A fan has claimed that Lewis Hamilton has given him his third-place trophy from the 2023 F1 season, a gesture that followed his earlier criticism of the governing body for their treatment of Susie Wolff - a claim which Mercedes have denied.
The end of the 2023 Formula 1 season was celebrated at the annual FIA prize-giving gala in Baku, where the top three drivers were presented with trophies in recognition for their achievements.
However, the ceremony came at an unfortunate moment for the FIA, which is facing criticism for its treatment of F1 Academy director Wolff.
Following the week's drama, Hamilton made headlines again when a fan claimed to have attended the ceremony and been given Hamilton's trophy, posting pictures of what he claimed to be the Brit's award online.
Nihad Nesirli responded to a comment on X claiming that Hamilton had left the trophy at the ceremony, saying: “Hello. I was at the Gala yesterday. Lewis Hamilton gave me the award and left. I have the prize at home now.”
Hello. I was at the Gala yesterday. Lewis Hamilton gave me the award and left. I have the prize at home now. pic.twitter.com/dNg7TSk0Ir
Mercedes have now responded to the claims, releasing a statement regarding the photos and insisting that the trophy had been left with FIA officials to send to the team.
“Immediately after leaving the stage, and as has been done at previous prizegivings, Lewis accepted the offer from officials for the trophy to be sent on to the team and therefore left it in their care,” said the Mercedes statement.
“We can confirm he did not give the trophy to anyone ‘as a gift’ as has been speculated.”
It's still unclear exactly what unfolded at the event in Azerbaijan, and indeed what the lucky poster actually got his hands on if not Hamilton's trophy.
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