Lewis Hamilton questions FIA’s sustainability efforts for hosting the F1 Gala at Baku

The FIA Gala in 2023 is being held at Baku in Azerbaijan rather than Paris, where the FIA is headquartered.

Lewis Hamilton questions FIA’s sustainability efforts for hosting the F1 Gala at Baku

Lewis Hamilton (Via IMAGO)

The FIA hosts a gala every single year after the conclusion of the Formula One season, held at a different venue every time. The occasion takes place annually and is attended by most of the grid unless a team opts not to attend such as Mercedes missing the 2021 F1 Gala. Missing the Gala is deemed unsporting and has not occurred since Mercedes failed to appear in 2021. In 2023, the gala was hosted by Baku, Azerbaijan.

As the FIA is headquartered in Paris, Lewis Hamilton had some doubts regarding the location choice for the gala. Hamilton questioned why the FIA could not have held the gala in Paris, where they could save a lot to prevent emissions and travel pollution, especially as F1 is extremely enthusiastic about sustainability.

I wonder if the FIA is really thinking about sustainability, because so many people are flown here and you are actually sitting in Paris.The FIA is based in Paris, and it would have been very easy to do [the gala] there.

Hamilton had also found other issues with the FIA at the gala, relating to the investigation into Susie Wolff. The seven-time World Champion is usually cooperative with the motorsports organization, but his relationship with them has taken a slight turn for the worse in the past few days.

Lewis Hamilton says specific officials need to be noted

Lewis Hamilton has never had a high level of cordiality with the FIA, especially since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021, which split the community into two. Now, Hamilton has made further statements criticizing the FIA for multiple things, during the F1 gala held in Baku.

Lewis Hamilton and Susie Wolff
Lewis Hamilton and Susie Wolff (via Sky Sports F1)

One of the issues he raised was of sustainability and travel,  but the 103-time-race winner’s primary objective was to bring to light the situation with the investigation into Susie and Toto Wolff. With the leakage of information being the accusation, a furious Lewis Hamilton called for picking out specific officials from the organization and holding them accountable.

It seems there are certain individuals in the leadership of the FIA that every time we try and make a step forward they are trying to pull us back, and that has to change.

With the conclusion of the investigation though, the drama causing havoc in the community seems to be abated for now, though Susie Wolff still wants the FIA to take some measure of responsibility. Toto Wolff has confirmed the beginning of legal processes by Mercedes with the FIA involved as well.

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