupid ceremony

  35. Paulo Rodrigues
    17th December 2021, 17:59

    Everyone is missing the point, this situation was with hamilton this time, if max had pass him in lap 1 it would be the reverse situation, people are picking side hamilton or verstapen but they shoud be asking why was this situation allowed in the first place, FIA a F1 management wanted Tv ratings to go up, and what about the rules e sporting codes that FIA is always talking about?
    If rules are rules, can they be broken to get entertaiment? If next year it happens again but in favor of mercedes or ferrari, is it fair to the sport and the fans? entertaiment over sport?

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      18th December 2021, 9:41

      if max had pass him in lap 1 it would be the reverse situation

      If pigs had wings…

  36. I know I’m the only person on the planet that loved the drag race for the championship. Sue me.
    I know I’m also the only person on the planet who thinks that if a race car driver doesn’t know how to pass a slower car, and then runs into the back of that car, it’s his fault. Lewis did not want to pass Max before the line. End of story. Again, sue me.
    But the petulant b-with-an-itch reaction from LH makes it all sweeter. Max so outdrove Lewis over the season, and he can’t deal.
    And if Lewis quits before the beginning of next season, it won’t be because he’s tired of fighting the FIA. It will be because he gets a sight of his garage-mate’s sim times.

    1. I really don’t know what to say to that. If this is the kind of fan the FIA and liberty want to prioritise, I suddenly understand the ridiculous applications of the rules and flagrant disregard for them this year, and I want no part of the made for TV gameshow…

      1. +1 million

        1. + another 1 million

      2. Feels like we’ve stepped into our first insight into WWF1, where the winners are a pre-staged popularity contest. American wrestling holds Intrigue for about 3 minutes, but rapidly enters the ‘avoid at all cost’ category!

      3. keeping up with the verstappens…

      4. If this is the kind of fan the FIA and liberty want to prioritise

        Interesting how selective your memory is. I have seen a lot of extremely toxic ant max reactions you just endorsed.
        Probably the same people attacking the poor Williams driver.

        Hypocrisy is your second name.

        1. erikje, you are a hypocrite yourself. There’s been nothing from you but taunting “hamfans” (as you call them) since you arrived on this site. You admitted weeks ago that you are only here to be a disruptive influence. You are definitely part of the problem. If you had to courage to make a real profile here, people would be able to see all of your comments and would know just what you are all about.

    2. 13 years of reading racefans/f1fanatic and this is what we have arrived at. Wonderful.

      1. John H, well, Keith also seems to be doing nothing to discourage such individuals on the site either – guess the clicks they bring in is seen as good enough for him.

        1. Funny though how 1 argument in favour of the current situation is publicly crucified while this topic alone is riddled with equally ignorant arguments the other way and everyone is fine with that.

          I like reading some topics here now and then but this place really is an echo chamber which most of the time is fine. But in threads like this it starts to look bad. Even hinting Keith should get rid of him? Just because his opinion is not in line with the general skewed image on the site? He isn’t abusive towards other forum users. I’ve seen way worse here. If you are ‘the’ Anon with some nice insights here and there on the forum, I’d have to say I expected more

          1. @baasbas

            Indeed. I’ve read a bunch of absurd conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods from Lewisfans, but they don’t get anywhere the level of condemnation. In fact, it’s often just one person who goes against it, who is then personally attacked for it.

            These are signs of one side bullying the other side off a forum…

        2. What, for giving a very valid OPINION???

    3. Absolutely!

      Ham now has to deal with Max and George and we all know he doesn’t like a fair fight!

    4. You’re not the only one though. I feel the same, about this race and about that moment in Saudi.

      And I wonder how much Mercedes sacrificed 2022 to get both titles this year. THAT is where the anger of Toto is coming from. He knows he ***** up. In the race, and putting all eggs in this years basket. And now he is about to lose Ham as well. The empire started crumbling at the beginning of this year but walls are coming down fast at the moment.

      You’re only as good as your last race. MB will be forgotten soon next year with Russell and deVries

    5. ChasM, you do yourself a disservice by posting vitriol like this. How can anyone take what you say seriously from now on?

  37. +1 million..

    1. I wanted to reply to drmouse..

  38. Errr, aren’t citizens of France advised to avoid large gatherings because of COVID-19?

    I have seen images of the gala in Paris with no one wearing a mask sitting closely together at a table. Hamilton might have done the sensible thing here.

