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Shovlin suggests rivals alerted stewards to Hamilton's practice starts

NEWS STORY
29/09/2020

Clearly unwilling to let this one go, Mercedes is now suggesting that a rival team may have alerted the Sochi stewards to Lewis Hamilton's practice starts outside the designated area on Sunday.

In an age when drivers openly call for rivals to be penalised, perhaps it should be expected that the teams harbour similar feelings about one another.

Now, Mercedes trackside engineering director, Andrew Shovlin has suggested that Lewis Hamilton may have been 'grassed up' to the stewards.

“Some places there's a box that they paint on the floor and you've got to do it in the box," Shovlin tells the sport's official website's F1 Nation podcast, "other places it's kind of a general area.

“Often if there's a lot of rubber it's not going to be representative of the grip," he continued. "The drivers - and also the engineers - will want to find a bit that's closer in terms of the grip to expect on the grid.

"And what happened was Lewis asked if he could go a bit further along the pit exit, we hadn't realised quite how far he was going to go. But it's really just trying to find a bit of tarmac that is more like the one you are going to get when you do a proper race start.

"We didn't see the first one," he admits, "and when we saw the second one we thought ‘they're not going to like that'.

"We didn't think it was dangerous and given that the event notes said it was on the right-hand side after the pit exit we thought it might have been ambiguous enough that we would have... I mean when we saw the car position it wasn't a complete surprise that they didn't like it, and no doubt there may have been teams who flagged it as much as whether the FIA or the stewards spotted it themselves. I don't know.”

One driver who has to take avoiding action as Hamilton performed his practice start was Lance Stroll, though we know that Racing Point and Mercedes enjoy a very good relationship.

On the other hand, who had most to gain from as possible penalty for the pole-sitter?

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by C5, 30/09/2020 4:24

""Mercedes is now suggesting that a rival team may have alerted the Sochi stewards to Lewis Hamilton's practice starts outside the designated area on Sunday."

Good! Keep it up, I say. Sometimes the stewards need a little encouragement to take the rules seriously.

Just to bad they either got cold feet or got overruled on the penalty points. But, anything to calm the whiners, I guess?"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Superbird70, 29/09/2020 23:12

"F1 teams in general seem to be just a bunch of entitled whiners. Get rid of the practice starts altogether, for everyone. Let the best drivers show us their skills. Of course the other teams complained. If the situation was reversed Mercedes would have done the same thing."

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3. Posted by USA1, 29/09/2020 12:28

"Mercedes screwed up and now starts pointing fingers, that’s called a bad loser, the reason for that box is everybody being treated equally including Mercedes, penalty was 100% justified, it would have been the same for everyone else!"

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by *TestaRossa*, 29/09/2020 12:01

"How about this ....one of the stewards was Salo a Finnish guy ....Bottas is Finnish too LOL"

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5. Posted by kenji, 29/09/2020 11:56

"Mercedes/Hamilton are doing their very best to deflect their SNAFU. They messed up totally and all the flim flam in the world is going to change anything."

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