Jun.9 – The Formula 1 Governing Body (FIA) President Jean Todt has revealed that he considered banning Lewis Hamilton for six races following the McLaren driver’s ill timed racial joke two weeks ago in Monaco GP. Enraged at having yet more penalties forced by the stewards, for his unruly driving, during the race weekend, Hamilton – the 2008 world champion – joked that “Maybe it’s because I’m black”.
Following him transparently punted out Pastor Maldonado in the closing phase of the Monaco race and also acquires a drive through after an altercation with Felipe Massa.
Fearing a disrepute charge, the McLaren driver returned to the stewards’ office late on Sunday to apologise to the FIA, which he followed up with a further apology in writing.
“Lewis wrote to me and I wrote to him,” FIA president Todt told British newspapers including the Guardian. “I did not advertise it. It’s between him and the FIA. I could have asked our judicial court to address the problem. We never officially opened the case. “Maybe it would have been a better decision to put him to the court. To ban him for six grands prix. But he wrote to me and I wrote to him and the thing is over,” added the Frenchman.
He showed the correspondence to selected reporters earlier this week and it demonstrated that Todt rebuked Hamilton in his letter but insisted the matter is now closed.
“I am trying to maintain a good harmony amongst everybody,” Todt is quoted by the Telegraph. “I have tried to avoid controversy. I could have leaked the letter but it’s between him and the FIA. (In Monaco) my office was next to the stewards. Every time I went to see them I avoided making any comment. For me what Lewis said was unacceptable but I didn’t want to overreact,” admitted Todt.
Prior to entering Formula 1 in 2007, Hamilton raced for the ART Grand Prix team in the GP2 Series – with whom he became champion with in 2006 – which was run by Todt’s son Nicolas Todt.
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