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Whiting explains Mexico penalties

NEWS STORY
10/11/2016

Charlie Whiting has explained why Lewis Hamilton escaped Mexico Turn 1 penalty and Max Verstappen didn't.

Two weeks later and the debate continues, as the media, fans, and Max Verstappen want to know how the Dutch driver was handed a 5s time penalty in Mexico that cost him a podium finish while Lewis Hamilton, who ostensibly committed the same sin, escaped scot free.

Speaking at today's FIA press conference, Charlie Whiting used video evidence to explain and justify the decisions, not that it cut much ice with Verstappen.

The principal difference between two was simply in Lewis's case it was felt he didn't gain any lasting advantage, and in Max's case, he did," Whiting told reporters.

"You can see Lewis makes a small mistake at the beginning, cuts across, gains significant track advantage but then sets about giving that back, immediately," he continued as the video evidence was played. "We can see on the straight between Turns 3 and 4 he backs off to 80% throttle to give that advantage back. Then, about a minute later, the safety car is deployed and that advantage is gone completely. So the stewards felt there was no lasting advantage.

"If Max had done the same thing on the straight between Turns 3 and 4 he would certainly have lost a place," he added, referring to the latter incident, "which is why the stewards felt that deserved a penalty, because the driver had gained a lasting advantage. That's the fundamental difference between the two incidents in the eyes of the stewards."

"Of course I don't agree with the decision," admitted the Dutch racer, "but it doesn't really make a lot of difference does it? I got a penalty.

"If you give penalties, give to both or don't give any penalties," he added. "What we maybe need to change for the future is that, once you go off it should be a penalty on its own. The stewards shouldn't interfere and decide whether it's a penalty. Once you go off that should be a penalty on its own."

"The stewards have a very, very difficult job because every single scenario is different," argued Hamilton. "It's not easy to apply the same rule to every single thing.

"I also agree with Max that we should work with Charlie, as we have been through the year, to try to make it easier for them to make decisions and for it to be more clear."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Pierrauto, 10/11/2016 19:48

"Don't you think "Not been passed" constitute a permanent advantage? Normally, when you make a mistake in a close battle, you loose a position. If you miss a corner and go straight, it is a mistake. You should loose a position like what happened to Max. Unfair advantage to Lewis and it constitute a directive to Max that it is OK to do so without penalty. Two mistakes from stewards in the same race for carbon copy events..."

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2. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 10/11/2016 19:11

"Had there been a tyre wall on the exit of the first corner complex to stop the missing of turn 2, would Lewis had let off the brakes and gone straight across, no he would not, but knowing he could, made keeping the lead at all costs a slam dunk.
Its been said by more informed commentators than me, there is no penalty now for making a mistake, saying he "did not gain an advantage" is missing the point, having to take to an escape road or getting stuck in a gravel trap or clouting a tyre barrier should be the outcome, not some arbituary time penalty that is or is not applied by the stewards. "

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