Lewis Hamilton accuses FIA of poor communication

Lewis Hamilton has accused the FIA of poor communication amid an ongoing debate about his actions in Qatar.

Lewis Hamilton has responded to the FIA’s decision to “revisit” the penalty imposed on him in Qatar, attributing the situation to poor communication rather than being singled out for disciplinary action.

Following the Qatar Grand Prix, Hamilton, the Mercedes driver, was fined €50,000 (£43,000), with €25,000 (£21,000) of the fine suspended for the remainder of the 2023 season, contingent on avoiding any repeat infractions. 

This penalty was a result of his decision to cross the live track to access the pitlane. He also received a reprimand, marking his first of the season.

The FIA subsequently announced its intention to “revisit” the incident, stating, “The FIA notes that Lewis was apologetic during the subsequent stewards’ hearing into the incident and acknowledged that the crossing was a serious safety breach. 

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However, in view of his role model status, the FIA is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers.”

When questioned in Austin about whether he believed he was being unfairly singled out, Hamilton responded, “No, I don’t think I was singled out.”

He continued, “I think, ultimately, it was just poor communication. 

“I don’t think what they had said is exactly what they meant. 

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“I think what they mean is that they’re just going to look into how they can tackle those sorts of things moving forwards to make sure that it doesn’t happen.”

Hamilton emphasised the importance of focusing on safety in motorsport, referencing a recent karting incident where a young driver was struck. 

He stressed the need to continually prioritise safety in the sport.

“I mean, if you look at it, I think there was a karting incident recently where a kid was hit. 

“So we really need to make sure that we’re continuously focusing on safety. 

“I think that’s really at the core, at the root of it,” Hamilton stated, “but I just think they probably need to speak to their PR agent to do a better job.”

Hamilton acknowledged his responsibility for the specific incident in Qatar, expressing regret for his actions. 

He noted that the incident was a wrong decision made in the heat of the moment and underscored the importance of sending the right message, particularly to younger drivers.

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“What’s important is to send the right message, particularly for the younger drivers, throughout the ages, that that’s not the thing to do,” Hamilton said. 

“I apologized at the time. 

“And I think they’re just looking at how to make sure that doesn’t happen moving forwards.”