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Lewis and Toto Showed Us How Not To Behave When Things Do Not Go Your Way

The FIA has elected a new president after its Annual General Assembly. The event took place in Paris a day after the prize-giving ceremony for the 2021 season took place, and Lewis Hamilton already attracted the new FIA president's attention, but in a negative way.
Red Bull Racing's Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 car2021 Brazilian Grand Prix startLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton after Monza crash with Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton after Monza crash with Max VerstappenMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealLewis Hamilton Final RaceLewis Hamilton Final RaceMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleRed Bull Racing's Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 car2021 Brazilian Grand Prix startLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Sergio Perez during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixMercedes-AMG F1 team principal Toto WolffMax Verstappen Abu Dhabi Grand Prix WinAbu Dhabi Grand Prix WinMax Verstappen Abu Dhabi Grand Prix WinRed Bull Racing's Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 car2021 Brazilian Grand Prix startLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen crash, Monza, 2021Lewis Hamilton after Monza crash with Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton after Monza crash with Max VerstappenMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealMercedes-AMG Petronas Withdraws AppealLewis Hamilton Final RaceLewis Hamilton Final RaceMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleMax Verstappen celebrates his F1 World Champion titleRed Bull Racing's Max VerstappenLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 carLewis Hamilton driving his Mercedes-AMG W12 F1 car2021 Brazilian Grand Prix startLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Max Verstappen during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton battling Sergio Perez during 2021 Brazilian Grand PrixMercedes-AMG F1 team principal Toto WolffMax Verstappen Abu Dhabi Grand Prix WinAbu Dhabi Grand Prix WinMax Verstappen Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Win
As you are aware, Lewis Hamilton finished the last race of the season in second place, which led to Max Verstappen winning the World Champion title. It is easy to understand that Lewis is not happy with the outcome of the final race in the championship, and neither was his team. While that is understandable, if we try to empathize and view the matter from their perspective, some things could have been done better.

After the race, the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team went into a social media blackout. They did not post anything, and Lewis Hamilton has not posted anything on his Instagram since the day before the race. As I wrote above, this is understandable, the last race did not go their way, and social media may not be the first thing on their agenda.

While many fans were waiting for a statement of some sort, or something more than what they could have seen on TV, it is still relatable to understand why one person or even a team of people would not go into social media and post things right after an event that did not make them happy. In a way, this is preferred to ranting about things on Twitter, right?

Now, with everyone up to speed on the matter, here comes the part that made me feel disappointed. Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff did not attend the FIA Prize Giving Gala on December 16th.

I was not aware that Lewis Hamilton and his team's principal missed the event when I drafted an article on the things that can be learned from the last Formula 1 race of the 2021 season.

Fortunately, the fact that Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton were not present at the prize-giving gala does not change my opinion about what happened in the last race of the season. Both congratulated the winner, even though the team contested some decisions made by race control. The former means correct etiquette in the situation, while the latter is a different matter. While a contestation was predictable, not being present at the season-ending gala was not.

In normal circumstances, like the 2019 FIA Prize Giving Gala, the occupants of third, second, and first place are invited on stage in order. As we can see on F1's website, this did not happen this year, and COVID-19 restrictions are to blame, but not entirely, as there is still an audience and the people on stage are not wearing masks.

Regardless, Valtteri Bottas was present to collect his trophy for finishing third in the drivers' championship this year, while the trophy for his (former) team was collected by Chief Technical Officer James Allison.

It is presumed that Lewis Hamilton skipped out on the ceremony as a form of protest, while Toto Wolff confirmed that he will not be present “because of his loyalty to Lewis.” It is understood that missing an event as important as this is seen as unsportsmanlike behavior in many branches of sport.

We all understand why Hamilton and Wolff want to protest, but there are other ways. Moreover, the team had retired its appeals earlier that day and made a statement, which should have been the end of it.

Instead, two especially significant people in the most expensive branch of motorsport decided to protest in a way that reminds us of a “rage-quit” on an online game. It is frowned upon in that environment as well, not just in real life.

I am disappointed that both Hamilton and Wolff decided to follow this course of action. In smaller motorsport divisions, skipping out on the prize gala without a serious reason is punishable by a fine. Lewis can afford to pay a possible fine if that is the decision of the FIA, but it is not about money here. It is about a gesture, and it is also about rules, as regulations compel the people who are supposed to receive awards to be present at the ceremony.

The new president of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, was asked about the incident shortly after being announced as the winner of the vote. The new president of the FIA stated that he wants to analyze the situation before jumping to conclusions, but that rules are rules, and they must be employed.

In other words, there might be a penalty for Lewis, as well as a penalty for his team, if the FIA decides they went against the rules with their protest. While we will have to wait for a decision on the matter, that is now how you are supposed to behave when things do not go your way, and you are an adult.

Editor's note: For illustration purposes, the photo gallery shows various images of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, as well as their teams.

 
 
 
 
 

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