Newly-elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem says Lewis Hamilton could face a sanction if found guilty of violating Formula 1 sports regulations by not attending the annual gala.
Article 6.6 of the Formula 1 sports regulations stipulate that the top three winners in the championship must take part in the FIA ââaward ceremony.
But Hamilton, together with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, decided not to participate in Paris on Thursday after the controversial season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Outgoing Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was there to pick up his third-placed trophy, but missed the press conference due to a flight delay while James Allison received the constructors’ trophy.
Hamilton was in the UK this week and picked up his knighthood in Windsor on Wednesday, while today (Friday) he was part of the Mercedes constructors’ title celebration in Brixworth and Brackley.
Ben Sulayem succeeded Jean Todt as FIA President on Friday and announced at his first press conference in his new role that the matter would be considered.
“First of all, I feel emotional as a driver, but at the end of the day rules are rules so let’s look at the page where the technical rules are applied,” he said.
“Was he hurt? I have to take a look.
âWe have to follow our rules, but in the meantime that 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 when there is a break there is no forgiveness. “
Sulayem later made it clear that the âno forgivenessâ comment in his explanation of the situation and allowed rules could be clearer in the future.
“No, what I meant by breaking the rule: there are rules, forgiveness is always there, but rules are rules,” he said.
âI always say rules; People made them and they can be improved and changed by people, rules are there to be improved.
âSo I know Lewis is really sad about what happened and in a word I would say he’s broken.
“But we have to see if there has been a violation. I can’t just – now a few hours as President – give answers without going back to the facts.”