Did Hamilton rejoin the track in an unsafe manner?

Jamie Woodhouse

Lewis Hamilton will be investigated after FP2 for a possible unsafe return to the track, oh how the tables turn.

Here’s how Friday running played out at the Circuit Paul Ricard…

Renault made sure to shut down any conspiracy theories early…

Nicholas Latifi was back behind the wheel of a Williams, this time replacing George Russell for FP1.

Superlicence points will be up for grabs in free practice from 2020.

Most of the grid decided to play the waiting game, but Ferrari headed out for some early running.

The top runners began to awaken – Valtteri Bottas pumped in a 1:34.695 to take over P1. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen were also looking handy around Paul Ricard.

The Dutchman pushed a little too hard as he spun the RB15 heading into Turn 8.

The Mercedes pair stretched their advantage at the top, while Charles Leclerc improved to P3.

Pierre Gasly joined his Red Bull team-mate in taking a spin across the run-off.

A Mercedes one-two. Wow.

The cameras captured Ferrari officials heading in and out of the FIA building. The world of motorsport was waiting to hear finally whether they would be allowed to appeal Sebastian Vettel’s Canadian GP penalty, but a far more serious crime had been committed.

This session was hot, hot, hot.

Seb made some friends early on…

After finishing P7 in FP1, Lando Norris was looking very impressive again in the afternoon session.

Mercedes soon had enough of Ferrari and Norris’ advances though…

Softs on and porridge supplied, the dominance only grew for the Silver Arrows…

Meanwhile there were issues for Hamilton as he had a major off, but as he rejoined the track an approaching Verstappen went wide. The stewards announced this would be investigated after the race.

30 minutes to go and Verstappen was now over a second slower than Bottas, while also 0.4s down on Vettel in P4 – that moment with Hamilton did him no favours.

Another dominant session for Mercedes came to an end, but all eyes now will be on the outcome of Ferrari’s hearing and the stewards’ decision on the Hamilton/Verstappen case.

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