Lewis Hamilton to be slapped with FIA fine for snubbing Max Verstappen trophy gala


Lewis Hamilton is set to receive a huge fine by the FIA for missing Max Verstappen’s trophy gala following his controversial championship win back in December.

Hamilton and Verstappen were neck-and-neck on 369.5 points going into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi. The Brit was all but set to clinch the title as he went 10 seconds clear of Verstappen with just five laps to go.

But Williams driver Nicholas Latifi’s crash in the 53rd lap meant a safety car was deployed, giving Verstappen a chance to pit and gain new tyres. Then a controversial decision from now axed FIA race director Michael Masi allowed Verstappen to move just behind Hamilton before the Dutchman won a one-lap shootout to claim the title.

Hamilton felt ‘robbed’ and ‘disillusioned’ by the result and refused to attend the trophy ceremony, much to the dismay of the FIA. And the Mercedes star has now admitted he was slapped with a fine for failing to turn up.

Hamilton fell silent for the off-season following the loss in the UAE after his title heartbreak. Mercedes star Hamilton and Silver Arrows’ boss Toto Wolff decided not to attend the traditional end-of-season event where trophies are awarded.

The Brit had been expected to collect his silver medal for finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship standings. But his no-show fuelled anger with the FIA over his lack of sportsmanship.

And Hamilton has spoken out about his refusal to show up, claiming he and the FIA will give the money to charity instead. “There will be some sort of fine regarding the gala,” he told reporters ahead of the 2022 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

“But we have worked together to make sure that the money will be put towards youth from underprivileged backgrounds getting into motorsports engineering,” Hamilton confirmed. “I met Mohammed a long, long time ago through an event that we had in Dubai so it is good to see him in the position he is in,” said Hamilton.

“It again adds to that diversity challenge that we are trying to overcome.” Hamilton will aim to win the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.

He has been billed as favourite to win the Drivers’ Championship in what would be a record eighth time.


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