Lewis Hamilton faces potential fine as details emerge after F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton could be fined if he skips a FIA bash after the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 20/11/2023

- 08:16

The Stevenage-born racer could only finish seventh in Sin City, with Max Verstappen once again securing glory

Lewis Hamilton will be fined if he fails to attend the 2023 FIA Prize Gala for the third year in a row.

The 38-year-old is in the spotlight having struggled this season, with Max Verstappen the sport's dominant force once again.

Hamilton toiled during qualifying for the Las Vegas Grand Prix, something he later apologised for.

And the Briton could only finish seventh in the main event on Sunday, with Mercedes team-mate George Russell securing eighth despite a strong qualifying session.

Lewis Hamilton Las Vegas Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton could only finish seventh at the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix


Per FIA regulations, champions are only crowned at the Gala which takes place at the end of each season.

The current campaign is poised to end next week, with Abu Dhabi set to bring the curtain down by staging the final race.

It is mandatory for drivers who finish in the top three of the standings to attend the Gala.

Hamilton has already secured third spot regardless of what happens in the Middle East, with Verstappen and Sergio Perez both ahead of him.

He was absent in 2021 at the bash after being beaten to the title by Verstappen in controversial circumstances.

Hamilton didn't need to attend last year, having finished down in sixth.

But with third already wrapped up, FIA regulations mean he's required to make an appearance at this year's celebrations.

Should he choose not to attend, he will be fined - with the Briton previously confirming he was punished for his actions in 2021.

“There will be some sort of fine re: the gala," he said when discussing his absence last year.

"But we’ve worked together to make sure that the money will be put towards youths from underprivileged backgrounds [to help] them get into motorsport engineering.”

Hamilton remains aggrieved with the FIA, believing he was robbed of glory in controversial circumstances two years ago.

However, time is a great healer and it's possible he'll put the controversy of 2021 aside in order to avoid another punishment.

Meanwhile, speaking after the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Hamilton aimed a dig at Verstappen by slamming critics of the event.

His Red Bull rival had previously suggested the event in Vegas was prioritising the show over racing.

But Hamilton came out swinging and said: "[There were] lots of great overtaking opportunities and I think for all those who were so negative about the weekend, saying it was all about show blah blah blah, I think Vegas proved them wrong."

On the race itself, he added: "A really challenging race.

"I started on the hard tyre which was tricky at the beginning.

"I got a big hit from someone behind, I think it was Carlos [Sainz], and tried to not hit the cars that had spun around. I fell back five or six places.

"Then after that just making my way back. I was feeling great, the tyres were feeling good, the pace was strong.

"I went up the inside of Piastri, I don't really know exactly what happened, I obviously got the hit from behind. I think it was a racing incident."


Lewis Hamilton Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton is still seething with the FIA after failing to win in Abu Dhabi two years ago


Hamilton has won five times in Abu Dhabi over the years.

The veteran first conquered the race in 2011, while also securing triumphs in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Verstappen has won the event in each of the past three years, however.

The Red Bull star is tied with Sebastian Vettel, who also won in Abu Dhabi on three occasions during his own time in F1.

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