FIA remove Hamilton’s Russia penalty points

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton interview.jpg

Lewis Hamilton's penalty points from Russian GP removed.

Lewis Hamilton has had his two penalty points at the Russian Grand Prix rescinded by the stewards, while Mercedes have been fined.

The Mercedes driver was completing a practice start ahead of the Russian Grand Prix, though cameras showed him making it well down the pit exit with several drivers swerving over the white line to avoid him as they joined the track to make their way round to the grid.

Hamilton asked over team radio for confirmation that he could do this, to which Mercedes said it was fine.

However, it turned out not to be fine as Hamilton was then given two five-second time penalties during the race, serving both at his only pit stop and therefore dropping out of contention for the win after leading the race up until that point.

Hamilton finished P3 and initially he was also going to get two points added to his superlicence, a decision which was criticised by Hamilton, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and even Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who crossed the line P2.

And the stewards have now gone back to the incident and decided to remove the points from Hamilton’s licence. If they had have stood then Hamilton would have been on 10 for the 12-month period, putting him two away from a one-race ban.

Instead Mercedes will now be fined €25,000 for giving the instruction to Hamilton to complete his practice start.

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After the race Hamilton was furious with the stewards and said they were trying to “stop” him.

“I need to go back and see what the rules are,” Hamilton told Sky F1 in the Sochi paddock.

“I need to see exactly what I did wrong. I’m pretty sure nobody has got two five-second penalties for something so ridiculous before.

“I didn’t put anyone in danger, I’ve done this [type of start] at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned on it.

“But it is what it is.

“They [the stewards] are trying to stop me. But it’s ok, I just need to try keep my head down and stay focused then see what happens.”

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