Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020

FIA dismisses Hamilton’s claim they are “trying to stop me”

2020 Russian Grand Prix

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Formula 1 race director Michael Masi defended the independence of the sport’s stewards following Lewis Hamilton’s claim they are “trying to stop me” with recent penalty decisions.

Hamilton was speaking after he was given two five-second time penalties in the Russian Grand Prix for performing his pre-race practice starts in an unapproved location.

Masi said he would not respond directly to Hamilton’s comments, but insisted the stewards reach their decisions independently and that all drivers have the opportunity to raise any concerns directly with him.

“From my perspective it’s very simple,” said Masi. “If Lewis wants to raise something, as I have said to him before, and say to all the drivers numerous times, the door is always open. I’m more than happy to discuss anything.

“But I think from an FIA perspective we are there to, as a sporting regulator, administer the regulations. We have the stewards as an independent judiciary to adjudicate those.

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“There was an infringement and it doesn’t matter if it was Lewis Hamilton or any other one of the 19 drivers, if a breach has occurred of the regulations they will consider it on its merits. And also, further to that, I would say adjudicate it equitably and fairly in the circumstances, taking all the key elements into account.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Sochi Autodrom, 2020
Mercedes realised stewards ‘were not going to like’ Hamilton’s practice starts
Hamilton said the recent change to engine ‘quali modes’ was another example of how Mercedes are being kept in check, as other successful teams have in the past.

“I don’t necessarily think that it’s for me,” he said, “I think probably most teams, whenever a team is at the front, obviously they are [under] a lot of scrutiny.

“Everything we have on our car is being checked and triple-checked. They are changing rules, such as the engine regs, lots of things to get in the way to keep the racing exciting, I assume.

“I don’t know if the rules, in terms of what happened today, was anything to do with it. But naturally that’s how it feels, naturally it feels like you we’re fighting uphill.

“But it’s OK, it’s not like I haven’t faced adversity before so we just keep our heads down and keep fighting and keep trying to do a better job and be cleaner and squeaky clean.”

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120 comments on “FIA dismisses Hamilton’s claim they are “trying to stop me””

  1. He’s not wrong.

    Qually mode regs would have hobbled Ferrari much harder last season than it has Merc this season.

    Ferrari International Assistance.

    1. Yeah yeah, and not banning the Renault mass damper would have denied him his first world title…..
      Yeah yeah, and not banning Red Bull’s blown diffuser would have denied him a couple of titles…..
      Yeah yeah, and introducing the hybrid engine and FIA’s incompetence of adequately policing engine modes, KERS output and oil burn did not grant him a couple of titles……..

      Average racer, unrivaled self glorifying narcissist with victimhood syndrome

      1. Jesus! Are you guys this miserable in life to pour so much emotion into LH?

        Where is the hate coming from?

      2. Average racer with 90 wins and 6 titles. Ok.

      3. Oconomo….. go find a puppy and hug it for a while, you’ll feel better.

        1. This kind of hate has always been around nothing new when a minority is dominant. See Tiger in his prime. Let’s Tiger proof the courses. Doesn’t matter how gentile this individuals may be in their professional lives. Those that hate to see it will find a way to level the field. I love to see dominance unleashed to see how far the best can go while forcing others to improve

      4. you are one sad example of a human keyboard warrior. mr Oconomo..
        Hate hamilton or whatever.. he is on track to be greatest of all time… soon a century of poles ..soon a century of race wins..and soon 7 WDC ..so you can spew nonsense hate here.. but its nothing.

    2. Yeah, because engine technical directives didn’t hurt Ferrari at all this year…

      1. @roadrunner and the secret deal didn’t stop Ferrari losing all their points from the second half of last season, did it? (and all the prize money)

        Do Ferrari get to keep their veto and a bonus payment under the new Concorde deal?

        Ferrari International Assistance

        1. Wow, you people are so clever how you reword FIA! It really drives home the point and shows just how amazingly clever you are.

          Sigh.

      2. It looks like Ferrari does that all by themselves. They’re a mess. How the mighty have fallen.

  2. Off-topic question: I didn’t stay for the podium ceremony and haven’t read anything about it yet, why were the drivers wearing their gloves on the podium?

    1. If this is true, that is flat out ridiculous. Here is another trend on reddit of this:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/j0trh9/fia_steward_mika_salo_reportedly_leaked_the/

      I guess the Ferrari Master Plan has finally for once worked.

