Lewis Hamilton’s body language says it all in meeting with FIA boss after British GP win

A1 symbol It became evident following Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the British Grand Prix that the Mercedes driver and FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem do not get along well.

Following his victory in the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton had no intention of exchanging pleasantries with Mohammed ben Sulayem, the president of the FIA.

Before Sunday’s race, Hamilton had only finished on the podium once in 2024, but he still managed to secure first place at Silverstone, despite his teammate George Russell retiring early. After crossing the finish line, the 39-year-old was heard crying over the Mercedes radio. He then hugged his father and the engineers heartfeltly.

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion isn’t exactly a big fan of Ben Sulayem, who has led motorsport for the last 2.5 years, as is well known. Nevertheless, the Mercedes driver’s first Formula One victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was unaffected by their surprising encounter.

Just as Hamilton got off the post-race weigh-in scales, Ben Sulayem walked up to shake hands. Hamilton was clearly eager to move on, though, based on his body language.

Standing before the driver, the Silver Arrows star hardly gave Ben Sulayem a look or even extended a hand in response. He brushed the FIA chief’s shoulder aside and then got into a much friendlier conversation with Max Verstappen, Red Bull’s rival.

Back in March, following the FIA’s investigation into Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff and his wife Susie, who oversees the F1 Academy, Hamilton delivered a harsh evaluation of Ben Sulayem. Susie filed a criminal complaint in response to the claims that the Wolffs were accountable for disclosing private information between Toto’s team and Formula One Management, the company that owns Formula One and the F1 academy. However, the claims were abruptly withdrawn without any explanation.

Hamilton responded, “He never has,” when asked if he supported Ben Sulayem in his role as FIA president. The seven-time world champion then went into further detail about his opinions on the way the FIA is handling different F1-related issues, especially in light of the criticisms they have received.

He went on, “In this sport, within the FIA, there is a real lack of accountability.” “We need accountability because there are things going on behind closed doors and there is a lack of transparency.” That is necessary for the fans. If you don’t have that, how can you trust the sport and this situation?”

Former rally driver Ben Sulayem took over as FIA shot-caller from F1 legend Jean Todt. Controversy has dogged his tenure, encompassing allegations of historical sexism and censure of the FIA’s management (or mismanagement) of the probe into the highly politicized Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of 2021.

When the FIA revealed in March 2024 that it had received two whistleblower reports shortly before the new season began, Ben Sulayem came under investigation once more. One claimed he had tried to axe the 2023 Grand Prix in Las Vegas, while another charged him with tampering with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last year; however, an investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

It was easy to see how Mercedes’ top driver, Hamilton, felt about the FIA chief, even with his helmet on. The Silver Arrows player may not be looking forward to any more confrontations with Ben Sulayem, but he will hope to have more chances to add to his win total this season.

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