Lewis Hamilton triggers Mercedes reprimand before home race weekend even begins

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton in the press conference. Silverstone July 2023.

Lewis Hamilton speaks at the pre-race press conference at the British Grand Prix. Silverstone July 2023.

Mercedes already incurred the wrath of the stewards on Thursday at Silverstone as Lewis Hamilton arrived late for his media duties.

The stewards were working overtime at the last race weekend in Austria, handing out a plethora of post-race track limits which shifted the final classification. Their work has now started early at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

It was noted that Hamilton, who has a record eight British GP victories to his name, was late for his press conference duties on the Thursday.

It is Mercedes though who took the blame for that, having been in control of his schedule. The team therefore were hit with a reprimand.

Mitigating factors not enough for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton

In their statement, the stewards wrote: “The stewards received a report from the Media Delegate that the the driver of Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), was late for the Thursday press conference.

“The stewards heard from the team representative and determined that the driver was indeed late for the press conference.

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“The team representative noted that his driver’s schedule was controlled by the team, and given that this was his home race, the schedule was extremely busy.

“In addition, it is difficult for Hamilton to move through the paddock. While the stewards understand this to be the case, it is also true that this is an activity required by the regulations, that late attendance is disruptive to the press conference, and that there is significant interest by the media in talking to the drivers who’s access is limited.

“The stewards considered that these activities on Thursday of the race weekend are different than pre-race activities which have an effect on the flow of the competition
and can provide an advantage to a driver’s preparation.

“Activities on Thursday are generally organized by the teams and the drivers follow the instructions of their team coordinators.

“Therefore, the stewards determined that the most appropriate penalty was to the team rather than to the driver. As some leeway has been given previously the stewards consider a reprimand to the team to be appropriate, with the warning that further penalties may be considered in case of repetition.”

Mercedes have brought further upgrades for their W14 challenger to the British Grand Prix, where Red Bull will be looking to make it 10 wins from 10 to start the season.

Read next: Mercedes’ F1 2023 recovery continues with key British GP upgrade for W14