Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

Hamilton vows not to give stewards an “excuse” to ban him

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says he will study the regulations carefully following his double penalty in Sochi to ensure the stewards can’t “create rules” to give him a one-race ban.

The Mercedes driver picked up two penalty points in today’s Russian Grand Prix, putting him on a total of 10 for the current 12-month period. If he receives two more in the next three races he will be automatically banned from the next round.

“It’s ridiculous the points that are being given [to] people this year in general,” said Hamilton after the race.

Hamilton incurred his latest penalty points for performing two practice starts outside of the permitted area.

“From a driver’s point of view, if you put someone else in danger, you crash into somebody, of course you should be getting penalty points. I did not harm anybody, I did not put anyone in harm’s way.

“So ultimately it’s a ridiculous rule, but it is what it is. I’ll just make sure I’m squeaky clean moving forwards. Don’t give them an excuse for anything.”

He is concerned he could fall foul of grey areas in the regulations and intends to do everything he can to minimise the possibility of picking up any more penalty points in the coming races.

“I guess we’ll go through the rule book and pick out areas where they can create rules, areas where penalties have never been given before, and we will try and figure out all the ones that they have and try to make sure that we cover ourselves on the ones that we are aware of.

“Like I said today, I don’t think anyone’s had the penalty for [this] before so we’ll just work hard. I’ve gone through seasons before without penalties so I just have to make sure I give them no reason, not even a sniff to be able to do something.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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68 comments on “Hamilton vows not to give stewards an “excuse” to ban him”

  1. Michael Masi is probably already secretly writing down penalties for yawning, coughing, blinking, sweating and breathing. 2 penalty points for each of these activities! No chance for Lewis to escape these “Stewards”!

    1. The rules existed before he broke them. It’s his fault that he doesn’t know the rules. The end of story. Also grow up.

      1. Think you need to grow up. A request was made to the team about where to start and, when you are old enough, you will find that the rule on practice starts DOES NOT require a specified distance after the the end pit lights. Go away until you can read and interpret rules.

    2. Hamilton admitted he doesn’t know the rules when he said “I guess we’ll go through the rule book and pick out areas where they can create rules, areas where penalties have never been given before, and we will try and figure out all the ones that they have and try to make sure that we cover ourselves on the ones that we are aware of.” If you need to examine the rules, it’s because you don’t know them or are unsure of them.

  2. Lewis hasn’t told us yet what he thinks of Trump’s chosen nominee for the Supreme Court. Why is he holding back? C’mon Lewis….

    1. Lewis is 100% focused on on justice for black people. Trump’s pick isn’t biased against blacks, she’s biased against women rights.

      1. ACB is a very, very odd duck.

        1. Yes, a rational American politician is a very odd thing indeed.

          1. ACO, that is. ;)

  3. Heh, Hamilton knows how to play politics. It’s quite smart to publicly raise concerns about “grey area” rules that have impacted him recently, because it may well influence stewards in the future – if there is a marginal decision to be made – not to give the penalty points, so as not to be seen to being biased against a driver.

    I don’t think the decisions have shown bias, but it’s perception matters just as much as reality.

  4. The loudest supporter of equality wants to have his own rules in F1. I mean, wow, just wow.

    1. “I guess we’ll go through the rule book and pick out areas where they can create rules, areas where penalties have never been given before, and we will try and figure out all the ones that they have and try to make sure that we cover ourselves on the ones that we are aware of.

      This is the problem. The penalities are arbitrary.

    2. No, I think that’s just you mis-interpreting what he said. He clearly disagrees with some of the penalties he’s been given lately (and might think he is being unfairly targeted), but nowhere has he stated he thinks he should be held to a different standard than anyone else. In fact, Hamilton’s entire career provides plenty of evidence that he values equality and fairness in racing, as well as off-the-track.

