Lewis Hamilton twice the victim in flurry of post-Dutch GP qualy steward summons

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton makes his way through the paddock at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton makes his way through the paddock at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Budapest, July 2023.

Lewis Hamilton was twice on the receiving end of potential impeding incidents as the stewards revealed their busy to-do list after Dutch Grand Prix qualifying.

It was a disappointing qualifying outing for Hamilton who dropped out at the Q2 stage, missing that vital window as the track rapidly dried towards the end of the session, but that was certainly not the only cause of damage done to the Mercedes driver.

Carlos Sainz, Oscar Piastri, Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda also found themselves subject to the steward’s attention after qualifying.

Stewards to decide if Lewis Hamilton was twice impeded

Hamilton was the victim of two potential impeding incidents, with both Tsunoda and Stroll facing the stewards over these encounters also involving the Mercedes driver.

Tsunoda was ultimately found guilty of impeding Hamilton, meaning he drops three places on the Dutch GP grid from P14 to P17, while no further action was taken against Stroll.

Meanwhile, Sainz escaped a penalty for a ‘potentially dangerous manoeuvre’, stemming from an incident with Piastri where the Aussie was perhaps pushed off the track by Sainz through turns 1 and 2, Piastri and Sainz visiting the stewards to give their sides of the tale.

And while Sainz was hit with a reprimand for the incident, Ferrari were the ones truly counting the costs, with a fine of €5000 sent their way.

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“The stewards heard from the driver of Car ​55 (Carlos Sainz), the driver of Car ​81 (Oscar Piastri), team representatives and reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, video, team radio and in-car video evidence,” the verdict begins.

“Sainz was exiting the pits and immediately moved to the racing line before Turn 2. In doing so Piastri who was on track, had to take avoiding action and was partially
forced off track and onto the grass.

“In the opinion of the stewards this was a “Potentially Dangerous” manoeuvre, and a crash was only avoided by the actions of Piastri.

“The stewards listened to the radio of [Valtteri] Bottas, who was the car that exited the pits immediately ahead of Sainz, and Bottas was given ample warning of Piastri approaching on the track. By comparison Sainz was warned not to cross the white line at the exit of the pits, and was not warned about Piastri until he was already alongside.

“Sainz explained that he had briefly caught sight of Piastri as he was rounding Turn 1 at the pit exit and gauged that Piastri was on a slow lap. From then on he did not see Piastri because of the relative angle of the cars. He also explained that he was trying to get to the drying line as quickly as possible.

“While the stewards understand this explanation, in their opinion, Sainz’s rapid move to the line, while unable to see a car that he knew was in the area created a “Potentially
Dangerous” situation. The stewards also felt that the team contributed to this situation and therefore issue a team fine.”

Sainz then hangs on to his P6 grid slot, while Piastri will launch from P8.

Hamilton is due to start P13 after his disappointing and surprise Q2 exit.

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