Lewis Hamilton slapped with hefty fine as FIA issue double Qatar GP decision

Thomas Maher
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton looks on at his crashed Q14 during the Qatar Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton looks on at his crashed W14 during the Qatar Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton was investigated by the FIA stewards for two separate incidents during the Qatar Grand Prix.

Hamilton found himself reporting to the stewards following his Lap 1 retirement from the Qatar GP, as the Mercedes man was investigated for two different incidents despite his short participation in the race.

The seven-time World Champion retired at Turn 1 on the opening lap following a collision between himself and Mercedes teammate George Russell as Hamilton tried to overtake around the outside after making a great start to the race.

Lewis Hamilton investigated for George Russell collision

Hamilton’s part in the incident with Russell, for which he has since come forward to take full responsibility and blame for, was investigated by the stewards who ruled no further action was necessary against the British driver.

Investigated for allegedly causing a collision, a breach of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, the stewards verdict was detailed in the hours after the race.

“Cars 44 [Hamilton], 63 [Russell] and 1 [Verstappen] entered Turn 1 three-wide with [Hamilton] trying to make a move on [Russell] around the outside,” they said.

“When turning in, the rear-right wheel of [Hamilton] made contact with the front left edge of [Russell], causing [Hamilton] to spin off track. [Russell] also spun but was able to continue the race after that.

“Whilst the argument can be made that [Hamilton] was predominantly at fault, the Stewards, taking into account that the incident happened in Lap 1 and several cars were involved, determine that the incident is considered as a typical “Lap 1, Turn 1” incident and no driver is wholly at fault. Therefore no further action is taken.”

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Lewis Hamilton investigated for crossing the track

With the race neutralised under the Safety Car, Hamilton decided to cut back to the pitlane by crossing the track directly on foot in order to reach the correct side of the tarmac.

But, with the race ongoing, this was an alleged breach of Article 26.7 (b) of F1’s Sporting Regulations – and Hamilton was duly found in breach.

He has been given a reprimand, his first of the season, as well as being given a €50,000 fine. However, €25,000 of this fine will be suspended on condition that Hamilton does not commit any further transgressions between now and the end of the season.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 44 [Hamilton], team representative and reviewed video evidence,” read the verdict.

“After crashing out of the race in Lap 1, t[Hamilton] abandoned his car in the gravel and ran back to the pits. He thereby crossed the track that was live at this time and reached the inside edge of the track just seconds before [Russell] arrived at high speed after exiting the pits. He then continued to walk alongside the track until finally exiting the track.

“During the hearing, [Hamilton] was very apologetic and realized that the situation could have been very dangerous for him as well as the drivers approaching. The Stewards reinforced the fact that crossing a live track can cause extremely dangerous situations and the drivers have to be very cautious about it.

“In addition to imposing a significant fine (which is suspended in parts), the Stewards also reprimand the driver bearing in mind that receiving a certain number of reprimands during a season will draw a significant driving penalty in accordance with Article 18.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

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