    3. Where’s he said he wants his own rules?

    4. Love how you people just make nonsense up, then comment on that nonsense. But I do take a perverse pleasure knowing that theirs a Hamilton who lives inside your head

      1. I get that the whole BLM is annoying – as a black man myself, I’ve not been impressed with Hamilton wanting to promote such a militant organisation

        However, it’s amusing just how many people dislike the attention he gets

        1. As far as I can tell, it’s not really an organisation as such. No leadership, not head quarters.

          I think the real point of BLM is in the USA, where the police are hyper militarised, terrified of the weapons endemic in the community, and systematically more lethal against black Americans. The protests against historic British abuse, while understandable dilutes the point, and in my view risks losing the goal of reducing current abuse. I take your point about militancy: defund the police is a counterproductive argument. Demilitarise the US police is sensible, as is outlawing all forms of chokehold.

          Hamilton has houses in the US, and perhaps more reason than people give him credit for understanding the movement and that the time for public support is now. The US election is so so important.

          1. Outlaw choking? Sounds like you know nothing about the effectiveness and safety of a choke hold unless used excessively which rarely if ever happens. How many instances have you heard about where a cop killed someone from a choke hold? It prevents cops from taking more lethal actions like shooting them!
            Do your homework.

          2. choking works only if done correctly AND against persons who are healthy against others it’s brain damage or death.

            Weapons in the states are the big problem everyone has them and i mean not the pistols but i means the military hardware which would slaughter the Police easy!

            I have friends in the states who houses are forts and weapons the navy seals would be jalours.

          3. @Mick

            Sounds like you know nothing about the effectiveness and safety of a choke hold unless used excessively which rarely if ever happens.

            Sounds like you know absolutely nothing of the hazards of chocking. Even in combat sports where the participants can be regarded as experts on chocking and have done it hundreds of times, there is a tap rule, a referee, and medical personnel present to ensure people don’t die and lasting injury is prevented.

            So, how many people have you ever choked, and how many times have you been choked?

    5. The loudest supporter of equality

      He has been supporting privileges, not equality. That’s consistency for you.

    6. @huhhii Yesterday’s conduct indicate the FIA wants one rule for itself and another for everyone else, and has shown substantial inconsistencies in several aspects of stewarding. No point complaining when someone calls them out on it.

  5. Another race, another series of baffling decisions from the stewards. What else is new?

  6. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    27th September 2020, 16:56

    Mad cuz bad.

    I’m popping the champagne when he manages to collect 12 and has to sit one out. At least when we see smoke coming from the Mercedes garage, we know what it’ll be. Lewis fuming. :^)

    1. Maybe put it back on ice?

    2. And I’ll be popping champagne at the end of the season, when he is crowned with his 7th World Championship.

      Think about it , Barry. SEVEN World Championships!!

  7. I agree that they’ve gone well beyond the actual point of penalty points being given in the first place, but I can’t say I’ve caught them being inconsistent with awarding them or biased towards certain drivers over others.

    1. This is the first time this penalty as ever been given to a driver. Make of that what you will. This a brand new precedence and here it is being applied to the six time world champion. Of course he’s going to feel aggrieved.

    2. @aiii I have done so three times this race alone (regarding three separate drivers vs what is written in the regulations and how other drivers have been permitted to behave).

  8. lol. Don’t blame the game, blame the player.
    When you can’t be bothered to read the rules, learn the rules, do track walks, abide by the rules, then you can blame only one, and that is yourself.

    If Bottas would have been more of a fighter he could have exploited Hamilton’s character flaws just as much as Rosberg has.

    Lewis has been incredibly paranoid and defeatist today.

    1. Can i remind you that Rosberg came out on top against Hamilton in one year out of three and that when Hamilton had virtually all the mechanical problems

      To read your post, you’d think Rosberg had some kind of, say, 12-0 head to head each season

      1. Rosberg got himself 9 consequtive wins.

        He still burns Hamilton fans. He got himself in position where chance through luck to win the title.

        Bottas is not within lucky range.

