Lewis Hamilton ‘needs to set responsibility’ as FIA support emerges over Qatar GP

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pits at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pits at the Qatar Grand Prix.

F1 pundit Peter Windsor backed the FIA’s revisiting of Lewis Hamilton crossing the track in Qatar, saying the seven-time champion showed “disrespect” for the sport.

Hamilton was eliminated from the Qatar Grand Prix at the first corner after colliding with Mercedes team-mate George Russell, Hamilton’s W14 battered and stranded in the gravel.

But, it was what Hamilton did after exiting the cockpit which has prompted the FIA to revisit the incident due to Hamilton’s “role model status”.

Peter Windsor hits out at Lewis Hamilton disrespect

By walking away from the crash scene and across the track, Hamilton committed a breach of Article 26.7 b) of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, the stewards hitting Hamilton with a €50,000 fine.

The reasoning for the FIA returning to the case has understandably though been a hot topic for debate, with Windsor siding with the FIA on taking this as a very serious matter.

Referencing the tragedy of Tom Pryce, who died at the 1977 South African GP along with the marshal he struck, as well as a comment made regarding Ayrton Senna from an unnamed figure connected to the Las Vegas GP, Windsor said Hamilton should have greater respect for the rules in place due to tragedies of the past.

“Lewis, in Qatar, after the first-corner shunt with George Russell, gets out of his car, but apparently he crossed the track before he was signalled that he could cross the track,” said Windsor in a YouTube livestream.

“And I think that’s a terrible thing to do actually. And I think the FIA are quite right to point out, as a World Champion, as a senior driver, he does need to set a responsibility.

“And I know he would have been thinking of a million other things, but we all remember what happened to Tom Pryce in South Africa, and I hope Lewis does as well. The reason we have these rules today is because of everything that went before us.

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“And for those out there that say, ‘Oh, history isn’t important, it’s boring’…as recently as the build-up for the [Las] Vegas Grand Prix, I’m not going to drop anybody in it here, but somebody very high up in American promotional areas for the Vegas race, when there was talk about Ayrton Senna, he said: ‘Oh, US fans aren’t interested in Ayrton Senna’.

“And I think we actually turn our back on history at our own peril and, yes, it was a minor thing that Lewis did, but it’s respect for the rule, as distinct from the moment that matters, and as a World Champion, you have to show respect for the rules and the history of the sport.

“I’m one of the world’s biggest Lewis fans, but I do think that crossing the track before you are given the okay by the marshals and the race director is just showing disrespect for the history of the sport and some of the terrible things that have happened in the past.”

All eyes are now on the FIA as we wait to hear the result of this re-opening of the Hamilton case.

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