Lewis Hamilton skipped the FIA prize-giving gala in Paris after he felt that the race result at the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was manipulated. The Mercedes driver was disillusioned with the sport and was joined by his team principal Toto Wolff in giving the ceremony a miss.

Michael Schumacher's younger brother, Ralf Schumacher, has hit out at the seven-time world champion for his actions, claiming that it was "not fair" to Max Verstappen. The German, a former Williams driver, feels the Briton should have been present at the gala to congratulate the Red Bull Racing driver on his maiden F1 world title.

Hamilton looked comfortable in the lead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and was cruising to his record-breaking eighth world title until Nicolas Latifi's crash brought out the safety car with six laps remaining. The Mercedes driver's 11 second lead over Verstappen was cut short, and FIA director Michael Masi's decision to allow just five cars to unlap themselves to set up a final lap showdown did not go down well with the Silver Arrows team.

Verstappen took advantage of the situation, and with his fresh set of soft tyres he was able to easily overtake Hamilton on the final lap and claim his maiden title, much to the disappointment of his rivals. Mercedes' immediate appeals were dismissed and they decided not to pursue the matter further after the FIA confirmed that they will be looking into the events that led to the controversial ending of the 2021 season.

However, Hamilton and Wolff continue to remain angry about the events that led to the British racer's loss, which saw them skip the FIA gala in Paris - five days after the chequered flag had been waved in Abu Dhabi. Schumacher feels it was not a good move by Hamilton, as he should have been present to acknowledge his title rival's achievement.

"It's not at all fair to Max Verstappen to skip the gala," Schumacher told Sky Sports Germany.

The Mercedes driver's no-show is a breach of the rules, and newly elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, has indicated that Hamilton will be investigated and will serve a penalty if he is found guilty of breaking the rules.

"If there is any breach, there is no forgiveness on this, forgiveness is always there but rules are rules," he said, as quoted by the Express. "They are there to be improved but we have to look if there is any breach. It doesn't stop us from making a champion feel good about the sport."

Lewis Hamilton
Back in business: Lewis Hamilton will race in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Giuseppe CACACE/POOL