Lewis Hamilton fumes over FIA’s track limits policing after Austrian GP penalty

Thomas Maher
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Austrian Grand Prix. Spielberg, July 2023.

Lewis Hamilton is one of several drivers to have picked up a track limits penalty in the early stages of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was the first driver to be given a five-second time penalty during the Austrian Grand Prix, having exceeded track limits on more than three occasions during the first 15 laps of the race at the Red Bull Ring.

Track limits have been a constant talking point during the race weekend in Spielberg, with lap time deletions coming thick and fast during the qualifying session and Sprint racing on Saturday – leading to criticism from several front-running drivers.

Lewis Hamilton given a five-second time penalty

At a third of the race distance in Austria, Hamilton is one of four drivers to have been given time penalties for having exceeded track limits. The Mercedes driver, who runs fifth as the race approaches the halfway mark, was left disgruntled by the penalty as he radioed in to complain about his W14 “just not turning”.

The Mercedes driver also got on the radio to report Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for exceeding track limits on several occasions, saying “Since they’re handing them out now, he’s exceeding limits every lap!”

With Hamilton clearly upset by the penalty, team boss Toto Wolff has got on the radio to try calming his driver by reassuring him that many more drivers, including those ahead of him, will likely pick up similar penalties.

Austrian Grand Prix marred by penalties and warnings

Hamilton’s penalty was handed out at the same time AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was given a similar penalty, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon have also been given five-second time penalties.

Tsunoda attempted to serve his penalty during his pit stop, but has since come under investigation for failing to serve the penalty correctly – meaning AlphaTauri likely didn’t keep him stationary for the full five seconds without the car being worked on.

Williams’ Alex Albon, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll are also on black and white flags, meaning they will be penalised if they exceed track limits on one more occasion during the second half of the Grand Prix.

Separately, Nyck de Vries has been given a five-second penalty for forcing another car off the track after a dice with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

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