The FIA rectifies at the last minute after Hamilton's bitter complaints: “They are trying to stop me”

The FIA rectifies at the last minute after Hamilton's bitter complaints: “They are trying to stop me”

The commissioners change the two penalty points on the British card for a simple fine of 25,000 euros to Mercedes.

The FIA rectifies at the last minute after Hamilton's bitter complaints:

The International Federation (FIA) waited until late Sunday afternoon to issue a correction that stunned the entire Sochi paddock . The stewards of the Russian GP removed the two penalty points on Lewis Hamilton's super license and settled the matter with a 25,000 euro fine for Mercedes. This closed a most turbulent weekend for the six-time champion, who must still await Michael Schumacher's record of 91 victories for his assault.

Third place, behind Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen , was a drop in the bucket for those who are used to such huge challenges. As on Saturday, when he found himself on the ropes in Q2 after repeatedly pushing the limits of the track, Hamilton surprised in the race with a couple of beginner errors. Two start drills, a quarter of an hour before the traffic light went out, punished by the stewards with a 10-second stop and go . The goodbye to victory coincided with the beginning of his rage.

First he slipped it on the radio: “It seems the commissioners are trying to stop me.” Later, during the official press conference, he developed it in more detail. “The sanctions this year are ridiculous. The punishment should be applied when you put a pilot in danger or crash into someone, but I did not harm anyone, so it is a ridiculous rule.

“Try to leave enough space”

Neither at that time, nor two hours before, when he had violated the rule, did he take into account the criteria of Michael Masi , the race director, who at the beginning of this week had reiterated his warning to all the drivers. Starts at the end of the pit lane would be punished, a critical spot where rival cars begin to accelerate hard.

At least, Hamilton could avoid the blush of retiring two more points on his super-license. At 6:58 p.m., the stewards completely changed their criteria, with no more evidence available than the Mercedes radio. The messages in which Peter Bonnington , his track engineer, wrongly informed him that he could practice exits outside of pit lane.

There is a lot of rubber here. Can I go out to the end? ”Lewis asked. “Yes. Try to leave enough space for them to overtake you », replied his faithful Bono . In the interpretation of article 36.1 of the regulations was the unexpected swerve of the race director and his commissioners. It should be remembered that only three weeks ago Hamilton starred in a controversial scene at Masi's offices during the Italian GP. Those protests in Monza after entering a closed pit lane seemed to crystallize this Sunday on the shores of the Black Sea.

In any case, Hamilton will retain four points on his card with which to face the four races that remain until November 19, the one year after his first offense. At Nurburgring, Portimao, Imola and Istanbul, he will be able to surpass the Schumacher mark and increase those 44 points that he now has over Bottas.

Since the introduction of the points system in 2014, no rider has completed the sanctions cycle. Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat , with 10 penalty units, were the closest. Last year, Mahaveer Raghunathan , an Indian F2 driver, where this modality is also applied, did lose all his points.

The last driver in the premier class to be forced out was Romain Grosjean at the Italian GP in 2012. A week earlier, the Frenchman had caused a terrible accident at the start of the Belgian GP, so his Lotus had to be occupied in Monza by Jérôme d'Ambrosio .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *