Lewis Hamilton braced for FIA fine

Lewis Hamilton received a fine from the FIA for not attending the 2021 FIA prize gala.

Lewis Hamilton could potentially be fined by the FIA, after the seven-time World Champion secured third in the 2023 F1 Drivers’ Championship on Saturday evening at the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Despite being caught up in chaos at the opening corner and later sustaining a puncture following a collision with Oscar Piastri, Hamilton did well to recover from last place to finish seventh in Sin City.

With Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso having failed to score big points, Hamilton’s P7 was enough to claim third in the standings with one race remaining, whilst Sergio Perez’s podium finish saw the Red Bull driver secure second in the Drivers’ Championship.

It means it’s officially confirmed which three drivers will be subjected to attend the end-of-year FIA Prize gala.

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Max Verstappen, Perez and Hamilton will all be summoned to attend, with it being mandatory for the top three in the championship to be present.

Failure to do so does result in a fine from the FIA, something which Hamilton received after opting to skip the 2021 event.

Hamilton decided against attending the 2021 FIA prize gala following the controversial season finale in Abu Dhabi, where ex-race director Michael Masi’s actions cost the 103-time race winner an unprecedented eighth title.

Had Masi followed the rulebook in the closing laps of the 2021 season finale, then Hamilton would’ve become an eight-time World Champion.

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Hamilton actually addressed his fine from the FIA ahead of the 2022 season, where he revealed that the entirety of it would go towards “youths from underprivileged backgrounds”, rather than into the governing body’s pocket.

“There will be some sort of fine re: the gala,” Hamilton said ahead of the 2022 season-opener, as reported by The Express.

“But we’ve worked together to make sure that the money will be put towards youths from underprivileged backgrounds [to help] them get into motorsport engineering.”

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This year’s event is the first since 2021 which Hamilton will be told to attend, as he wasn’t required last year due to finishing sixth in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship.

Despite not having to attend the 2022 gala, he actually won the Action of the Year award, for his double-overtake on Perez and Charles Leclerc at the British Grand Prix that season.

That award in particular, was voted for by fans.