Lewis Hamilton has labelled the FIA’s communication as ‘poor’ after discussing the wording around his track infringement at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.
Hamilton dramatically retired from the race last time out at the Losail International Circuit after a first corner tangle with Mercedes team-mate George Russell.
He then hastily crossed the live racing track to get back to the pits, with FIA stewards far from impressed with what they were seeing from the seven-time world champion.
Indeed, he was fined and reprimanded for the issue, before the FIA then revealed last week that they were revisiting the incident due to Hamilton‘s ‘role model status.’
In a statement, the FIA said that while Hamilton was “apologetic during the subsequent Stewards hearing in to the incident and acknowledged that the crossing was a serious safety breach,” that “in view of his role model status, the FIA is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers.”
Hamilton responds to the FIA
Hamilton indicated that while he understood the issue, and that he made his feelings known at that time of the incident.
“They’ve spoken to me and their actual point is – and I think it’s important – that when I sat with them in the Stewards’ office I put my hands up and in the heat of the moment it was the wrong decision,” Hamilton said.
“What’s important is to send the right message to younger drivers throughout the ages that it’s not the thing to do. I apologised at the time and I think they were just looking at how to make sure that doesn’t happen moving forward.”
Hamilton was then asked if he felt as though he had been singled out as the sport’s most high-profile driver, and said that the FIA’s communications could do with improvement, with the messaging being confused.
“No, I don’t think I was singled out,” Hamilton said. “Ultimately, it’s just poor communication.
“I don’t think what they said is exactly what they meant. What they mean is they are going to look into how they can tackle those sort of things moving forward to make sure it doesn’t happen.
“I think there was a karting incident recently where a kid was hit, so we really need to make sure that we’re continuously focusing on safety and that’s at the root of it. I think they probably need to speak to their PR agent to do a better job.”