Explained: Why Lewis Hamilton didn’t ‘jump start’ the Brazilian Grand Prix

Thomas Maher
Lewis Hamilton races at the first start to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton races at the first start to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was seen moving in his grid slot just before the lights went out at the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The seven-time World Champion made a great start to the Brazilian Grand Prix, at the original start immediately prior to the red flag stoppage, as he climbed into third place by vaulting past the Aston Martins ahead of him on the grid.

But eagle-eyed viewers took to social media to question the start after spotting the Mercedes moving just before the red lights went out, in what those users protested as a ‘jumpstart’.

Lewis Hamilton replicates Valtteri Bottas’ ‘jumpstart’ from Hungary 2020

But Hamilton’s start went without any investigation from the FIA stewards, as the British driver had not crossed the white line at the front of his grid slot and thus did not trigger the jump start sensors.

It’s a very similar scenario to what happened with then-Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix. On that occasion, the Finn escaped penalty for having moved in his grid box just before the lights went out.

Then-race director Michael Masi explained the process at the time, saying “The means by which a false start is determined is clearly detailed in the sporting regulations and has been the same process for a number of years.

“The transponder that’s fitted to each car is the judgement mechanism and there is a sensor in the road in the track as well.”

Regardless of his good start, a less successful restart and a lack of pace in the race resulted in Hamilton finishing in eighth place and losing ground to Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Championship.

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