Lewis Hamilton has revealed that the 'only way' he'll pay the FIA's new maximum fine of €1million (£870,000) that has been branded as 'ridiculous' and 'obscene' by other drivers, is if he knows that the money is going to a good cause.
The FIA announced earlier this week at a meeting of the World Motorsport Council in Geneva that they would be quadrupling the maximum amount that Formula 1 drivers will have to pay for breaking the rules, rising from €250,000 to €1 million.
It was the first change of it's nature to be made for 12 years, and has been written into the FIA's International Sporting Code.
It has led to much uproar from drivers, including Hamilton, who wants to see exactly where the money will be going before he parts ways with his cash.
"It’s the first time I’ve heard of it, I’m not really sure what it’s referring to exactly," Hamilton spoke of the new ruling ahead of the US Grand Prix.
"When it comes to things like this, I really do think we need to be thinking about the message that this sends out to those that are watching.
"If they are going to be fining people a million, let’s make sure one hundred per cent of that goes to a cause.
"There’s a lot of money in this whole industry and a lot more that we need to do in terms of creating better accessibility, better diversity, more opportunities for people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to get into a sport like this. So many causes around the world.
"That’s the only way they’ll get that million from me."
"We've requested before from the FIA to hear what these fines are going towards, what causes they're going to," Russell told the media.
"It needs to be reinvested into grassroots, but so far, we've had no response on where that's going.
"So we'd love to get some clarity and transparency.
"If they truly believe a €1m fine is worthwhile and they're going to reinvest it into the sport, maybe one of the drivers who's been paid a lot is happy to pay that fine, but it seems obscene."
Magnussen: New FIA ruling 'sounds ridiculous'
The five drivers that were all taking part in Thursday's press conference (Hamilton, Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen) all seemed to be stunned by the news, and hadn't even heard about it before being asked questions.
Haas driver Magnussen joked that he would 'disappear' if given the new maximum fine for an infringement in the rules.
"Yeah, I don’t know what offence it is to be a million but that sounds ridiculous," he said.
"I mean, Charles can give his watch – but I would disappear, never to be found again."
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