      1. Can someone confirm that all the translations and interpretations are correct?

      2. Sincerly …..
        “Ferrari Master Plan” “Ferrari international assistance”.

        Dismiss LH for Ferrari ?
        Well, they should dismiss and give penalties to a lot of people to make Ferrari win this year =^^=

        Just a thought…
        What could the FIA do to make Vettel win if he is 14th ?

        Can’t we be a little serious, here ?

        I’m always suprised by lack of objectivy from fans, not matter who they are supporting.

        Come on, LH made an error, he’s an adult.
        Adults takes responsabilities and are not playing victims.

        And growing is learning from errors.

        Is he an adult, a winner, or a child and a whinner ?

        He’s the only one who can takes responsability for himself.
        No else can do.

        And it’s the same for everyone.

        1. It’s a meme everywhere. It’s for fun.

      3. It’s amazing how well the Ferrari Masterplan ist working ;-)

    2. Thanks Neil, this is the google-translated tweet:

      1) Yesterday’s head of the arbitration committee, former pilot Mika Salo, may be in trouble.

      It turned out that Salo leaked the verdict to the Finnish press 10 minutes before the penalty for Hamilton was officially announced. Finnish media also shared the issue with their audience BEFORE THE RACE BEGIN.

      I’ve said before: just because someone used to be an F1 driver, doesn’t mean they make a good steward.

      1. I didn’t even think that Mika is a Finnish driver for a second. If he leaked this then it’s very likely he got Bottas a victory. Would that qualify as Mika’s 1sr race victory?

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          28th September 2020, 15:48

          No, because he already has a race winner trophy. Irvine gave him the German GP/99 trophy.

      2. Yeah, that story is pretty crazy, can’t imagine the FIA is impressed with that.

        It’s not really a question of whether he leaked it, sadly Link to a (Finnish, but with subtitles) bit of video (got that from another forum) before the start where Salo talks to Finnish TV. Talk is of 5+5s penalty, and 2×2 penalty points (that bit was either misunderstood, or subsequently watered down in the penalties Hamilton officially got, before they were completely dropped) so he would have 12 and have to sit out a race. Neither Sky nor RTL Germany, or Ziggo (NL) were talking about two penalties, it’s pretty specific to come up with the same numbers that were announced, quite a few laps later during the race.

        1. @bosyber Good points. Sky were talking about an investigation, so it was known by the broadcasters as a whole, through whatever channels they use, but the double penalty and 12 points was a surprise to the rest, apparently, indicating Salo as an exclusive source to Finnish TV.

          I find that unfathomable that it’s acceptable for a race steward, judge whatever to be talking to the press at any point during a sports event until its over. And shouldn’t he have been too busy then to be texting the media? How concerned was he to arrive at a good decision on Hamilton’s penalty, considering all evidence? (I’m betting on: not in the least). The ‘full of sh14’ comment is pouring fuel over a lit ember.

      3. @zann If this is true, it’s a scandal. A Finnish steward leaking a decision to the Finnish press, so quickly and before an official announcement, would indicate that this was immediately perceived by Salo as ‘good news’ for a Finnish driver, Bottas, indicating, in turn, potential corruption in the stewarding. His reported response that Hamilton’s claims of bias were ‘full of sh14’ also indicates a complete lack of professionalism for a race steward, and just makes the first report of leaking the penalty news even more suspicious.

        Beginning to look like Masi and the stewards are indeed out of control.

        1. It does look too much like a celebration doesn’t it @david-br. And the F1 driver is so influential with the stewards.

          I suppose Jean Todt might get involved.

          1. @david-br

            It will only take a matter of time before this spreads out. I do wonder how Mercedes will react to this. Appeal for Hamilton’s penalty? The penalty was given at around 20 minutes after the broadcast of that information.

          2. @zann @krichelle It looks really bad. If this happened in football, it would instantly trigger match-rigging (betting syndicate claims). This is not an accusation. It’s saying that F1’s integrity is thrown into question by Salo, if, as claimed, he did this.

            Difficult to see what Mercedes do since the penalty favoured their other driver. But inaction could also have a dramatic effect on Hamilton’s contract negotiations. Could evaporate, could be explosive, depending on what else comes out.

          3. Most likely @david-br FIA will close ranks and the deal with Mercedes will be Salo will quietly disappear and never be seen again!

