Hamilton not responding to FIA president's messages

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Recently elected FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says that he has reached out to Lewis Hamilton but has yet to receive a response from the Mercedes driver.

Hamilton has remained in blackout mode with the media and out of the public eye since losing the F1 title to Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi.

The Briton enjoyed his Knighthood at Windsor Castle in the aftermath of the controversial race and indulged in the Mercedes team's Constructors' title celebrations at Brackely but has otherwise gone under the radar, snubbing the FIA's prize-giving gala in Paris and steering clear of social media.

Speaking this weekend to Spain's Marca at the start of the Dakar rally-raid in Saudi Arabia, Sulayem hasn't heard back from the seven-time world champion despite sending the latter multiple messages.

"I sent him messages, yes, I think he is not 100 percent ready yet and I understand his position," said the FIA president who vowed to hold Hamilton accountable for breaching F1's sporting rues for not attending last month's gala in Paris.

"But there are also rules that must be accepted by all drivers. For me, there is no particular team or driver, out of respect for the integrity of the FIA.

"But I cannot judge until I have all the data and the first thing on my agenda is to thoroughly analyse what happened in Abu Dhabi.

"In the end, we are all human and the stress and pressure were there, so I think it will all work out. You have to look more to the future than to the past."

Despite a whirlwind of rumors claiming that Hamilton could call it a day on his career in F1, Sulayem doubts that the 103-time Grand Prix winner will throw in the towel.

"No, I don't think so, they are rumours..." added Ben Sulayem. "Has he declared that he will not return? No.

"When you are a driver, you speak for yourself and not what others say about you.

"I trust that this is not the case, Lewis is an important part of the sport and of F1, his achievements. Verstappen is there... I am sure we will find a very exciting F1 next season."

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