“No forgiveness” for Hamilton from new FIA president after gala absence

New FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says Lewis Hamilton should expect “no forgiveness” if he’s found guilty of breaching Formula 1’s rules after not ending the end of season prize-giving gala.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1
© xpbimages.com

Hamilton and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff opted out of attending Thursday’s gala in Paris, where trophies are handed out to the top three drivers in the championship and the winning constructor.

2021 F1 champion Max Verstappen was present with Red Bull boss Christian Horner, while Valtteri Bottas attended to collect his third-place trophy.

Ben Sulayem was elected as president of the FIA on Friday morning, taking over from Jean Todt after 12 years in the role.

In his first press conference, Ben Sulayem admitted he understood Hamilton’s emotions but insisted that “rules are rules”.

“First of all, as a driver, I 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,” he said. “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.”

The 60-year-old later clarified his “no forgiveness” comment.

“What I meant by breach of the rules: there are rules, forgiveness is always there, but rules are rules,” he added. “I always say rules; humans made them, they are not the Bible or any holy book, they can be improved and changed by humans, rules are there to be improved.

“So, actually, I know that Lewis is really sad about what happened and in one word I would say is he is broken. But we have to look if there was any breach, I cannot just - a few hours now as a president - just start giving answers without going back to the facts.”

Read More