    1. Iam sure there’s 5.4 million people that would argue with that, but they cant cause there dead.

      1. Dead with is not the same as from. Open your eyes to this nonsense.

        1. You need to stop getting your news from Facebook, ok lets say that 4 or 5 million of those would as you said in another post ‘died of flu anyway, that still leaves many many thousands of young, fit people who have died.
          You need to talk with someone who works in Hospitals as I have, the stories about perfectly healthy people who have crossed the point of recovery but still alive will make you see this in a new light, in the black humour you need to survive a job like that its called ‘circling the plug hole’

  39. It looks to me as though President Sulayem PR advisers should have expected him to have to talk about Lewis’s absence from the Award Ceremony. He needs to avoid the FIA painting themselves into a corner. Hopefully the FIA don’t have any more expectations of Lewis fulfilling obligations.

  40. Disillusioned just doesn’t cut it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d see him race his last race. Sanctions won’t matter then!

  41. This is such jokes. This is the first year I can remember anyone caring about that ceremony at all. Except the one where maybe Kimi got trashed. Did Verstappen not get the cup?

  42. What a refreshing change from the former FIA President – someone who finally understands the importance of consistency so remains tone-deaf to how a good majority of neutrals perceived recent events, but progressive enough to start enforcing the FIA’s rules regardless of the outcome.

  43. I think this was clever trap planned by Hamilton and Wolffe to provoke exactly this response from the FIA and further expose the hypocrisy of it all.

  44. The article should have been written like this:
    Article 6.6 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations states “Any driver finishing first, second and third in the championship must be present at the annual FIA prizegiving ceremony.”
    By the way, if I was Lewis Hamilton I would “say Hi” to FIA and start doing what I love in music, fashion etc.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      18th December 2021, 9:48

      No it doesn’t. But to be clever with words 1st, 2nd AND 3rd as a set in programming would mean for the second member to be true would require the driver who finished in two places.

      The regulation is actually The drivers finishing first, second and third in the Championship must be present at the annual
      FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

  45. Sir has always flouted the roules and got away with it. So nothing new under the sun.

  46. What can they do to him? Take the Championship away?!

    1. Wave a black and white flag or give a 10 second penalty for making a break-test on his arrival to Cheater’s Gala.

  47. Apparently, the rules specify that all drivers must attend the gala but don’t specify that all lapped drivers must unlap during a race. They take more care with the gala rules than they do with the racing rules.

    1. FIA doesn’t care about racing, they just want money from TV viewers for their created entertainment.

  48. Dear Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Lewis said to say “Hi”

  49. When I first read about LH not attending the awards gala in Paris on Thursday, I did not think it was intended as a snub. On Wednesday, LH was meeting the Queen in the UK and getting an award. On the same day, in response to the Omicron wave in the UK, France announced it was closing borders to people travelling from the UK to France unless it was either essential travel, or were in transit through France. Clearly a gala awards dinner is not essential travel and I thought it was just impossible for any UK-based personnel to attend. Does anyone know if anyone else from the UK attended?

    1. James Allison attended.

      1. “James Allison attended”

        Thank you @Aapje. I wonder if he went back to the UK first from Abu Dhabi, or straight to Paris?

  50. Disqualify him from the championship and ban him for 6 months.

    1. Why just 6 months? If I was you I would ask for life imprisonment!

  51. 6.6 The drivers finishing first, second and third in the Championship must be present at the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony

    Hahaha, Lewis did not finish first, second AND third. Therefore the rule cannot apply to him. I believe any person will agree.

      1. Christian Horner and Red Bull will agree to this.

  52. I’d love to see a poll on this website howmany here are:
    a) Lewis fans
    b) Max fans
    c) neutral spectators

  53. When one farce is not enough.
    #shame #fraud #robbed

  54. This is such a non-story I’m amazed you’ve all had such discussion. The guy has obviously been asked about it and is saying that he’s only been president a few hours and he’ll have to look into it before answering. Obviously if there has been a breach of the rules they’ll have to consider what they do about it but he rightly doesn’t want to answer off the cuff considering how well that goes for other people.

  55. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    18th December 2021, 9:50

    There is no penalty described for non attendance so it will be interesting to see what it could be or will be in future years.

