Hamilton, Wolff won't attend FIA prize-giving gala

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes Formula 1 team boss Toto Wolff will miss this evening's FIA prize-giving gala, amid their ongoing anger at the events of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton, Wolff won't attend FIA prize-giving gala
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While Mercedes has elected to drop its appeal into the FIA's handling of the late-race safety car restart in the F1 season finale, the German car manufacturer remains deeply unhappy about the way the events were handled.

Mercedes had already elected not to send its championship-winning F1 and Formula E cars to Paris for pre-gala photographs, and it has now been confirmed that neither Hamilton nor Wolff will attend.

Speaking to media on Thursday, Wolff said that the squad would be represented to pick up its constructors' championship trophy by its chief technical officer James Allison.

"Both of us won't be there," explained Wolff, when asked if he or Hamilton would be travelling to Paris for the end of season event.

"I won't be there because of my loyalty to Lewis and because of my own personal integrity.

"But we will be represented as a team by James Alison, who will be taking the trophy on behalf of all the people in Brackley and Brixworth who should celebrate our eighth consecutive world championship title, who deserve to be celebrated, because it's a fantastic achievement that we are very proud of."

Wolff admitted that he found it hard to balance the joy of Mercedes winning its eighth constructors' championship against the fury he has with the way the FIA's decisions in the closing stages cost Hamilton the drivers' crown.

"In a way I'm trying to compartmentalize the anger on the outcome of the F1 drivers' championship and, on the other side, the pride and the joy of having achieved something unprecedented and that needs to be celebrated."

Hamilton's absence from the FIA prize gala is a breach of F1's sporting regulations, which makes it mandatory for the top three finishers in the championship to attend.

Article 6.6 of F1's Sporting Regulations states: "The drivers finishing first, second and third in the Championship must be present at the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony."

It is unclear whether or not the FIA will impose any sanction on Hamilton for not going to the event.

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