Why Hamilton was not penalised by stewards for holding up Perez

31-07-2021 18:24 | Updated: 31-07-2021 20:46
by GPblog.com
Why Hamilton was not penalised by stewards for holding up Perez

Lewis Hamilton was once again front and centre after qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver appeared to hold up Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, but the incident did not make it to the stewards. There are several reasons for this.

If we refer to the Sporting Regulations, it appears that Regulation 27.4 applies to the situation:"At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person." So driving unnecessarily slowly can be subject to a penalty. In Formula 1, this is often a grid penalty of around three places.

In some Grands Prix, where there is a high chance of trains in the last sector during qualifying, the FIA stipulates that a driver's outlap must be completed within a certain time. Race director Michael Masi did not communicate this in the driver briefing at the Hungaroring and so it would have to be proven that Hamilton was suddenly significantly slower on the lap in question than his previous outlaps or the outlaps in general of other drivers.

Mercedes not guilty according to own statement

On social media, the Mercedes team explained that Hamilton did nothing wrong."His last outlap in Q3 was faster than his previous one and overall he has driven faster and slower outlaps." Looking at the data, the team's claim appears to be correct.

Hamilton's outlap that hampered Verstappen and Perez lasted 2 minutes and 10 seconds. The Brit's outlap in Q2 on softs took 2 minutes and 17 seconds, while his first lap in Q3 en route to a flying run took 2 minutes and 14 seconds. Mercedes therefore have ample evidence that Hamilton did nothing out of order.

Hamilton denies

Hamilton also flatly denied that he slowed down to ensure the Red Bull drivers had no chance of completing a fast lap. Maybe the 36-year old driver took it into consideration and slowed down a few seconds, but he can never prove it to the stewards. Helmut Marko is in any case not happy with Hamilton's'not so sportive action'.

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