            But seriously, if you were looking for someone who has to be objective, unemotional and with cool judgment, would you look among a group of people who have an irrational compulsion to go round in circles faster than anybody else? The driver stewards seemed like a great idea at the time, but generally they let dangerous driving go, late blocks, weaving and that kind of macho stuff, and penalise petty things like this.

            And they can be just for the in-crowd of middle-sized, middle-class, white male drivers, and jealous too. Derek Warwick was simply a disgrace in Monaco 2014, and Emanuele Pirro didn’t even investigate in Spa for that thing Rosberg’s own team fined him for! They have too much status, being our heroes, but not the best temperament at all.

          4. @zann Intra-team collisions are an issue in general. I think they should be investigated and penalized where appropriate. It’s clearly not in the interest of the teams to call for an investigation. But one or both drivers might want a penalty issued, for various reasons, but are unable to ask for an investigation as it goes against their employer’s interest. So it’s almost a labour issue!

          5. yes @david-br intra team collisions are a perfect example aren’t they. The stewarding is supposed to be about safety more than anything, and these are often the most dangerous contacts, tyre face to tyre face and making cars fly, but they let them go because it’s the same team.

  3. It’s on occasions like this that Lewis comes off looking slightly foolish.

    I understand his disappointment but to suggest that the powers-that-be are colluding against HIM is paranoid to the extreme.

    It reminds me of his “maybe it’s because I is black” comment many years ago.

    1. Which he modified straight after that interview. As I expect Max did after his outburst about Honda at the last race, Grosjean probably did after he accused Bottas of trying to kill him, and the thousands of times previously when a driver has pointed a finger at someone else straight after getting out of the car.
      But what is not a surprise is the numerous times you are reminded of the Ali G quote as you seem to bring it up every other post.

      1. @riptide he may have amended it right away, but that doesn’t mean he amended the minds of those who live the victimhood mentality and now feel they have a right to call everyone racist if they don’t like Lewis. His comments, and those you mentioned, make for a very toxic group of fans.

        1. Jose Lopes da Silva
          28th September 2020, 15:49

          (…) victimhood mentality (…)

    2. My memory is a bit hazy, but didn’t he once accuse his own team of conspiring against him?
      “Again I rise”, or whatever the slogan was done time…

      1. No, he flat out accused McLaren of lying to him. For Spa 2012, his engineers told him that he’d be OK with the Hungary-spec wing, because he’d be faster in the corners, and wouldn’t lose much time on the straights, so they put the Hungary-spec wing on just before Qualifying (which means he was stuck with it for Saturday and Sunday).

        … and that’s when he tweeted the telemetry traces showing that whoever had told him that was either incredibly stupid, or a liar (although the tweets were lacking any actual confidential information– Hamilton edited that out).

    3. I don’t think it’s a race (color, not F1) thing. Apparently, he seems to be right. The stewards were trying to literally “fix” the entire championship, not just this race.

      I think race direction needs to be changed asap especially after the sc restart and the bollard fiasco this week along with the decision to ignore Leclerc’s collision with Stroll and what appears to be an attempt to completely derail the championship.

    4. He was joking, and used better grammar than you did. He also immediately went to the stewards’ office and apologized, explaining that he had meant it as a joke, but realized it wouldn’t be taken as one.

  4. I agree with him in regards of the engine modes ban.
    Not about the rest, though: when he was the only driver to do start simulations outside of the prescribed area it’s hard to say that they are singling him out.

  5. Well the manner in which the penalty was introduced means they did want to influence the outcome of the race.
    Stewards are not robots they are human beings that are also influenced by their own emotions.
    He could not have done two practice starts in 2 minutes. The pitlane area is one of the easiest part of the race track to monitor as such, they could have notified the team of the investigation much earlier and the team would have avoided a second infringement.

    1. Yes this is a thing isn’t it OOliver, that a penalty is for deterrence, so it has to be applied and known in order to do its job. It should be applied to a behaviour, in other words, not an event. Obviously if Lewis had known it was attracting a 5s in-race penalty, he wouldn’t have done it the second time! One 5s was plenty anyway.

      I mean he is being a bit paranoid, but racing drivers are. Sebi for example and F off Charlie!! And there’s the context from Monza of the pitlane being closed while he’s already in Parabolica.

    2. Well, according to Mercedes even they didn’t know the position Lewis was using for his starts and only when he did his second one did they realise there could be a problem. So I doubt the stewards, who are busy looking at many things at that time, were more aware of what Lewis was doing than Mercedes was.

