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FIA to revisit Hamilton's Qatar penalty

NEWS STORY
17/10/2023

The FIA has announced that it is to "revisit" the penalty meted out to Lewis Hamilton for walking across the track following his retirement from the Qatar Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was fined €50,000 (43k) - €25,000 (21k) of which is suspended for the remainder of the 2023 season on condition that there are no repeats - after crossing the live track to get to the pitlane, a breach of Article 26.7 b) of the sporting regulations. He was also given a reprimand, his first of the season.

After crashing into his teammate on the opening lap, Hamilton abandoned his car in the gravel and ran back to the pits, crossing the track that was live at the time, reaching the inside edge of the track just seconds his teammate arrived at high speed after exiting the pits.

The seven-time world champion then continued to walk alongside the track until finally exiting the track.

During the subsequent hearing, Hamilton was apologetic and admitted that the situation could have been very dangerous for him as well as the drivers approaching.

A week later and the FIA has decided to take another look at the penalty handed to the Mercedes driver.

"The FIA is revisiting the incident in which Lewis Hamilton crossed a live track during the Qatar Grand Prix," reads a statement from the FIA.

"The FIA notes that Lewis was apologetic during the subsequent stewards hearing in to the incident and acknowledged that the crossing was a serious safety breach.

"However, in view of his role model status, the FIA is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers."

The general feeling, considering his experience, is that the Briton really should have known better and that a fine didn't set the right example, especially as previous instances of the same offence have resulted in fatalities.

There are various options available to the FIA including disqualification, suspension or even exclusion from an event, however a grid penalty is the most likely move.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ian_w, 20/10/2023 0:30

"I thought €50,000 for "jay-walking" was a pretty steep fine. Now I read elsewhere, "Formula One drivers could be fined up to €1m following dramatic hike" (maximum sanction that stewards can impose on a driver).

Can you imagine .. €1m for jay-walking !? By the FIA!

It would be less painful to simply get hit by the bus!
Or just don't show up for the mandatory post-race interview, or pull up a lawn chair until the race is over.
"

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2. Posted by Paulinho, 18/10/2023 8:30

"Someone needs to look into the FIA :D "

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3. Posted by Apexing, 16/10/2023 19:07

""The general feeling, considering his experience, is that the Briton really should have known better and that a fine didn't set the right example, especially as previous instances of the same offence have resulted in fatalities."

Please tell me that the FIA isn't looking to execute Hamilton for jaywalking..."

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4. Posted by Defiant, 16/10/2023 14:47

"I’m not opposed to Lewis being reprimanded for crossing the track but going back to change an all ready metered out penalty is ridiculous. "

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5. Posted by KKK, 16/10/2023 14:33

"Flog him, I say ! Hes been fined, case closed. Let get on with the racing please"

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6. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 16/10/2023 13:40

"Strip Hamilton of one of his driver’s championship titles, I say.

2021 would seem to be the most appropriate choice, although my Brazil friends favour 2008."

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7. Posted by Chester, 16/10/2023 12:00

"Agree @MaxNoble. Quite confusing. The gist is that 50,000 euro is too high but 25,000 euro with "good behavior" is just right?

Both are pittance amounts compared to LH's earnings. "

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8. Posted by Max Noble, 16/10/2023 11:31

"Very confusing episode. Safety has to be number one, but what messaging, and improved behaviour are we chasing here?"

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9. Posted by Burton, 16/10/2023 10:44

"The wording and the decision of the stewards was mind-boggling but of course when announcing a revision only the driver is put to the sword. Meanwhile the inept stewards carry on in their posts..."

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