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Hamilton makes €50k donation after skipping FIA Prize Giving

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton has made a €50,000 charitable donation to further diversity in motorsport in lieu of an official fine for missing last year's FIA gala.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

FIA Pool

Hamilton was absent from last year's end-of-season prize giving in Paris after his controversial defeat to Red Bull rival Max Verstappen in the Abu Dhabi showdown, breaching the sporting regulations.

Hamilton met with FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Thursday in Bahrain, and said on Friday afternoon that it had been a "good meeting" discussing diversity in motorsport.

The seven-time world champion said he expected a fine as a result of missing the FIA gala, but that it would go to helping "youth from underprivileged backgrounds getting into motorsport engineering".

Hamilton has been working on a number of projects to improve diversity and inclusion in motorsport, including his own charity, Ignite, and The Hamilton Commission, as well as Mercedes' Accelerate 25 programme.

Further details of Hamilton and Ben Sulayem's meeting were revealed by the FIA on Friday evening, including that Hamilton had made a €50,000 donation that will be put towards aiding a student from an underrepresented background to get an education in motorsport.

"FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem met yesterday with seven-time FIA Formula 1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton ahead of the opening round of the 2022 season to discuss the work being done by the FIA and key motor sport stakeholders to build greater diversity and inclusion n the motorsport industry," reads the statement from the FIA.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

"Hamilton shared some of his experiences and findings from the report of the Hamilton Commission, authored by the Royal Academy of Engineering and published last year. One of they key factors identified upon which committeemen to Diversity and Inclusion relies is the implementation of initiatives that are accessible to underrepresented groups.

"The FIA President noted the important foundational work done by the FIA in recent years with projects such as FIA Girls on Track, and commended the commitment shown by Hamilton in projects such as Mission 44 and Ignite.

"In the spirit of commitment to building a more diverse sport in the future, the FIA President gave his full support to Hamilton's decision to make a donation of €50,000 that will be used to support a student from a disadvantaged background in achieving an educational qualification in motorsport.

"The FIA and Hamilton will work together with an independent panel throughout this process.

"Both the FIA President and Hamilton look forward to further positive steps in this area in 2022 and beyond, with Diversity and Inclusion being made a key priority for the Federation."

The statement finished by saying that Hamilton's absence from the FIA gala was discussed, and that the seven-time world champion "acknowledged the important of celebrating the year's achievements with the prize-winners from across motorsport" and "the FIA president reminded Hamilton of his obligation of sportsmanship, particularly in view of his status in motorsport".

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