Hamilton’s gala fine to help underprivileged enter motorsport

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has revealed the AUD $75,000 fine handed to him for missing the FIA gala last December will be used to help underprivileged youth.

The seven-time world champion was a no show at last year’s prize giving event, which came in the days which followed the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

By finishing second in the drivers’ championship, it was mandatory that he attend the ceremony.

At the time, newly elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem expressed sympathy and understanding for Hamilton’s position given the disappointment in the days prior to the event.

However, he reinforced the fact that the rules needed to be enforced.

Speaking in Bahrain, Hamilton revealed that he has discussed the issue with the FIA president and come to an agreement.

“I think there will be some sort of fine re the gala,” the 37-year-old admitted.

“But we’ve [Ben Sulayem] worked together to make sure that the money will be put towards youth from underprivileged [background] getting into motorsport engineering.”

Following the meeting between Hamilton and the FIA president, the sport’s governing body issued a statement.

“Hamilton shared some of his experiences and findings from the report of the Hamilton Commission, authored by the Royal Academy of Engineering and published last year,” the statement said.

“One of the key factors identified upon which commitment to Diversity and Inclusion relies is the implementation of initiatives that are accessible to underrepresented groups.

“The FIA President noted the important foundational work done by the FIA in recent years with projects such as FIA Girls on Track, and commended the commitment shown by Hamilton in projects such as Mission 44 and Ignite.

“In the spirit of commitment to building a more diverse sport in the future, the FIA President gave his full support to Hamilton’s decision to make a donation of €50,000 that will be used to support a student from a disadvantaged background in achieving an educational qualification in motor sport.

“The FIA and Hamilton will work together with and independent panel and throughout this process.

“Both the FIA President and Hamilton look forward to further positive steps in this area in 2022 and beyond, with Diversity and Inclusion being made a key priority for the Federation.

“During the meeting, the circumstances that led to Hamilton’s absence from the 2021 FIA Prize Giving Ceremony were also discussed,” the statement added.

“Hamilton acknowledged the importance of celebrating the year’s achievements with the prize-winners from across motor sport and the FIA President reminded Hamilton of his obligation of sportsmanship, particularly in view of his status in motor sport.”

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