        1. You are still laugable clueless “Fan” arent you? First of all it was never 9 wins in a row. It was 7 but most importantly. It was over 2 season. It doesnt count as per season. Lets talk about his 7 wins in a row. The final 3 wins of 2015. Rosberg beat Hamilton in qualifying but in the race Hamilton was all over the place on Rosberg tail! Mercedes made sure Rosberg win the last 3 races! Mexico 2015 Hamilton was stuck behind for the entire race same in Brazil and in Abu Dhabi he wanted a different strategy and Mercs screwed up on purpose. So Rosberg didnt smash Hamilton as you would like to believe. Fast forward to 2016 Rosberg push Ham out in turn one. If Ham didnt got a bad start that would have ENDED Nico 4 wins in a row! Same in Bahrain poor start cost Ham, then China and Sochi both relability issues prevented Lewis to win and hand Nico the win. See? Thats the truth whether you like it or not!

          Nico didnt burn us Hamilton fans. What we are tired is how he “beat” Lewis through Lewis weakness which is laugable and far from the truth. He never state he beat lewis thanks to lewis car problems which is 100% the reason how Nico beat him.

          And lastly yes Bottas and so does Rosberg would NEVER been in a luck to win unless lewis have car problems. As you could see from 2017 lewis had a bulletproof car and Bottas NEVER EVER could have answer Lewis NO MATTER WHAT! In fact if Lewis also have a bulletproof car in 2016 then Rosberg would be in the same position as in 2014 and 2015. End of story!

      2. One year in four actually (@ merc)

    2. Its true he obviously missed the track information/race director info before the race.. So not good prepared and this is the price for it.
      A bit amateuristic and his moaning about they are trying to block him are pitiful.

      1. So if you asked your compliance officer when you were out in the field whether you are allowed to do something or not and he assured you were allowed; in the event of him giving you the wrong information you would see it as your fault not his? Despite him being paid to perform that role; and in this case being the one who is in direct contact with the rule makers at the time.

        1. Yes, I would blame myself. Hamilton has no excuse “I’ve done it a million times (exaggeration?) at loads of other course” Is just like Tiger Woods claiming he did not know one of the local rules in a Major. Sure the caddy and the official should know, but HE should not have to ask.

        2. And if the compliance officer was told one thing by the law-writers and it then turned out something else was being applied that directly contradicted that statement, then it is the fault of the law-writer.

  9. If he had studied before, maybe he would have noticed that red light at the pit entry.

    1. You are wrong! The pit lane closed lights were displayed on light panels. After that race Wolff said: “Those yellow crosses were on the outside of the corner. Nothing on the inside. No red light on the pit lane entry.”

      1. Well, we both would have know if we studied.

      2. if Wolf really said that his is obviously colorblind. The crosses were red and very visible.

        1. you must have never driven a formula car round the parabolica at Monza. those crosses on the outside of the corner are hardly “very visible” as the tv camera angle might suggest to us sitting on the couch.

    2. Perhaps you should have studied some more. Most teams reacted at the same time, but to late for Ham as he was the closest to the pit lane, and around 8 drivers either did not see or realise what the outside lights were. Most thinking it was SC being displayed by the lights

  10. All he had to do is finishing 10sec behind Bottas, and then complain about the penalties.

    The early pit stop, the tyre choice, Verstappen’s speed, like none of that played a role?

    Bottas wasn’t even that fast. His fastest lap wasn’t great compared to Russell’s, even with the tyre difference.

    1. He’d no choice on the tyres. He started on the softs and so inevitably had to come in early and even without the 10s penalty would have been behind Bottas, who would have undercut him. Plus he then had a very long stint on the poor tyres.

      Basically, both he and of course Bottas took it easy as 3rd was always the best. Sounds pretty sensible to me

  11. Schumacher was stripped of two wins and banned for two races in 1994 for really what were flimsy reasons.

    It’s like being denied 100 points under today’s points system.

    He basically wasn’t allowed to compete for a quarter of the season.

    Hamilton’s got a couple of 5 second penalties for something that was his fault (much like going into the pitlane while it was closed at Monza), yet he hasn’t stopped complaining.

