Formula One’s governing body is reviewing a penalty giving to seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton for crossing the track after climbing out of his car following a first-lap collision at last Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix.
Hamilton tangled with his Mercedes teammate George Russell after making a flying start and went spinning off into the gravel trap when trying to overtake him. He jumped straight out of the cockpit and crossed the circuit, which is a breach of regulations.
Following a stewards’ investigation, he was issued his first reprimand of the season and fined 50,000 euros ($52,560), with 25,000 euros ($26,280) suspended pending any further breach this season.
But given his role model status within the series, and the danger represented, governing body FIA feels this may not have been enough. Hamilton reached the inside edge of the Losail track shortly before Russell arrived at full speed having exited the pit lane.
“The FIA notes that Lewis was apologetic during the subsequent stewards hearing into the incident and acknowledged that the crossing was a serious safety breach,” the FIA said in a statement Sunday. “However, in view of his role model status, the FIA is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers.”
Hamilton is F1’s record holder with 103 wins but has not won a race since the penultimate race of the 2021 season in Saudi Arabia. He is third in the F1 standings behind Red Bull drivers Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, who clinched his third straight F1 title in Qatar.
Hamilton’s incident was the second of the race.
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll apologized to the FIA and received a written warning Friday for his conduct at the race, where he shoved a member of his team in frustration after an early exit in qualifying.
Heat issues marred the race in Qatar with drivers feeling sick due to the extreme humidity.
American driver Logan Sargeant retired from the race on lap 40 of 57 after feeling unwell. The Williams driver had suffered intense dehydration.
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon vomited inside his helmet as track temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).
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