Lewis Hamilton comment on Max Verstappen at FIA Prize Gala shows F1 star’s true colours

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were both present at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Baku on Friday to collect their respective trophies, along with second-placed Sergio Perez

Lewis Hamilton showed his class as he used his speech at the FIA Prize Giving gala to heap praise upon rival Max Verstappen.

After finishing second in the championship, the Brit narrowly defeated Sergio Perez. However, Verstappen, who achieved a record-breaking third Formula 1 title, was far ahead of both of them.

The F1 awards were withheld until Friday, when the top three drivers received their prizes at the end of the gala in Baku. In order to receive the third-place trophy, Hamilton went up on stage first, and during his speech, he politely acknowledged his rivals.

Good evening, everyone. I just wanted to say congratulations to each and every one of you on this year,” he said. “The season has been extremely long for everyone, and they are all eagerly anticipating the winter break. We’re putting in a ton of effort to ensure that we return stronger than before next year.

“Red Bull, Verstappen, and Checo deserve a lot of praise for their outstanding performance this year. Max Verstappen performed flawlessly. We still have a ways to go before we close the gap, but Max and his team really raised the bar, and I firmly think we can do so.”

He continued to commend his Mercedes colleagues, saying, “I would also like to thank my team for not giving up this year. For the most part of the year, the car we began with was essentially a sister of the one from the previous year and wasn’t very enjoyable to drive. But everyone persisted in showing up every day, and that was what was most encouraging. For that reason, I hope we return the following year.”

Even though Hamilton was present at the FIA’s major end-of-season event, he was not very complimentary of the organization, despite his kindness toward his competitors. In the pre-ceremony press conference, the seven-time world champion ripped into his hosts, alluding to the brief investigation into Toto and Susie Wolff that dominated this week’s F1 news agenda.

“It is disappointing to witness the governing body questioning the integrity of one of the most amazing female leaders in our sport, without any evidence and without any questions asked, and then just apologizing at the end,” he stated.

“The FIA leadership needs to change because it seems like some of them are trying to pull us back every time we take a step forward in the ongoing battle to really improve diversity and inclusion within the industry.”

Additionally, he questioned the choice of location for the gala, saying, “Although I think Baku is a really beautiful place, I’m not sure if the FIA is really thinking about sustainability because so many people flew out here.” It would have been simpler to remain in Paris, where the FIA is currently located.”

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