July 23, 2024

Lewis Hamilton was given the third-place trophy at the FIA prize giving ceremony on Saturday and Mercedes have issued a statement in response to claims he gave the award to a fan

Mercedes has been forced to refute allegations that, during the FIA’s annual prize-giving gala in Azerbaijan, Lewis Hamilton gave away his third-place trophy to a fan.

Following Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in third place this season, Hamilton traveled to Baku to pick up his trophy. According to Formula 1 regulations, the top three drivers are required to attend the race.

The 38-year-old driver was the first to take the stage to collect his trophy, but after the gala, there was some controversy when a fan who had also attended said that Hamilton had given him the award on social media.

The fan shared a photo of the trophy that appeared to be on display in their house. They had previously shared photos of themselves with Verstappen at the event. “Hi there. Yesterday, I was at the Gala. After giving me the award, Lewis Hamilton departed. I’m at home with the prize now,” they wrote.

Mercedes, on the other hand, disputes this, saying Hamilton gave the award to officials. “Just to clarify some of the speculation on social media regarding Lewis’ P3 trophy,” the statement reads.

“Lewis accepted the officials’ offer to have the trophy sent to the team and left it in their custody as soon as he exited the stage, following the tradition of prize-givings. We can confirm that, contrary to what has been rumored, he did not give the trophy to anyone “as a gift.”

A fan claimed on social media that Hamilton gave him the award

During the gala, Hamilton unleashed another barb at the FIA, calling their “unacceptable” investigation into Toto and Susie Wolff. Claims of a “conflict of interest” between the two—Susie, the managing director of the F1 academy, and Toto Mercedes, the team principal—were briefly looked into by the FIA.

Although all the other Formula One teams denied filing a complaint, the investigation was promptly closed, but Hamilton is not pleased with the FIA’s handling of the situation. “It’s 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 questioning, and then just apologizing at the end—that’sjust unacceptable,” he angrily exclaimed.

“The industry is always fighting to truly improve diversity and inclusion, but it seems like some members of the FIA leadership are trying to hold us back every time we take a step forward. This needs to stop.”

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