  6. I can see why Hamilton would think that, the blatant attempt to knobble Merc is a stupid move and only brings the sport into disrepute. The 5 second penalty for stopping in the wrong place was justified I think but the second penalty? It doesn’t matter, the next race or the race after that Hamilton will take the record.
    I think Hamiltons problem is he doesn’t fit into the mould of a compliant saleable world champion. He is outspoken and many of the ‘suits’ in the business world don’t like the idea of the multiple and dare I say coloured WDC drawing attention to their hypocrisy.

    1. It would be justified if it was written in black and white but their is no actual point in the document where it says you can’t do it. This is the issue, it is too open ended and open to interpretation. It doesn’t say “NO PRACTICE STARTS BEYOND THIS POINT”

      1. It would be justified if it was written in black and white but their is no actual point in the document where it says you can’t do it.

        I had a quick search through the latest Technical Regulations using the terms “start”, “practice” and “practicing”, and it seems there isn’t a rule within those regulations which say Lewis couldn’t do his practice starts where he did. Sorry, I tried to find the Stewards report on this so I could find out the exact rule he’s supposed to have broken, but I couldn’t find that report.

        1. Here is the link to the race directors notes

          https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/decision-document/2020%20Russian%20Grand%20Prix%20-%20Race%20Directors'%20Event%20Notes%20Version%202.pdf

          And it’s states

          19) Practice starts
          19.1 Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights and, for the
          avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race.
          Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.
          19.2 For reasons of safety and sporting equity, cars may not stop in the fast lane at any time the pit exit is open without a justifiable reason (a practice start is not considered a justifiable reason).

          Considering the “fast lane” of the pits ends at the pit exit lights where it becomes the “pit exit lane” technically Hamilton never breached the directive.
          I do agree it was not the best place to do a practice start but there is nothing in that directive to state exactly where and how far from the pit exit lights you need to be.
          Like with most things in F1 without clarity drivers and teams will push to the limit, but Massi has to take some of the blame for issue such a vague directive relating to practice starts.

          1. Thanks for supplying this information. I agree, I think the Race Director’s notes should have been more specific. If one considers the rule is “after the pit exit lights”, then one could argue anywhere on the track could be used that’s between the pit exit and the pit lane entrance because all of that is “after the pit exit lights”.

    2. “the blatant attempt to knobble Merc is a stupid move and only brings the sport into disrepute”
      Sure, just like the blatent attempt to hobble Red Bull, Renault, Ferrari, Lotus, Williams, Brabham, McLaren…..
      Out of curiosity: is it 2 weeks or 3 weeks you are following this sport?

    3. “He is outspoken and many of the ‘suits’ in the business world don’t like the idea of the multiple and dare I say coloured WDC drawing attention to their hypocrisy.”
      Well, given the fact Lewis is by far, and then some, the most hypocrite driver in the history of this sport, a driver who keeps telling lies and dwell in his victimhood, one might say he completely fits into the mould of a compliant saleable world champion because his hypocrisy trumps the hypocrisy of the suits and actually draws attention away!
      (And no, this is not a “coloured” thing, this is just Lewis being a hypocritical self glorifying narcissist with severe victimhood issues, typical for narcissists.)

      1. Lol dare I say Alain Prost ran like a little girl to the stewards to get on his knees to get Senna disqualified or how about Prost waving his hands like an old lady at Monaco because of Senna closing on him in rain. So don’t tell me he’s the biggest hypocrite.

      2. Oconomo: he in only commenting about the people like yourself… aka hypocritical self glorifying narcissist with severe racist issues, typical for narcissists) have you actually looked at the mirror recently? every comment in that last sentence is describing you and people like you spot on!

    4. The rules are so complex that no one really knows them and why you are at the mercy of the judges interpreting them.

      Didn’t Max undertake a car in the pit lane barely missing some folks? That didn’t even result in a penalty. That could have easily ruined Max’s race and the Red Bull guy said “nice one”.

      So, Hamilton can say anything and he’s probably 100% right. The race yesterday was a joke with the bollard and the leadership swap.

  7. His paranoia has got the better of him lately.

    All this would be a non issue if he had a competitive teammate and other teams that could challenge Mercedes. In that case he’d be far too busy having to actually make an effort to win instead of thinking everyone is out to get him.

  8. Oh look, Masi dismissing something.

  9. I sometimes get the impression that Hamilton’s lost all humility and fallen into a bit of a God-complex, like he thinks he now owns F1 and forgets it’s supposed to be a sport.

