Lewis Hamilton urged to ‘right the wrong’ of last season with spectacular return

Nico Rosberg tells of his willingness to befriend Lewis Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton is not responding to Formula 1’s authorities despite their threats of action after he failed to show up to an end-of-season trophy gala following his controversial title defeat.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the newly-elected FIA president, admitted Lewis Hamilton is not “100 percent”, but he is confident he will not walk away from Formula 1.

Mr Ben Sulayem said in his first press conference there could be “no forgiveness” for a potential rule breach after Hamilton missed the prize-giving event last month.

The new FIA President added: “I sent him messages. I think he’s not ready now to be functioning 100 percent. You don’t blame him. I understand his position, being a driver ‒ of course he’s on a different level.

“But also the rule is there. For me it’s not particular, a driver or a certain team. It is in general, there are rules that we have to respect, and the integrity of the FIA we have to respect. And I cannot judge anyone unless I get the correct facts.”

Hamilton looked poised for a record eighth world title during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – but a late safety car allowed rival Max Verstappen to pit for fresh soft tyres.

The Dutchman was also helped when race director Michael Masi controversially allowed some lapped cars to overtake the safety car, giving Verstappen a free run on Hamilton going into the last lap.

With speculation over Hamilton’s future rife, Labour peer Lord Peter Hain told Express.co.uk that he hopes and expects the Briton will come back next season to “right the wrong” of the 2021 season finale.

He said: “He has got a contract for another two years. I think all of his fans, including me, will hope and expect he comes back to make sure he puts right the wrong that was done to him.

“I’m hoping he will, by his sheer ability, overcome this. He has overcome racism, prejudice. He’s come from a very humble background with an extraordinary father.

“He’s the poor black kid who made it to the top. Most of the other drivers come from very comfortable backgrounds. That’s no criticism of them.

“I think he will be back. Formula 1 will be massively, massively damaged if he doesn’t. He will retire at some point in the next few years of course.

“Formula 1 will have been boosted by his contribution to his sport. There’s no other Formula 1 champion who has had a greater reach into the average citizen right across the world than Lewis”.

While the controversy of last season feels fresh for some, Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has said this week that it will all be soon forgotten.

He said: “People in this business have such very short memories

“We’ve even forgotten what happened [earlier in the year]. It was such a long racing season.

“Max is absolutely a deserving world champion. When you look at the championship as a whole, of course, the events in Abu Dhabi drew an awful lot of comment but that happens in sport.

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“We had a lot of bad luck last year, we got fortunate with a safety car, we made the right strategic calls, great strategy, great teamwork and great execution by Max, and we won the race.

“Time will move on. Max is a very deserving world champion, we are incredibly proud of that, and the history books will always show he is the 2021 world champion.”

According to entertainment website Deadline, Apple could ensure that Formula 1 continues to be in the limelight, and on the big screen.

They report that Apple could win the rights to make a Hollywood film on Formula 1, starring Brad Pitt.

The plot is similar to Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes from 2010 to 2012.

And the original report from Deadline said: “We hear that British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is involved in some capacity”.

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