Lewis Hamilton will pay 50,000 euros after his absence from the gala

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MANAMA — Lewis Hamilton will pay 50,000 euros ($55,340) to help a disadvantaged student get into motorsport, Formula One’s governing body said on Friday after discussing the seven-time world champion’s absence from the last year’s awards gala.

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The Mercedes driver skipped the FIA ​​ceremony in December after a controversial final race of the season in Abu Dhabi denied him a record eighth title and handed it instead to Red Bull rival Max Verstappen.

Presence is mandatory in the top three of the Championship with Hamilton, who felt robbed by what had happened, risking a fine for his absence.

The FIA ​​said in a statement at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix that Hamilton met with new FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, an Emirati, on Thursday to discuss diversity and inclusion.

“The FIA ​​President has given his full support to Hamilton’s decision to donate 50,000 euros which will be used to help a student from a disadvantaged background obtain a motorsport qualification,” he said. -he declares.

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“The FIA ​​President and Hamilton look forward to further positive steps in this area in 2022 and beyond, with diversity and inclusion becoming a key priority for the Federation.”

The FIA ​​said the circumstances which led to Hamilton’s absence from the awards were also discussed and the Briton acknowledged the importance of attending.

“The FIA ​​President reminded Hamilton of his obligation of sportsmanship, especially given his status in motorsport,” he added.

Hamilton, the sport’s only black driver, has pushed for diversity and wider access to motorsport after emerging from a disadvantaged background to become one of the highest-paid athletes in the world.

He set up a commission in 2020 and last year made a personal pledge of £20million.

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