    Most of us don’t tune-in just to watch him win…

    1. And that has nothing to do with the situation, so why bother posting it

    2. “lost all humility” fallen into a God complex” wow you guys just wait for Lewis to say something, anytging and he is the worst ever to walk on the planet. I may be miatajen but who acknowledged the fans on the stadium after qualifying and after the race? Who always acknowledges otbher race drivers or congrats them openly. Who says he had a bad quali session when he has? That realy is a God complex there. Bottas says f off to critics and he is hailed as some one that did some great deed. Wow! That is such hypocrisy. And we wonder why sometimes lewis feels like there are those conspiring against him.

      1. Don’t forget to take your meds, mate.

  10. I defended Lewis against lots of criticism from friends and family. Going to be consuming a lot of humble pie now that the real Lewis is clearly visible.

    So disappointing.

    1. What real lewis? Come on, tell the truth, this all defend thing you just posted was made up.

      He has the right to be annoyed about a rule that lacks clarity being applied that destroyed a full weekend

      Tell me, why did Lewis get points on his License for clashing with Albon, when similar incidents after that have gained no penality. Weird.

      1. Poor poor poor Lewis.
        We should give him a hug

      2. Y’know, I’ve followed his career since the three abreast overtake at Silverstone GP2 in 2006. I dismissed the ‘monkeys at the back’, ‘is it cos I am black’ comments as aberrations, in the heat of the moment.

        The only clear cut injustice against Lewis was Spa 2008, he did nothing wrong but was penalised, total rubbish. I’m not going to debate every single 50/50 call with anyone, it’s futile. I thought he deserved the penalty in Brazil, it was an optimistic maneouvre born out of wanting to win and having nothing to lose, even he admitted guilt.

        This year though, the closer he comes to GOAT status, the more we see of an irrational persecution complex, centred upon race. It’s just not helpful.

        If you’re signed up to this site you can check out my previous comments for whether or not I’ve changed my mind about Lewis. I don’t expect an apology.

        1. Yes Spa ‘08 was the only clearly unjustified penalty, although I believe that was more to do with spygate rather than any vendetta against Hamilton.

          The rule makers have tried to nobble Mercedes in recent years but they consistently do this whenever a team is dominating. They banned coanda exhausts and exhaust-blown diffusers mid-season during the Red Bull years, the mass damper when Renault had an advantage and introduced the 2005 tyre regulations to reign-in Ferrari’s dominance.

          It’s not all about you Lewis.

          1. @jackisthestig

            The rule makers have hobbled Ferrari much more than Mercedes. It’s really absurd how people keep claiming that they are going after Mercedes specifically.

        2. and ignored the question about Albon, why has Lewis got a penality for it and points, when it is being totally ignroed in other circumstances.

          Even in Brazil last year, the exact same thing happened in reverse and it was still Lewis that got penalised.
          Carry on not debating, run away.

          1. Hamilton fan here… but you’re not the original commenter and @frasier has literally no reason to respond to your unrelated unsubstantiated claim… What similar incidents? And come on, for every unpenalised incident you list, there will be a similarly penalised incident in the history books and you’d just be cherrypicking. Don’t make us look bad, be an objective fan. Lewis’s character clearly isn’t shining through this incident.

  11. Salo as a steward should not be using language he seems to have about a driver challenging a decision, something only recently the Race Director seemed comfortable with.

    It seems Salo was tweeting or texting about Hamilton’s penalty before it was published.

    And why was it published so late. They had plenty of time from the practice starts as cars moved to the grid.

    Murky stuff.

  12. I know the anti-Hamilton brigade have been foaming at the mouth these last 24 hours but if this situation to do with Mika Salo is true, surely that’s a pretty damn big deal? Especially on the legal side of things.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/j0trh9/fia_steward_mika_salo_reportedly_leaked_the/

    Also still none of you lot going to comment on this?

    http://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/j0sz2m/leclerc_no_penalty_vs_hamiltons_penalty/

    1. If that is true we should not be seeing him again in the stewards office. That’s just a no go.

  13. The FIA reported an investigation of the incident about 24 minutes before the start but did not announce the penalty until 16 minutes into the race. Why so long?

    The timing of the penalty caused maximum disruption to Hamilton’s race. Earlier he might have used the safety car for a tyre change to hard and done a Rosberg on this track.

