Within the wake of the Hamilton’s defeat to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi, the results of the FIA’s security automobile restart name which allowed Verstappen to make a last lap move of their winner-takes-all showdown for the drivers’ championship, the Mercedes driver and his boss declined to take part in the annual prize-giving event.
Hamilton’s absence, as runner up within the title chase, is a breach of F1’s sporting rules which might result in a possible sanction from the governing physique.
However whereas Mercedes’ ongoing frustration about the Abu Dhabi controversy has been the most important speaking level forward of the Gala, Todt insisted he didn’t need the occasion ruined by the detrimental scenario.
As a substitute, he reckoned that the main target ought to be on celebrating Verstappen’s title success, the Dutchman accumulating his maiden F1 drivers’ championship trophy after Mercedes elected to withdraw its appeal into the Abu Dhabi race final result.
Requested for his emotions concerning the absence of Hamilton and Wolff, Todt stated: “I feel tonight we should always have a good time, quite than making an attempt to get into any sort of controversy. There isn’t any level. What would it not give?
“I feel, in a method, I really feel sorry, as a result of Mercedes ought to have far more reward, as eight-time world champion for the producers is exclusive.
“However this younger man [Verstappen] has made an excellent job, and that is what we should always concentrate on, quite than saying ‘Are we going to punish [Hamilton] as a result of he isn’t coming?’”
Todt added that he would have favored to acknowledge one other nice season for Hamilton, in a 12 months when he felt Mercedes was the higher squad.
Pink Bull Racing Staff Principal Christian Horner shakes palms with second positioned Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
Picture by: Getty Photographs / Pink Bull Content material Pool
Describing Hamilton as “an excellent champion”, Todt stated he can be missed on the occasion.
“He has been a tremendous mixture. In all probability [the] finest automobile, and finest crew and he by no means does a mistake,” he stated.
“This time merely [Max] received 10 grands prix and we should always discover that outstanding.”
Todt leaves his function as FIA president on Friday, however earlier than his departure he has set up a probe to look into the events of the Abu Dhabi safety car restart – and see what rule adjustments might be made sooner or later to make sure there isn’t any repeat.
“Are we excellent? We’re not excellent,” he stated.
“And by the way, that is why I’ve prompt to have a full assessment to see what must be improved, in gentle of what has occurred. However not just for this race, what has occurred over the 12 months.
“Ought to we refuse if we will enhance? We must always not. We must be perfectionists, and, in a method, F1 is the results of perfection.
“You realize, an incredible driver is just not sufficient. A terrific automobile is just not sufficient. So all must be mixed to achieve success.”
The Security Automobile Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
Picture by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images
Whereas Todt acknowledges Verstappen was fortunate with the security automobile restart in Abu Dhabi, he thinks over the course of the season there have been occasions when Verstappen misplaced out by way of no fault of his personal.
“I feel he will get what he deserves,” stated Todt.
“He made an incredible season. It is human, you already know, to concentrate on the final lap. It’s true that he was very fortunate within the final lap.
“However you need to see the entire season. Was he fortunate in Silverstone? Was he fortunate in Azerbaijan? Was he fortunate in Budapest? He was not, you already know.”