Hamilton and Russell react to FIA’s “obscene” new €1m fines

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

The FIA has announced that the maximum fines drivers can receive have been increased from €250k to €1m. Lewis Hamilton explains there’s only one way “they’ll get that million from me”.

The FIA has announced they have increased the maximum fines drivers can receive from €250,000 to €1,000,000.

Ahead of the United States Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was asked to give his thoughts on this development.

It’s the first time I’ve heard of it,” the Briton said.

“So I’m not really sure what it’s referring to exactly. I think we need to… when it comes to things like this I really do think we need to be thinking about the message that this sends out to those that are watching.

“If they are going to fining people a million, let’s make sure one hundred per cent of that goes to a cause.

“There’s a lot of money in this whole industry and a lot more that we need to do in terms of creating better accessibility, better diversity, more opportunities for people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to get into a sport like this. So many causes around the world.

“That’s the only way they’ll get that million from me,” Hamilton concluded.

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His team-mate George Russell said the fines are “getting out of control” with numbers “being plucked out the air”.

“I think it’s pretty ridiculous that a driver could be fined €1m,” George said.

“In my first year of Formula 1, I was on a five-figure salary and actually lost over six figures in that first year from paying for my trainer, paying for flights, paying for an assistant and that’s probably the case for 25 per cent of the grid.

“We’re doing what we love, so we’re not complaining about that. But if you take a year one driver who probably by the end of the year is losing over €100,000 because of the investments he has to make, you fine them a million. What’s going to happen?”

“We’ve requested before from the FIA to hear where these fines are going toward, what causes they’re going to. It needs to be reinvested into grassroots, but so far we’ve had no response on where that’s going.

“If they truly believe a €1m fine is worthwhile and it’s going to be reinvested into the sport, then maybe one of the drivers who’s being paid a lot is happy to pay that fine.

“But it seems obscene,” the Briton concluded.

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