Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton could be facing punishment from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stewards after being summoned following the third practice session.
Original story: Hamilton is off to see the stewards at the Yas Marina Circuit as the British driver has been called to visit them following an alleged transgression in FP3.
The session was red-flagged briefly due to Pierre Gasly sustaining a puncture on his AlphaTauri after running over kerbing at the exit of Turn 9.
With debris on the circuit, the session was neutralised as Hamilton proceeded to quickly pass McLaren’s Lando Norris and a Haas into Turn 4 before slowing his pace.
Norris pointed out Hamilton’s overtaking transgression before Race Control confirmed the issue would be looked at following the session.
Sergio Perez set the pace at the front of FP3 to beat his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen by 0.152 seconds with Hamilton slotting into third, a quarter of a second down on Perez. But he now faces a potential grid penalty, given TV footage showed Hamilton overtaking two cars after they had already slowed.
The stewards have summoned Hamilton on the grounds of an alleged breach of Article 18.104.22.168 (b) of the International Sporting Code, namely overtaking under red flags.
Jenson Button, speaking on Sky F1, thought the illuminated display boards were flashing yellow rather than red when Hamilton passed Norris and then the Haas.
“To me, it looked like he overtook on a yellow flag,” said the 2009 World Champion, talking over onboard camera footage. “He goes past Lando first of all and there’s a yellow flag on the right-hand side. It doesn’t look red, it looks yellow.”
Presenter Simon Lazenby then suggested to Button that from the reverse camera shot, the board was flashing red.
“But you didn’t see that as a red light board from the front,” added Button, just before the actual red flag was waved after Hamilton and the Haas had gone past.
“It should have been a red but it looked like the front of the board was a yellow.”
Button hoped consistency with previous incidents would be reached within the outcome, saying: “That’s exactly what all the drivers want – [for] it to be the same for every single driver at every circuit in the same circumstances.
“But it will hurt his race a lot.”