Ben Sulayem: I wish Lewis was a role model
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has spoken out about the ongoing “jewelry” saga between Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1’s governing body, urging the seven-time world champion to be a role model.
One of the main talking points in the Miami paddock has been the FIA’s decision to crack down on drivers wearing jewelry at races and the insistence on the use of fire-resistant underwear, which some consider as targeting Ben Sulayem’s British superstar Hamilton.
Ben Sulayem, however, scoffed at the claims when asked about them by Sportsmail and said: “Never.
“After Brazil (a race Hamilton won brilliantly last November despite multiple grid penalties to prepare for a possible championship title), I wished him all the best as he flew home. his home.
“You can ask Toto Wolff how supportive I was,” added the Emirati. “I was free then because I was not president. I really wanted him to win this eighth title, because records are there to be broken.
The former rally driver wondered how people claimed he favored Hamilton and Mercedes when he sacked Michael Masi as race director, then claimed he now singled out the Briton.
“People say I did what Lewis and Toto wanted by removing Michael Masi,” he said. “I mean, I do this for them and then I have it for them – it doesn’t make sense.
“Lewis saw a doctor in Miami to discuss the jewelry problem – and guess what, it was a British doctor. I’m just saying the rules are there. It’s not for me to decide the merits of the science , it’s up to the doctors,” insisted the FIA president.
Hamilton should send the right message to young drivers
Ben Sulayem doesn’t want to set a precedent by giving Hamilton a free pass to bend the rules where he should set an example for others while suggesting it was during the reign of his predecessor, Jean Todt, that the rule long-standing has not been implemented.
“I would like Lewis to be a role model, an ambassador, to send the right message to all young drivers to avoid tragedy,” he said. “We should use it for this good cause.
“I love jewelry,” Ben Sulayem continued. “I love it. But in the car there is no choice. People say they (the rules) haven’t been implemented before. Don’t ask me why. People can ask to the old regime why this is the case.
Hamilton has been granted an exemption all the way to Monaco to sort out some of his jewelery which cannot simply be removed, but the Briton has hinted he will continue to resist the FIA’s decision at the risk of paying a hefty fine.
“It’s up to him,” Ben Sulayem said of Hamilton’s stance. “There are fines that apply. It’s like someone speeding on the roads – you can’t stop them from doing it but they get fined, even if it was accidental.
“You can’t let people go because they’re your friends. There must be one rule for everyone, and that’s it,” insisted Ben Sulayem, 60.