    Was this accidental, deliberate or incompetent.

    Considering Salo’s outburst and him reportedly texting the penalty well before the announcement one wonders. Even more so now the penalty points have been rescinded.

    1. Exactly right? They claim it was a clear situation that Hamilton did something wrong. His haters lament: “Why does he not know those simple easy rules?”. Yet the stewards took forever digging through the easy clear rules trying to find something they could pin it on.

  14. Punishments for dissent or disrespecting the officials are not really a “thing” in F1, but I do think Hamilton is treading close to the line with some of his recent comments. There are rules against bringing the sport into disrepute.

    1. So what was Vettels punishment for that stream of foul language aimed at Charlie? Can hardly argue that Hamilton has done worse; particularly as he drew back from his initial pen comment once he got to the winners presser.

      1. @riptide It was actually that incident I was thinking of when I said that punishments for dissent don’t really happen in F1.

        I think which is “worse” depends on your point of view. Alleging the sport’s governing body is corruptly trying to prevent you from winning might be seen as worse than shouting expletives at the race director down the radio. Or, it might not.

  15. I don’t agree with HAM but can you name the last driver to get a penalty for entering a closed pit or for doing a practise start in the wrong place?

    1. Giovanazzi, at the same race.

      1. Yes, obviously, but never happened at any other race ever.

        1. In 2008/9 (probably before you were born @davidjwest) there were a few instances of drivers getting penalties for pitting while the pit lane was closed. In those days the pit lane would close whenever the SC was deployed, and drivers would sometimes get caught out if they were running low on fuel. Rosberg at Singapore 2008 is one of the examples I recall.

          1. Nah I’m probably older than you mate, thanks for the reminder though. That was another dumb FIA rule.

          2. @red-andy Good memory. At that time I was a new fan and so confused. Rosberg still finished on the podium that day though, I’m not quite sure how he did that given he had a 10 second stop/go.

          3. @rapid From memory the stewards took ages to make a decision (even though it was extremely clear cut), during which time Rosberg was able to pull out enough of a lead that he only dropped behind Alonso when he came to serve his penalty.

  16. Last time someone make political statement in podium they got $5mio penalty. Last time a driver accuse the governing body conspired to manipulate the championship to make Prost world champion, he almost got his superlicence revoked.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      28th September 2020, 15:50

      The governing body was French. There are somethings we might better not bring again.

  17. I’m not a huge Hamilton fan nor agree with his t shirt stuff but I will say one thing about our current steward. He’s been in the headlines far too many times since his takeover and his investigations sometimes have us scratching our heads. In any sport, be it hockey soccer baseball etc the referee’s name is talked about on a regular basis, he or she is doing something wrong.

  18. Hamilton sometimes comes across as completely lacking in self awareness and a bit pathetic as well.
    Nobody is out to stop him. The rule is super clear, there is a practice start box for a reason. If drivers were allowed to do their practice start wherever they wanted, then before the race everybody would be lining up on the main straight to do their practice starts. Its operational failure by Mercedes, they should know the rules and communicate those to their drivers. When Lewis asked on the radio, Bono should have said negative please use the practice start box.
    Also, Hamilton has been in F1 for how long? 13 years? He would at least have an idea about the rules by now too.
    What a load of nonsense…

    1. Actually if you read F1 forums like f1technical, the rule IS NOT super clear.

    2. Is this practice box the same as the red light at the entrance to the Monza pits that we were told about?

    3. Where is this “practice start box” actually?

    4. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend

      there is a practice start box for a reason

      Yet, There isn’t

      This is the “rule”:

      19.1 Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights and, for the
      avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race.
      Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.

      He was on the right hand side, after the pit exit lights and there was adequate room on their left for another driver to pass

      So what did he do wrong?

      1. @f1osaurus
        The rule I refer to, and the one Lewis received his 2x 5 sec penalties for, is the Race Director notes (v3) which changes race to race because of different track layouts. Hamilton did his practice starts in the actual pit exit. All practice starts are done immediately after the pit light, on the right, off the path of those leaving the pits (to the right of the solid white line that delineates the pit exit). Every other driver got it right, including his teammate.
        Remember that Russia’s pit exit is walled all the way and curved to right. Drivers coming through the pit exit would have found Lewis parked up right after their turning right upon leaving the pits, which from a safety perspective is less than ideal.
        The reason the notes exist is so all competitors read them. In this case someone at the team failed to read the notes and communicate to Lewis.
        His suggestion people are out to get him is ridiculous.

