FIA warned they need to ‘come up with a good story’ to stop Hamilton from acting out

Sir Lewis Hamilton has been notably quiet since his cruel championship defeat in 2021 to Max Verstappen.

The FIA need to implement changes in Formula 1 to appease seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton, Dutch racing driver Michael Bleekemolen has suggested.

Hamilton and Mercedes felt cheated when race director Michael Masi allowed a limited number of lapped cars to pass the Safety Car ahead of the final lap of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, facilitating a late move from Max Verstappen to clinch his first world title.

The 37-year-old had been leading the title-decider comfortably up until the late caution, and the Australian had initially ruled that no lapped runners would be allowed to overtake the Safety Car due to time constraints.

READ: Hamilton distanced himself from Wolff to ensure he doesn’t jeopardise ‘Hollywood future’

Mercedes lodged an intention to appeal the championship classification but dropped it on 16 December, settling instead for an investigation from the governing body into the late controversial events.

Asides from an interview immediately after the race, Hamilton has not spoken publicly since Abu Dhabi, least of all about the unprecedented series of events that transpired ahead of the final lap.

However, his silence speaks a thousand words in the eyes of Bleekemolen, who suggests that this puts enormous pressure on the FIA to act accordingly.

“His opinion is noticed and everyone is talking about it. That puts pressure on the FIA,” he said in an interview with NOS.

“They have to intervene and make changes. The FIA ​​has to come up with a good story, otherwise Hamilton’s first words will not be what the F1 leadership would like to hear.”

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Motorsport journalist Jonathan Noble agrees that the Mercedes driver’s absence from the public eye is an effective tactic in lobbying for change from F1’s hierarchy.

“His silence illustrates the enormous frustration. It underlines the need for the FIA ​​to change things. Saying nothing is more impressive than all the things Lewis could have said. The ball is in the FIA’s court,” he told the Dutch publication.

“The silence is unusual but the way Hamilton lost the world title was also far from normal.”

Noble understands Hamilton’s frustration, and emphasises that remaining quiet is sometimes smarter than saying something one may regret later.

“Hamilton has the feeling the competition has been manipulated. His annoyance is so great he has closed himself off from the outside world.

“That is often the case in life – if you have nothing good to say, it is better not to say anything.”

Doubt has been cast over the seven-time world champion’s future – partially due to his “we’ll see about next year” comment after the race in December – but Bleekemolen does not see any reason why the Briton should not continue.

“I expect and hope he continues. It’s more fun when he’s there,” he affirmed.

“Lewis is driven and good enough to last a few more years. He also sees that eighth World title.”

The Dutchman reckons that the 103-time race winner is set on advocating change within the FIA, including perhaps the sacking of Masi.

Michael Masi could sacked by FIA after 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.v1

“Hamilton is trying to increase the pressure on the FIA ​​motorsport federation and is powerful. I think he wants to get some people out of there, like race director Michael Masi,” he explained.

“Lewis wants to turn it upside down. He can do that. He has a lot of influence as the greatest of all. Some people will disappear.”

However, the 40-year-old sympathises with the Australian in that he was simply doing what he thought was the best thing at the time.

READ: ‘Lewis cannot really complain about bad luck’ despite Abu Dhabi controversy

“It’s a shame and a bit bland,” he stated.

“There was no conscious attack on Hamilton. It just happened that way. Race director Masi decided to restart the race because in his eyes that suited the situation. Not to annoy Lewis.”

Hamilton is set to be partnered by compatriot George Russell at Mercedes in 2022, with the 23-year-old having been signed from Williams to replace the departing Valtteri Bottas.

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