Grand prix

F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton escapes penalty after red flag investigation | F1

Hamilton was seen passing both Lando Norris’ McLaren and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas at Turn 5 when red flags were shown after Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri shedded debris onto the track. 

The seven-time world champion and a Mercedes team representative were summoned to the Abu Dhabi stewards’ office following the session. 

After hearing from Hamilton and reviewing positioning, marshalling system data, telemetry, team radio and in-car video footage, the stewards determined that no penalty should be applied despire there being “no dispute” that Hamilton overtook Magnussen under red flag conditions. 

The stewards noted they also considered the precedent set during a similar incident at the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen receieved no penalty for overtaking Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin under a red flag in FP2. 

“The driver of Car 44 stated that he was on a fast lap, he saw the Red Light, immediately completely lifted the throttle and applied the brakes, whilst checking his mirrors for cars following in close proximity,” the stewards noted. “He stated that he had, in doing so, gone past Car 20. 

“The Stewards took note of the precedent in relation to the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix (Max Verstappen), where no action was taken against the driver under similar but not identical circumstances. 

“The telemetry evidence was sourced directly from the live data available to the FIA not from any evidence provided by the team. 

“The telemetry data clearly shows the following; 

“1. That immediately when the red light was displayed, the driver lifted throttle 100% 2. That immediately when the red light was displayed, the driver applied firm braking pressure. 

“3. The speed of Car 44 at this point was 288 km/h.  (Car 20 had a speed of 126 km/h at this point – a delta of 162 km/h).

“It is our conclusion that the driver of Car 44 took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red light. 

“Notwithstanding, technically this is still a breach of Art b of Cpt IV of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code, however he could not avoid overtaking Car 20 in this case and therefore the Stewards DETERMINE to apply no penalty. 

“It is noted the there was no breach of Article 37.6 of the Formula 1 Sporting Regulations.”

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