        1. I don’t agree that there is an agenda here but you can see why he may think there is. Twice in three races he has lost a race win (or a good chance at one) due to fairly unusual/obscure rules. The team should be getting on top of these issues and communicating with their drivers better.

        2. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend That text that I posted is exactly what you claim to refer to. It’s 19.1 from the directors notes v3.

          So lets try again:

          19.1 Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights and, for the avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race.
          Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.

          Which part did he violate?

          You added the word “immediately”, but that’s not in the actual rules. He also wasn’t in the “actual pit exit” since he was “after the pit exit”

          Please try to stick to the text as given by the race directors and don’t make up rules to fit your agenda

          1. @f1osaurus
            Not making up at all to suit any agenda. (As I dont have one).
            The pit exit is the access road that leads the drivers back to the race track. If you care enough, just watch the footage.
            Lewis did his practice start in the pit exit, rather than to the right of the solid line.
            The stewards just gave him the penalty which is in the rules. That’s fair enough in my book. Again the rule exists to make sure drivers don’t do their practice starts wherever they want, rather in a common area where other drivers (marshals and race staff too) expect it to happen.
            I guarantee to you Lewis will do his practice start in the agreed designated area next race. Thats what rules and penalties exist (to promote the right behaviour) and in that sense, the penalties will have achieved what they set out to.
            Good job by the stewards here.

          2. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend
            Let’s try again:

            A) Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side
            B) after the pit exit lights
            C) and, for the avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race.
            D) Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.

            Which of these did he violate?

            Lewis did his practice start in the pit exit, rather than to the right of the solid line.

            None of this is mentioned in the rules. It fits exactly with “B) After the pit exit”, which actually means he needs to do the practice start in the pit exit lane. Where he was. There is only the pit exit lane after the pit exit sign.

            A few months ago when Leclerc made a practice start out of the designated area. Just to be clear, Leclerc wasn’t even investigated for it.

            Those directors notes actually had a picture of where to start from. You know what, that was exactly the same area where Hamilton did it in Sochi, but then a bit earlier because then the rules said to do it before SC2 line.

            So when the drivers say they start from there all the time, then they are not making that up, they actually do.

          3. @pmccarthy_is_a_legend
            Just look at those Spa notes and then come back to me that the rules were clear in Sochi:
            https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/decision-document/2020%20Belgian%20Grand%20Prix%20-%20Race%20Directors'%20Event%20Notes%20.pdf

            18) Practice starts
            18.1 During each practice session, practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after
            leaving the pit lane. These must be done prior to the SC2 line and with all four wheels between the
            white line on the right-hand edge of the pit exit and the wall. (the area bordered by black in the
            photograph on page 6).
            18.2 During the time the pit exit is open for the race, practice starts may be carried out on the track after
            the pit exit before the SC2 line. Drivers wishing to carry out a practice start should stop wholly within
            the pit exit in order to allow other cars to pass on their left (the area bordered by red in the photograph
            on page 6). During this time any driver passing a car which has stopped to carry out a practice start
            may cross the white line that is referred to in 19.1 below.

  19. Nothing but ToroDung

  20. Typical Hamilton to go conspiracy theories and victim role, but in this case he has a point. We all know the engine mode ban was to get at Mercedes, and this penalty was honestly suspicious. Not so much to help the show, but to get at back at him from when Hamilton stormed into their office in Italy in the middle of the race to bully them for the (correct) pit lane penalty which they surely didn’t like one little bit.

    1. Oh please tell us more. Massi; along with Charlie before him, has an open door policy for the drivers. And on this occasion had no problem with Hamilton either visiting the stewards room , or his demeanour when there. And said he was fairly content after viewing the footage.
      Have you got a link to this other version of events?

      1. @riptide You still don’t know the difference between the race director and stewards, or even the name of the race director. Are you really into F1 at all, or is it just Hamilton, Hamilton, Hamilton and attack everyone who dares say anything about him? Even doing this now, you’re in effect dismissing your hero’s claim that there is a concerted effort by the stewards to stop him which is obviously not the intention as in your eyes he can do or say no wrong, so you’re tripping over yourself as well as revealing a lack of basic F1 knowledge. Maybe this site is not for you.

  21. It’s simple. He broke the rules, he took the penalty.

    His response to being penalised is always wrong. He sings when he’s winning but moans and bleets like crazy when things don’t go his way. He hasn’t changed one bit over these years.