  56. I think if the FIA have got any sense (questionable) they will drop this. If they now turn around and penalise or fine Lewis it’s just going to make things worse.

    Personally although I completely agree with Toto and Merc on the main issue re Abu Dhabi, I think Lewis should have attended. After all he did help Merc win the WCC.

  57. OH? Breach of Rules?
    Over a dinner & award ceremony.
    To “Celebrate” what?
    The most contentious decider of a WDC in F1 History.
    The new President would do well to take a good look into his own inherited mess.
    SLH/Toto/Merc have stood on their principles.
    FIA now proven to be unprincipled.

  58. Hamilton just has to point at the escalating Covid infections and say he didn’t think it was safe or right to attend in the circumstances.

  59. Kick him out of the sport! Him and Tito are a disgrace, they’ve done nothing but bring toxicity into F1 since their arrival.

    F1 will be a much better place when both of them are long gone and forgotten.

    1. U want to get rid of him, so VER can get a championship not cheated by race control?

  60. Would they be able to sanction him if he claimed he had concerns over Covid at such a large indoor gathering?

    1. No, he’s super healthy so he’s as safe as can be (jabbed or not). Avoiding an event because you might catch a cold is not a valid reason.

      1. I’m not sure I buy ‘as safe as he can be’ in a room with no social distancing or masks, and the knowledge that in just over 24 hours he would be banned from entering the country anyway due to concerns over covid.

      2. I take it you don’t know anyone who’s spent 7 days in Hospital on oxygen with Covid?

        1. But it’s very likely you don’t either. Or those that were in that state were probably going to be seen off by seasonal flu anyway, like the massive majority of people. Sad but true.

          1. I know 2 people who were hospitalised and they said they have never felt so ill in there life, one was a mid 30’s non smoker who works outside in all weathers and plays football on a Sunday, he was in a group for the Euro final in a pub, out of the 10 people he was with he was the only singled jabbed there and the only one to get it.

  61. No, that is simply not correct. Being super-healthy is no guarantee that you will not become infected with Covid, and being super-healthy certainly doesn’t stop you having a mild infection and spreading it to others.

  62. Was Bottas there or also missing? And Nyck de Vries from FE?

    1. Bottas was there @denis1304, not sure about de Vries

      1. @denis1304
        @BasCB

        De Vries was also there

        1. …I remember because I saw them together on footage for the first time and it seems De Vries is quite a bit shorter than Verstappen

  63. Would Alonso be penalized too, or is that ok because he sent a video?

  64. If touching q wing is 50.000 already, this might get realy expensive…..

  65. I can picture the FIA conversation.

    Hey Lewis, Yeah well Sunday was just, you know, one of those things, never mind chin up. Oh why your there do you fancy sitting in on a ‘super spreader event’ listening to a load of sycophants tell us how great we are.

  66. I really don’t get why people are somehow so upset about this. The man was just elected to be FIA president. In his function he has had no time to address anything, look at rules, look at the agenda etc for the next few days.

    So when he gets asked about Hamilton not showing up, his first line is about how as a driver he can understand Hamilton and then a more or less non committal “I am not sure, don’t know the rules by head, will look into the matter in the coming days/weeks”.

    And he confirmed that he does want rules to be rules, surely a principle we would all like to see reinstated, right? It shows that he is clearly aware of the more important issue, which the FIA, now his responsibility, promised to look into for the future to get Mercedes to drop the appeal.

  67. Kimberley Barrass
    19th December 2021, 10:28

    And yet when Kimi used to do this (at least twice from memory? – Maybe it was only the one time) – Everyone used to cheer him on! :)

  68. Lewis Hamilton was absolutely right not to arrive at Cheater’s Gala celebration. How can you celebrate the death of the F1 sport?
    I am 100% sure that Lewis would have arrived if it was named a FIA Funeral.

  69. I have a few lemons and plenty of salt for the wounds if the FIA is reading this and needs a supply?

    This is ridiculous and the FIA AND that fool Masi have ruined the sport I’ve loved for more than 20 years.

    MS crashing into others etc I can accept because it’s clear it was a breach of the rules. But the FIA and the race director are basically using the rule loopholes to gift a championship to another driver. Almost like a real life cheat code. It’s unacceptable!

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