Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed that neither he nor Lewis Hamilton will attend the FIA prize giving gala in Paris this evening.
The ceremony, which is held following the conclusion of each Formula 1 season, is usually attended by the top-three finishers in the Drivers’ Championship.
However Hamilton, who ended the 2021 campaign in second place, will not be present at the gala. Wolff, who led Mercedes to its eighth consecutive Constructors’ trophy, will also be absent.
It is unclear if Hamilton will face consequences for skipping the event, as Article 6.6 of the Sporting Regulations states that “the drivers finishing first, second and third in the Championship must be present at the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony”.
Mercedes’ 2021 championship-winning F1 and Formula E cars were not at the prize giving gala photoshoot on Wednesday.
Wolff confirmed that technical chief James Allison is due to represent Mercedes at the gala.
“Both of us won’t be there,” said Wolff, on he and Hamilton. “And 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, 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.
“They deserve to be celebrated, because it’s a fantastic achievement that we are very proud of. And in a way I’m trying to compartmentalise the anger on the outcome of the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship and on the other side the pride and the joy of having achieved something unprecedented. That needs to be celebrated.”
Valtteri Bottas is due to be present to collect his trophy for finishing third.