FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem says he is very supportive of Lewis Hamilton and “really wanted him to win that eighth title”, but “you can’t let people off because they are your friends”.
Lewis Hamilton and the FIA are currently involved in a quarrel over the governing organization’s jewellery ban.
Well, after the race in Miami the Briton said he won’t comply, adding that he “got an exemption” in Miami and will “get an exemption for the rest of the year”.
In a recent interview with Sportsmail, FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem was asked if the FIA was targeting Lewis with this clampdown.
“Never,” he answered.
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“After Brazil [the 2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix] I wished him all the best as he was getting on the plane home. You can ask Toto Wolff how supportive I was.
“I was free then because I wasn’t president. I really wanted him to win that eighth title, because records are there to be broken.
“People say I did what Lewis and Toto wanted by removing Michael Masi. I mean, I do that for them and then I have it in for them – it doesn’t make sense.
“Lewis saw a doctor in Miami to discuss the jewellery issue – and, guess what, he was a British doctor. I am simply saying the rules are there. It’s not for me to decide the merits of the science – it’s for the medics.
“I would like Lewis to be a role model, an ambassador, to send the right message to all the young drivers to prevent a tragedy. We should be using him in that good cause.”
“I love jewellery, I absolutely love it,” Ben Sulayem continued.
Ahead of the Miami Grand Prix Lewis said he tried to reach Ben Sulayem to discuss the ban, but wasn’t able to. The FIA President he has since apologized to Hamilton for not responding.
“But in the car there can be no choice. People say [the rules] haven’t been implemented before. Don’t ask me why not. People can ask the old regime why that is the case.”
He was then asked what will happen if Lewis really disobeys the ban in Monaco.
“That’s up to him. There are fines that apply. It’s like if someone speeds on the roads – you can’t stop them doing it but they get fined, even if it was accidental.
“You can’t let people off because they are your friends. There has to be one rule for all, and that’s that,” Ben Sulayem concluded.