FIA race director Michael Masi said the possibility of penalising Lewis Hamilton for crashing while the field was running behind the Safety Car wasn’t considered.Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari was being recovered following his crash, while the Safety Car was deployed.
Masi felt this did not need to be regarded as a driving infringement. “I think it’s one of those ones [where] basically you just look at the conditions the way it was,” he said.
“It was tricky conditions all afternoon for everyone. So that wasn’t even part of the equation so to speak.”
Hamilton was penalised for failing to follow the correct route into the pit lane, receiving a five-second time penalty. He was also investigation for driving too slowly behind the Safety Car, but was cleared following an investigation.
Masi explained this was due to an “anomaly” with the Safety Car procedure arising from the fact Hamilton had spent almost a lap entering the pits and waiting there following his crash. This meant that while other drivers were allowed to begin catching the Safety Car, he still had to follow the ‘delta’ lap time target.
“Effectively your first two laps under the Safety Car, you’ve got to respect the delta time and then effectively catch up,” said Masi.
“The anomaly was everyone else was on the third lap so was able to catch up but Lewis was on his second lap so he was having to effectively respect the delta, but everyone else around him was racing to catch the back of the line.
“Speaking to a couple of these sporting directors since, it’s an anomaly that we have not seen before. So it’s something for us to look at generally.”
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