Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2023

Actions of “certain individuals” show change is needed at FIA – Hamilton

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton aired multiple grievances against the FIA as he appeared at its end-of-season Gala for the first time in three years.

The Mercedes driver criticised the governing body over the investigation involving his team, which it announced then swiftly dropped earlier this week. He claimed the FIA’s actions cast doubt on the integrity of Susie Wolff, the managing director of the all-female F1 Academy series, “without any evidence.”

Hamilton also accused “certain individuals” within the FIA leadership of frustrating efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within the sport.

The seven-times world champion was speaking at a press conference ahead of tonight’s FIA Gala at Baku in Azerbaijan, attended by the top-placed competitors across its championships. Earlier today, Hamilton’s Mercedes team said they were considering legal action in response to the FIA’s handling of its investigation.

“It has been a challenging week,” said Hamilton. “Disappointing, really, to see the governing body of our sport has sought to question the integrity of one of the most incredible female leaders we’ve ever had in our sport – Susie Wolff – without questioning, without any evidence.”

After announcing their investigation on Tuesday, the FIA released a short statement yesterday confirming no investigation was in progress. “And then just saying ‘sorry’ at the end,” said Hamilton, “that’s just unacceptable.”

Wolff is also the wife of Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. Reports claimed the FIA believed she had shared confidential information with him obtained through her role with Formula One Management. The three parties denied the claims and all Mercedes’ rival F1 teams said they had not raised any complaints with the FIA.

F1 Academy was set up to promote young female racers and increase the representation of women competitors within the sport. However Hamilton believes not everyone at the FIA is committed to improving diversity and inclusion.

“We’ve got a lot of great people within the sport that are doing amazing work,” he said. “There is a constant fight to really improve diversity and inclusion within the industry, but it seems that there are certain individuals in the leadership within the FIA that every time we try and make a step forward, they’re trying to pull us back. And that has to change.

“This is a global sport and we have such an incredible opportunity and actual responsibility to be leaders of change. And as we’re traveling to all those countries around the world, we have a responsibility to make sure that we push in the right direction.

“So I do want to acknowledge that there are a lot of people out there that are doing great work, but we need to make some change to make sure that we’re all pushing in the right direction.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “Actions of “certain individuals” show change is needed at FIA – Hamilton”

  1. Coventry Climax
    8th December 2023, 15:35

    This is the third big laugh I had today. It’s got to stop now, as I fear for the rest of this year’s quota.

    1. Only a few weeks to go, but stock up on laugh quota for next year (with an option to take unused units along/safe them up for 2026?) just in case I’d say as F1/FOM needs to keep itself in the picture during the winter doesn’t it!?

    2. Yes the FIA,are a joke no wonder you’re laughing.

  2. Well, that must have been a jolly Gala for all I guess.

    Sure, there have often been behind the scenes animosities and deep rivalries in the sport, so maybe not that much different, apart from that nowadays we hear more about it in the open?

    1. The FIA,president isn’t attending apparently not well, so basically knows he was wrong and incompetent and doesn’t want the negative attention, should have thought about that before he got into this nonsense.

  3. So where is Hamilton’s “questioning and evidence” about the supposed ‘certain individuals’ he is talking about? Especially important since he, in classic Mercedes style, resorts to insinuations and vague hints and therefore makes the entire FIA a target. F1 can do without a repeat of the online mob going after Masi and Latifi.

    1. You are clueless learn to read and not between the lines

    2. The mob of 21 was a RBR mob. Masi just got fired for manipulating the WDC.

  4. There goes his invitation to next year’s big Galah.

    1. Robert Williams
      8th December 2023, 17:12

      …probably his intention…

    2. Why, they should invite them to one every day, that would be high fun. With penalties for no-show, of course.

    3. You don’t get invited if you are top three you HAVE to turn up, another FIA rule.

      1. You don’t get invited if you are top three you HAVE to turn up, another FIA rule.

        Causes a few ripples when you don’t, as a protest about the dodgy dealings of FIA officials.

      2. No worries then, will never have to go again

        1. Third this year in the 5th best car

          1. being second in the team championship would be difficult with the 5th fastest car ;)
            But i do not think you will get it..

          2. No because two drivers get constructors points….jeez Face / Palm.

    4. I love the Australianism at the end. If that was deliberate, bravo to you =)

  5. The opening of this article is a little misleading. He spoke to interviews ahead of the gala. He wasn’t on stage at the gala making these comments. I don’t think the gala has happened yet. Isn’t it later this evening?