    Look at the difference in his and Ricciardo’s response to their respective penalties. Entirely different quality of sportsman.

    F1 really should introduce a dissent penalty like football has with the referee. It’s outrageous that he gets to accuse the officials of this without repercussions.

  22. there is a lot of chatter from Michael Masi after races recently .
    i dont remember Charlie having to defend decisions ? .
    is Michael Masi being asked to help the show by hampering Mercedes ?.( we are doing conspiracy theories arent we ?.)

    1. Charlie seemed to have a better relationship with the drivers. And would often give interviews after any controversial decisions to explain what happened and why.
      Massi’s go to response seems to be to dismiss what ever the drivers raise.

      1. Charlie was a leader and masi seems like a precocious teen .

  23. Fine him for bringing the sport into disrepute.

    He’s basically calling the stewards corrupt.

    1. Well, he might be right!

  24. I don’t think the stewards are targeting Hamilton on purpose but it’s more likely due to Red Bull reporting Hamilton for whatever they feel could be construed as an offence.

    But then also that they do go out of their way to find “infringements”. Like the racing incident between Albon and Hamilton in Austria. Similar to many other incidents since that went unpunished, for instance during the Styria race, but also last race between Leclerc and Stroll

    There was an infringement

    But was there really?

    He complied with all of the directives given:

    19.1 Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights and, for the
    avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race.
    Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.

    While at the same event we saw Verstappen overtake Gasly in the pitlane and go with all 4 wheels off the fastlane at speed. This was not even investigated.

  25. Why does formula one have guest stewards ? ,.Do they know the rules front page to back ?.
    I would love to see the practice starts of the other drivers so i can get a better understanding of where the drivers are supposed to be? .

    1. @savizzo I remember Hill claiming that they could only give Schumacher a 20 second penalty in Monaco after overtaking Alonso. Which is not true because they can always give another penalty if they deem this better fitting. In this case just putting Schumacher back behind Alonso would have made much more sense.

      1. key word there was Sense , they didnt show any .

  26. Considering the widely-reported stuff involving Mika Salo leaking information of Hamilton’s penalty BEFORE the stewards had even confirmed that they were investigating Lewis…maybe Lewis’ paranoia is not so far-fetched after all??

  27. Seriously, people need to chill.

    Any driver, immediately after a race is going to be a bit upset about a penalty, particularly a contentious one, they received. No doubt Lewis has walked back the “they’re out to get me” theme now he’s cooled down.

    What he has done is point out a “loophole” in the directors notes that he thought he could exploit to his advantage. I have no doubt that the notes at the next race will have the wording changed to make things a little more clear.

    For those complaining about the penalty – how would you have felt if your favourite driver collided with him exiting the pits, something that was a distinct possibility given the position from which he was “practicing”?

    Hopefully all sides will see this as a learning exercise and move on.

    1. @dbradock Why would anyone collide? He was on the pitlane, he then could go on the lane that divides the race track and the pit lane and only after that the cars are at full speed. It’s just like a car coming out of the pit lane.

      1. He was at the end of the pit exit where cars were already travelling at full speed way past where they are speed limited. Perhaps it might help if you’d watched the race.

        1. @dbradock They actually move into the lane to the left of where Hamilton was.

          Perhaps it might help if you’d watched the race.

          Did you actually watch the race yoruself? The incident didn’t actually happen during the race.

  28. bottom line …… he did wrong got punished, end of story but hamilton thinks he is above that. its about time this man saw that he is not bigger than the sport, lots of fans do not agree with his pre race antics and many see his constant raising of black issues as racist.

    1. Bottom line … the way these directors notes are worded, it’s not really that clear that he broke the rules.

    1. @specialist Indeed funny how Leclerc was not even investigated for it. While his incorrect practice start caused that issue and then they saw that as a valid excuse for breaking another rule rather than penalizing him for it.

      The stewards are ridiculous lately.

      Also Leclerc getting a penalty in Japan for tapping Verstappen out in lap 1 and Hamilton getting a penalty for tapping Albon’s rear wheel in Austria (while Albon had at least a meter to the left of him and therefore is clearly partly to blame). Yet Leclerc tapping out Stroll (who was all the way on the kerb already) doesn’t even get investigated.

  29. FIA is run by snakes. It’s ok. Karma will come back to bite you harder.

    Lewis all the way!!!
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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