Hamilton explains Ben Sulayem relationship: ‘It takes time’
Lewis Hamilton believes his close relationship with FIA President Mohammed bin Sulayem is good for Formula 1 but “takes time” to foster.
Former Emirati rally driver bin Sulayem was elected FIA president in December 2021 as former incumbent Jean Todt came to the end of his term.
Ben Sulayem was immediately faced with battling the fallout from the controversial end of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and working with Hamilton and Mercedes to investigate and ensure a repeat does not happen again.
The only brief disagreement between the drivers and the FIA came around the time of the Miami Grand Prix in May, when the rule prohibiting drivers from wearing jewelry in the car was to be enforced. This mainly affected Hamilton, who adamantly refused to remove his nose piercing, but the rule was not well received by drivers.
However, speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, where he would finish fifth, Hamilton opened up about his relationship with the FIA president.
Hamilton reveals encouraging talks with FIA president
“It’s not an easy role for anyone,” Hamilton told the media, including RacingNews365.com.
“I think it takes time to step into a role and build all the relationships, and also to implement the change, but I think the most important thing at the moment is the drivers.
“We try to build that connection with the riders, all of us at the GPDA are united, and we want to help make racing better.
“We want to help the FIA and Mohammed has been very open with that.
“We’ll just keep working on that communication. I’m in contact with him and we talk a lot, and he’s very, very driven and competitive – he used to race himself.”
“He’s also really into diversity and really pushing for future change – so he wants to collaborate with us on that – I’m very happy about that.”