  6. Thank you for not just smiling to the cameras and kissing the FIA’s backside Lewis.

  7. And your team boss, Toto Wolff, calling former F1 Race Director Michael Masi “an idiot”, after “Drive It Out” campaign you personally participated in and said, and I quote, “We cannot let those who think they can abuse others get away with it” is acceptable? Why are there no comments about it from you, Lewis?

    1. my boss isnt toto. who are you speaking to? lol

    2. I see the FIA policing words is having it’s affect on fans too now.

  8. Get in there Lewis, tell it like it is, a total schnitzel storm of incompetent behaviour and libellous slurs. The FIA president needs to resign this isn’t Bahrain.

  9. “Certain individuals” is pretty strong isn’t it. Good message for anyone who thinks they can put a sly dig into F1 Academy with a snide move

  10. Interested to see if anything comes from any of this… Change is definitely needed at the FIA, as a whole. Getting rid of Masi was a knee-jerk and hasn’t really fixed long-standing problems. FIA too frequently makes choices seemingly arbitrarily, sometimes choosing to break their own protocols and others using their protocols as excuses not to take action, at all levels.

    It is a bureaucracy through and through. Such that I’m not sure Hamilton’s pointed attack on “certain individuals” is the right tack. But what do I know, replace Sulayem with someone who will rip up team Andretti’s approval and I’m sure that will fix everything in the teams eyes.

    It’s all politics, all parties are using the media to get their preferred outcomes. It seems as if nobody has a focus on improving the sport itself.

    1. it’s about power isn’t it. Mohammed’s culture is quite modern for that area of the world but it’s still autocratic and islamic. Masi was sacrificed, with a payoff and his NDA, probably because when a FOM top guy quickly suggested the idea Mohammed thought he just ought to be able to just tell Masi what to do and have the result they wanted. And Lewis knows how it worked

      And then now with the Wolff power couple, he’d assume that Toto could order Susie to tell him everything and she just would. And in a power structure there are secrets and with teams getting cosy and the girlz building a power structure as well, even a small one, it probably seemed like a good idea to wave a little investigation and be top dog. But, it’s not like when Bernie and Max were the power couple, the power is divided and they have to have alliances not try and be top dog on their own.

      Now, it only needs Max to say “certain individuals” too and Mohammed is toast :) Imagine. Or Christian, Ginger, Susie and Toto having dinner… I think he was a bit of an experiment personally, F1 trying to be inclusive, but that’s not his background

      1. “quickly suggested the idea Mohammed thought he just ought to be able to just tell Masi what to do and have the result they wanted.”

        A pretty ironic comment considering Toto had lunch with Masi days before the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand to tell him how to do his job…
        “It is quite interesting because I had lunch with him [Masi] on the Wednesday before the race, and I said to him that ‘I really want to tell you, without patronising you, that you need to take criticism on board and develop from there. Lewis does it every day, but you are a guy who always seems to know better’,”

        Obvious Islamophobia, is obvious.

        1. Sorry, messed up the link. The link is the Sky Sports article from which the quote was taken.

        2. it’s not ironic it’s a point I was making, thanks so much. Masi being told what to do, by Toto that time. Sweet guy, but soft

          Toto obviously is a leader and a powerful person, but not an autocrat from a maledom background. As for islam, that is obviously a problem

    2. Masi is an idiot. He literally handed Max his first championship on a silver platter. At least with Hamilton it was decided on the track, by the drivers themselves.

  11. FIA starts and stops the investigation against Mercedes “without questioning, without any evidence”. Now let me accused “certain individuals” without questioning them and without showing any evidence of who they are. They are the guilty ones…
    FIA & Hamilton are the same.

    1. It’s an astonishing lack of self awareness so typical of Lewis.

      He has an outstanding talent for turning himself into a victim, even when he is not involved at all

  12. Me thinks there is a lot more to this story than what is being talked about, for actors like Toto or the FIA to be ‘overreacting’ in the press, kinda strange. Would be cool to know what the real issue is, because this seems like a minor maneuver concerning the bigger strategy.

    1. … Like who is after Toto’s seat ? Or which positions at the FIA are up for grabs ?

  13. Ben Sulayem is not going to last much longer as FIA boss, is he?

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