Hamilton may not avoid consequences of third reprimand this year

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton may not be able to avoid the consequences of a third reprimand this season if he incurs one in the final race of the year.

Hamilton and Carlos Sainz Jnr have both collected two reprimands during the course of 2016 and will receive a ten-place grid penalty* if they incur a third.

Sainz is also at risk of a penalty
However if they commit an offence deemed worthy of a reprimand during the final race of the season the stewards could act to ensure the penalty is applied immediately rather than affecting their starting position for the first race of next season.

An FIA spokesperson confirmed to F1 Fanatic the stewards may decide to impose a different sanction instead of a reprimand during the race, such as a five or ten second time penalty.

Unlike drivers’ penalty points, reprimands do not carry over from one season to the next.

There is also precedent for the stewards acting to prevent a penalty being carried over to a new season. In 2014 Romain Grosjean incurred an engine change penalty at the final race of the year. Under the rules of the time he would ordinarily have carried part of this penalty over to the new season, but the stewards ruled he should serve an in-race penalty instead.

Hamilton received his reprimands this year for reversing in the pit lane in Bahrain and cutting across a run-off area in Russia.

Driver reprimands in 2016

Lewis Hamilton2
Carlos Sainz Jnr2
Sebastian Vettel1
Pascal Wehrlein1
Nico Rosberg1
Max Verstappen1
Marcus Ericsson1
Kevin Magnussen1
Felipe Massa1
Valtteri Bottas1
Rio Haryanto1

See the justifications for each reprimand here:

*Under article 18.2 of the Sporting Regulations which states:

18.2 Any driver who receives three reprimands in the same championship season will, upon the imposition of the third, be given a ten grid place penalty at that event. If the third reprimand is imposed following an incident during a race the ten grid place penalty will be applied at the driver’s next event.

The ten grid place penalty will only be imposed if at least two of the reprimands were imposed for a driving infringement.

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    32 comments on “Hamilton may not avoid consequences of third reprimand this year”

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      8th November 2016, 14:00

      “and cutting across a run-off area”
      So it seems to me he has already avoided his third reprimand.

      1. Is this record still playing!? ;)

        1. No we can turn off the record.

          Hamilton was gifted a win in Mexico therefore nullifying his engine failure.

          He’s officially losing the WDC on merit :-)


          1. How is life in that parallel universe !

          2. He lost 25 points in Malaysia, Rosberg inherited 3. So a 28 point swing.

            Hamilton gained 7 points in Mexico by not being penalised to 2nd, Rosberg lost 7 by not inheriting 1st. So a 14 point swing.

            If Rosberg wins by 14 points of more you have a case.

            1. Rosberg nearly won in Austria but got to fourth: 13 points.
              Hamilton advanced then to first: 7 points.
              Rosberg falls to third after team radio in Britain: 3 points.
              Incident at Turn 1 Canada: Rosberg probably would have finished second: 6 points.
              So: 29 points to Rosberg. Really such a big problem after Malaysia?

            2. Rosberg’s own fault he lost the points in Austria and Canada so I don’t see what point you are trying to make.

            3. Ah, we’ve given up on logical argument and are just creating random scenarios to try and bolster our position then Karol? Ok, well 1 million points for Hamilton being the double incumbent champion. Instant champion.

            4. Hamilton crashed into Rosberg in Spain and broke his streak.
              I read a comment of someone saying “this is where Hamilton won this year’s championship”.
              And it might have been, but I hope it wasn’t. Because if it was (if it will be?), then it’s not a worthy championship.
              He broke Rosberg’s streak.

            5. @karol:
              In Austria, Ros got of quite lightly with 3rd place, he should be penalized even more… for reckless driving and endangering a driver more than once in one corner… bla bla bla…

              Canada was a photo copy of his own doing in the previous year! You watching mario carts more than races i think…

              Rosberg in Britain should not be able to finish at all thanx to team radio! Two weeks earlier, same team denied Ham assistance cost him a lot more positions and points!

              Your abacus also broken, you are counting variable sized beans in incorrect orders with wrong spectacles numbers…

          3. “The Duke” A prime example ladies and gentlemen of someone who doesn’t know what the heck they’re talking about! :)

      2. @omarr-pepper In Russia Hamilton broke a specific instruction about turn two/three from the pre-race notes but there was no similar instruction in Mexico:


        1. And as everybody knows, breaking the sporting regulations is just fine so long as there was no specific instruction that the rules had to be followed in the pre-race notes, right?

          Show me where in the 2016 sporting regulations it says that abiding by the white line is optional:

          Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not deliberately leave the track without a justifiable reason.

          Drivers will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with it and, for the avoidance of doubt, any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not.

          Should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage. At the absolute discretion of the race director a driver may be given the opportunity to give back the whole of any advantage he gained by leaving the track.

          Hamilton gained a clear advantage from his shortcut, and should have been penalized. He broke a specific instruction from the sporting regulations.

          1. So we can only assume the race director’s opinion was that this advantage was given back, and again in his opinion did not include losing a place.
            Which I also think is wrong – he should have handed over the place.

        2. True Hamilton broke a specific instruction, but if I remember correctly, Hamilton would have been unable to satisfy that criteria based on the specific angle, speed and section of track he went off line. His trajectory would have forced him to make something like a u-turn between the bollard and the wall. I wasn’t even expecting the FIA to investigate that, because he wasn’t gaining any advantage. The FIA just likes to be rigid at the very wrong moments, and flexible at other times to everyones bafflement.

      3. Not yet. Technically, a penalty could be issued for that any time up to the FIA General Meering in mid-December, though the internet storm if that happened would probably be deemed “not worth it” by even the pickiest FIA official.

