Mercedes has officially refuted claims that Lewis Hamilton presented his FIA trophy to a fan after the Baku prize-giving ceremony. The team clarified that the trophy was to be sent to them, as per usual practice, rather than being gifted away. This statement comes amidst a backdrop of tension between Mercedes, the FIA, and the handling of recent investigations.
Between the lines
- Mercedes denies social media rumors of Lewis Hamilton gifting his third-place FIA trophy to a fan.
- The FIA’s recent conflict of interest investigation involving Toto and Susie Wolff, and its subsequent dismissal, has stirred controversy.
- Hamilton criticized the FIA for its event locations, questioning their commitment to sustainability.
- A fan’s social media post fueled speculation, which Mercedes has now addressed and dismissed.
Immediately after leaving the stage, and as has been done at previous prizegivings, Lewis accepted the offer from officials for the trophy to be sent on to the team and therefore left it in their care. We can confirm he did not give the trophy to anyone ‘as a gift’ as has been speculated.
The world of Formula 1 is no stranger to drama, and the latest episode involves a trophy, a tweet, and a bit of a tiff. After the FIA’s prize-giving ceremony in Baku, the F1 community was abuzz with whispers that Lewis Hamilton, displeased with the FIA, had given his trophy to a fan. The fan’s tweet showing off the trophy seemed to confirm the rumors.
However, Mercedes has stepped in to put the brakes on this runaway story. In a recent statement, the team explained that Hamilton’s trophy was simply following the standard protocol of being shipped to the team post-ceremony. So, no, the trophy didn’t hitch a ride home with a fan, despite what Twitter might tell you.
The rumors didn’t sprout from thin air, though. They were fertilized by the tension between Mercedes and the FIA, following an investigation into potential conflicts of interest with Toto and Susie Wolff. The investigation was dropped, but not without leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many, including Hamilton, who openly criticized the FIA during the press conference.
Hamilton’s critique didn’t stop at the investigation. He also took a swing at the FIA’s choice of Baku for the ceremony, suggesting it was a bit rich for an organization promoting sustainability. And the news of next year’s event in Rwanda raised his eyebrows further.
While the trophy saga has been cleared up, the incident highlights the ongoing friction between F1’s governing body and one of its most successful teams. It’s a reminder that in the high-speed world of Formula 1, the action off the track can be just as fast and furious as on it. Keep your eyes peeled, and your Twitter feed refreshed, F1 fans. The race continues.