    Imagine Hamilton not being allowed to compete in 1/4 of the season because of penalties. Could you imagine the t-shirts?

    1. Can you imagine of Hamilton rammed 2 drivers off the track in a blatant attempt to seal a WDC?

      Can you imagine if Hamilton was DQd for a whole season, what the haters would be saying?

      Imagine.

    2. Hilarious post. I was with you, to a degree with the Shui ban and clearly you know your stuff

      But there was worrying signs about your, er, balance when you think been banned for 3 out of 16 races is one-quarter!!

      And since you’ve got the knowledge to understand the intricacies of race rules, from nearly 30 years ago, you’ll know that Hamilton was advised by his crew that he was OK to do what he did today

      1. Schumacher was stripped of two wins and banned for a further two races.

        He missed four out 16 races effectively.

        That was the only reason why the championship went to the final race like it did.

        1. He was only stripped of one win. This was at spa and could be considered harsh. His other DQ was at Silverstone where he finished second, but given that he ignored a black flag, he very much deserved that DQ.

          1. He was ahead of Hill before serving the penalty.

            Had outdriven Hill in the much, much quicker Williams.

        2. So it went to the final race because he cheated in 25% of the races?

  12. He’s guaranteed a ban! Can they fire Massi and replace him with my Amazon delivery guy? Those folks rock and are much more dependable.

  13. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
    27th September 2020, 18:00

    One wonders if getting a race ban this season is better in the grand scheme of things. Based on a couple of assumptions; If Hamilton keeps it clean for the rest of the season, he is going to start the 2021 on 8 penalty points, which would not decrease until July (by then, I guess, we’d be onto the 10th/11th race of the season assuming a normal calendar is drafted). Doing half the season with a race ban hanging over your head is risky, and crashes can happen anytime, anywhere. Also assuming Bottas provides a credible title challenge next season, a race ban might just change the whole equation in his favour (Malaysia ’16 anyone?!).
    So get involved in an accident/rule infringement (how hard can it be honestly), get a race ban when you know you are going to win the championship this year no matter what, and start the new season on a clean slate.

    1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      27th September 2020, 18:02

      Lmao I just read the reversal of the decision by the stewards…my bad!

      1. Christ!! This will upset the Lewis knockers

        Beer / popcorn time!!

  14. One would think somewhere between age 7 or sooner when he learned to read and age 35 when he is about to become the most successful driver of all time, he would have a few hours to read the damn rules.

    It is Hillarious. first running red light in Minza now this, Kudos to FIA for helping Bottas silence his critics, but Mercedes are running things a bit to thin, considering they have so much pace in hand.

    1. Rubbish. Hamilton is allowed to expect his team to understand every nuance of the rules better than he does – that’s what they are there for

      1. Exactly; each team has a highly paid individual to make sure the team and all members within in it comply with the rules. They have a direct line to Race Control and in Mercedes case given the importance of the role sit on the prat perch.

    2. I don’t think Hamilton is known for being the brightest of drivers. You only have to listen to his usual panicked and/or confused radio talk to hear it clearly.

    3. @jureo The FIA doesn’t appear to have taken the time to learn the rules, and it wrote them (it breached the regulations multiple times yesterday, some of which were in reference to this incident). Why should anyone expect others to bother reading a document it does not follow itself?

  15. Yeah Lewis you are right. You are on the brink of breaking the most wins record because “they wont let you win”.

  16. Lewis is 100% focused on justice for black people. Trump’s pick isn’t biased against blacks, she’s biased against women’s rights.

  17. If I were in Lewis’s shoes, I’d hire very expensive and litigious lawyers, and have them make it crystal clear that any steward who appeared to be awarding penalties for spurious reasons would get sued – corporately and personally.

    If they can’t make up their minds on penalties and stick to it, then it looks for all the world like they are trying to engineer some jeopardy into the championship by nobbling Lewis.

  18. The stewards probably did not like him running into their office to bully them mid-race in Italy and might have played a part in this OT penalty, so Hamilton is right he should not provoke them any further.

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