    2. I find it rather strange that Bottas got a reprimand for contact with Hamilton in Bahrain. It was just a first lap racing incident to me although Bottas was mainly at fault. I really do feel that if Hamilton was any other driver, Bottas would have got away with it. It seems to be that if drivers affect the drivers that are chasing for the championship, they are far more likely to get penalties. It often seems that teams further down don’t matter. Although Rosberg has had several slight contacts with drivers this year and picked up nothing. Not that I think he should have gone given a penalty but I really don’t think that Bottas should have one either. The reasons for giving them to drivers is far too inconsistent.

      1. @thegianthogweed

        First lap incidents aren’t just disregarded, there is just an extra leniency because of the amount going on that the drivers have to contend with. That doesn’t mean anything goes though.

        Bottas’s lunge was demolition derby style wreckless. He had no other cars alongside him to excuse the maneuver as being down to dealing with the chaos of a start, he just threw his car from too far back into a car taking a corner normally.

        As for special treatment, Sainz was penalised for a first lap incident with Alonso.

        1. By the time he and Hamilton had turned in, they were going virtually the same speed. Bottas certainly wasn’t going too fast to make the corner but Hamilton seemed to do that corner a lot tighter than a lot of the drivers further back did. Bottas did approach fast but was almost along side before the contact was made. I thought a drive through was fair enough and many people from what I remember said it should have just been a a racing incident and left at that. Anyway, everyone has different views. But other than this incident, I actually think that Bottas is a driver that makes many less mistakes that most on the grid. He is not that exciting to watch but is certainly a solid driver.

      2. I find it rather strange that Bottas got a reprimand for contact with Hamilton in Bahrain. It was just a first lap racing incident to me although Bottas was mainly at fault.

        Vettel got a grid penalty for his clash with Rosberg so you could argue Bottas got off lightly

        Although Rosberg has had several slight contacts with drivers this year and picked up nothing

        If I recall correctly Rosberg was penalised in Malaysia and Austria for making contact with another driver, as well as in Germany (though no contact was made) so your “picked up nothing” remark is clearly wrong.

        1. Martin,
          Yes, I am wrong there. I don’t know how I read through the list of drivers without seeing Rosberg. But it was that that puzzled me. I also clearly didn’t remember him getting given one. I should have read that list more carefully.

          I would say that Vettel’s move recently affected Rosberg’s race far more than Bottas’s move affected Hamilton in Bahrain though. As Rosberg got spun and fell right to the back. Whereas Hamilton lost about 8 places. So the difference between the penalties is fair to me. But yes, from what people are comparing Bottas’s collision to, I now think his penalty and a reprimand was fair enough. I wouldn’t say he got of lightly though.

          Anyway, this was a while ago now and since then, Bottas has been performing well and I think this has been pretty much his only large mistake during a race out of any in his F1 career. He makes less than most IMO.

          1. I would say that Vettel’s move recently affected Rosberg’s race far more than Bottas’s move affected Hamilton in Bahrain though. As Rosberg got spun and fell right to the back. Whereas Hamilton lost about 8 places. So the difference between the penalties is fair to me.

            On the one hand yes, but on the other Hamilton suffered significant damage which affected his cars aero performance (1 second per lap according to Toto Wolff) for the rest of the race whereas Rosberg’s car was relatively unaffected by the collision outside of the initial place drop. I don’t think it is quite as clear cut as you make out.

    3. Honestly I highly doubt the stewards would give him a reprimand in Brazil at all even if it is an obvious one. They are deciding the the title right then and there if they do.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        8th November 2016, 15:55

        They might reprimand him for swearing when finishing second to Rosberg in Brazil ;-)

        1. I doubt it given that Vettel got off scot-free after his abysmal tirade in Mexico

          1. Yeah, the FIA would lose any credibility left if they impose any kind of punishment to a driver due to verbal abuse. They lost their right to do that last racing weekend.

            1. The FIA has issued penalties for verbal abuse for years, though it has to meet a certain threshold before that happens. Indeed, their treatment of Vettel’s swearing at Charlie Whiting was unusually lenient, possibly because he apologised to Charlie before Charlie knew the incident had occurred!

            2. @mosquito

              the FIA would lose any credibility left if they impose any kind of punishment to a driver due to verbal abuse.

              They have already made it clear they will penalise drivers for any further verbal abuse:


            3. @keithcollantine So they have already lost credibility

    4. The stewards know this and will do their best to avoid giving hamilton reprimand no matter what. I’ll eat my hat if hamilton gets a reprimand. He would need to do something blatantly insane for it. Like crash 5 cars in the first turn. Or actually I don’t think that would be enough because the stewards could just look at the telemetry and find nothing wrong there…

      1. Given that they let him off with a clear rules infraction at the last race, I’d say you’re spot on here, sadly.

    5. Antoon van Gemert
      9th November 2016, 15:04

      Let’s do away with all these penalty and reprimand-systems and just let’s race hard! It’s too much complicated and results in too much interference with true racing on the track! It’s seems that there are more and more and more rules every year. The reprimand-system should stop. Off course there have to be some kind of rules, but the lesser the better! Just some rules in general, that’s enough. For example, if I would been a steward at the Mexican Grand Prix, no one would have gotten a penalty, except Vettel: a fine of 1000 dollar for every foul word he shouted over the radio,to be given to a charity-cause of his own choosing. So let’s race hard, and if you can’t deal with it, go and play some checkers. Their not a bunch of schoolboys, but grown-up men. Even Max!

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