A bit too close to a race ban for comfort, Lewis Hamilton says he feels the stewards have been “ridiculous” in handing out penalty points this season.
Hamilton is currently sitting on eight penalty points but, for a brief time on Sunday, was up to 10. That’s just two away from an automatic race ban.
The Mercedes driver was hit with a point for each of his two practice start infringements on his way to the grid at the Russian GP.
They were, however, later rescinded with the stewards deciding instead to fine Mercedes.
The reigning World Champion isn’t happy with the situation, feeling the stewards have handed out points for “ridiculous” reasons.
“Are we all on the same page?” he said in the post-race press conference. I don’t think so.
“I’m probably on a different page of the book or I’ve skipped a few pages clearly.
“It’s ridiculous the points that have been given people this year in general.
“Penalty points usually are for – I don’t want to speak on my behalf – from a drivers’ point of view, if you put someone else in danger, you crash into somebody, of course, you should be getting penalty points.
“I did not harm anybody, did not put anybody in harm’s way so ultimately it’s a ridiculous rule – but it is what it is.
“I’ll just make sure I’m squeaky-clean moving forwards. Don’t give them an excuse for anything.”
Hamilton’s eight points are for the following:
Brazil 2019: Collision with Albon = 2
Austria 2020: Ignoring yellow flags in Q3 = 2
Austria 2020: Collision with Albon = 2
Italy 2020: Pitting when pit lane closed = 2
Russian GP race winner Valtteri Bottas was asked for his thoughts on Hamilton’s punishment, saying in his opinion it is a “tricky one”.
The Finn reckons perhaps it is time to study the complete rule book.
“It’s a tricky one,” said Bottas.
“It’s obviously… I don’t know the… even maybe I should know the rule book word by word but I don’t.
“Obviously we always get guidance from the team what we’re allowed to do and what not. There are so many different circumstances and I don’t really know what to say.
“I think it’s tricky.
“For sure they are trying their best no doubt but yeah, I can’t say more.”