Lewis Hamilton was left fuming after learning of his 10-second penalty during the Russian Grand Prix which dented his hopes of equalling Michael Schumacher’s race win record. Hamilton was under investigation before the race for doing a practice start outside of the designated area. And the stewards decided the Mercedes driver deserved two five-second penalties for committing the same offence twice.
It was the second offence the Brit had been under investigation for this weekend.
It follows the incident in qualifying where Hamilton was alleged to have overshot the curb at Turn Two.
Four drivers were questioned over the incident but all got away with punishment.
But Hamilton was not so lucky following his practice start ahead of the race.
Half an hour before lights went out in Sochi, an investigation was launched because Hamilton did a practice start at the end of the pit-lane.
Race rules say that practice starts can only be done in the pit-lane itself and stewards decided to give Hamilton two five-second penalties for the incident.
And when informed of the penalty by his team during the race, Hamilton was not happy.
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“What happened? What happened?” he fumed to his team over the radio.
“Where is that in the rule book?”
Hamilton pitted shortly after and waited 10 seconds before a tyre change to serve his penalty.
He returned to the race down in 11th, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas replacing him in first.
Hamilton was aiming to win his 91st career race and equal the record set by the great Schumacher but that may now have to wait until the Eifel Grand Prix on October 11.
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Sky Sports F1 expert David Croft expected Hamilton to face repercussions after seeing the incident.
“The Russian GP event notes state that practice starts may only be carried out on the right hand side after the pit exit lights, and for the avoidance of doubt this is anytime the pit-lane is open for the race,” Croft said.
“You usually see drivers stopping a lot before Hamilton did.
“It then says for reasons of safety, drivers may not stop in the fast lane at any time while the pit exit is open without a justifiable reason, a practice start is not a justifiable reason.
“It doesn’t say you can stop where Lewis Hamilton did for a practice start.
“I think the stewards might take a rather dim view on that one.”
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