Lewis Hamilton snubs Max Verstappen as he refuses to participate in voting

Lewis Hamilton finished sixth in the drivers’ championship as Mercedes struggled to get to grips with the major regulation changes that came into effect in 2022.

The 2022 season is one that Lewis Hamilton would soon like to forget, as the seven-time world champion finished the season behind his new teammate George Russell and without a single victory.

The season finale in Abu Dhabi summed up the mood of Hamilton’s season, as the Brit was forced to retire from the Grand Prix with a hydraulic issue in the latter stages of the race.

The winter break is a time for drivers to relax and celebrate their achievements over the course of the year, with multiple award evenings and voting polls available for them to participate in.

For the second year running however, Lewis Hamilton has refused to attend the FIA’s Prize-Giving gala, having been fined for not turning up in 2021 following the controversial ending to that season, where the Brit narrowly missed out on an eighth world championship.

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The 37-year-old will not be fined for not attending this year however, as only the top three drivers in the championship are required to attend, but as Hamilton won the award for best action of the season after his overtake on Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez at Silverstone it seems strange that the Brit did not collect the award in person.

F1 also has a driver of the year award, where all twenty drivers have the opportunity to anonymously vote for who they believe deserves the award based on the season just gone.

Unsurprisingly Max Verstappen came out of this vote victorious after winning his second consecutive world championship by a significant margin, followed by Charles Leclerc in second.

Drivers are allowed to vote for themselves and despite strangely being the only driver on the grid not to cast a vote, Lewis Hamilton came joint-third with his teammate George Russell.

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It is unknown why Hamilton abstained from the end of season award, as he could have voted for anyone he liked after a disappointing year for himself personally.

The seven-time world champion will be hoping to return to winning ways in 2023 but this hinges massively on Mercedes’ ability to provide their drivers with a more competitive car than the W13.

The team fired up the W14 for the first time just before Christmas, indicating that the team are on course with their development ahead of pre-season testing.