Hamilton keeps Sao Paulo Grand Prix win after fine for seat belt infraction

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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[raceweekendpromotion]Lewis Hamilton has kept his victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix after he was investigated by the stewards for disconnecting his seat belts on his return to the pits after today’s race.

The stewards fined the driver €5,000 for the incident and issued a further €20,000 fine suspended until the end of the 2022 F1 season. The additional fine will be payable if he commits a similar offence in the future.

“The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seat belts on the in-lap at the end of the race,” the stewards explained. “While the stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seat belts while the car is in motion. Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant.

“Further, Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories. It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.

“The suspension of the penalty is subject to compliance with Appendix L, Ch. III of the ISC during the period specified.”

Hamilton’s win moved him within 14 points of championship leader Max Verstappen.

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2021 Sao Paulo 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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25 comments on “Hamilton keeps Sao Paulo Grand Prix win after fine for seat belt infraction”

  1. Right. Nice they told everyone up front to not do this anymore after years of drivers undoing seatbelts on the in-lap occasionally without any mention of a penalty.

    Not to mention Leclerc drove 2 laps at full racing speed with his seatbelts undone last year and nobody from the FIA even deeming THAT an issue at all.

    Then again 5000 k really is nothing for Hamilton, I am sure he will be happy to throw the FIA their bonus.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      14th November 2021, 21:06

      @bascb This was raised in a drivers’ briefing a few years ago (one of the ones they had on video from 2017), so it’s not entirely new to them. I can’t remember another example of a driver doing that since that drivers’ meeting (maybe Silverstone 2019, but I can’t remember fully)

      1. Don’t remember LeClerc doing that during a race, broadcasting the fact, and the RD ignoring it?

        1. Last season Leclerc raced for 2 laps with his seatbelts completely undone, and not a peep from RD Masi or race stewards.

        2. I remember it but he came in to fix the problem so no action was needed. His seatbelt wasn’t completly loss but he couldn’t fixed it himself. It was a engine problem which sovled itself so he could continue.

      2. I am pretty sure, Lewis has undone his in Silverstone this year in-lap as well. Was not mentioned anywhere back then.

      3. @randommallard 2017, yes, Japanese GP by Grosjean: https://youtu.be/tPr5khO86Eg?t=75
        Indeed nothing new, not to mention other drivers have also done the same for a victory celebration.

  2. After today’s stellar performance I can only say: OLD LEWIS IS BACK!!! No need to waste time commenting what stewards were doing this weekend.

    1. /hamfan mode..
      This had to be a DSQ. Fia is helping him everywhere.
      Familton International assistance.

  3. Sensible. Giving a sporting penalty for something he’s (including other drivers) done before would’ve been overboard.

  4. You can’t do this after the chequered flag as its sets a bad example; so just do it during the race as that’s not an issue.

    1. You’re not kidding. George Russell did this in Mexico during a safety car period to look for damage to his car. That’s how his drink tube got pulled out. There was never even a mention of it from the stewards.

      I don’t recall ever hearing of a fine for drivers riding on the side of another car after the race, either. But somehow today’s action was unacceptable.

      1. Are you saying Russell undid his belts and then re-buckled them while driving? I’ve raced FF1600 and FF2000; there was no way I was able to do up my own belts – you can’t get your arms down to connect the main belt or insert the crotch straps/shoulder straps into the buckle, let alone do this while driving. Racing single seaters you get very intimate with your crew people……. About all you can do is tighten the shoulder straps.

  5. Ridiculous.

  6. Seems the stewards in this Brazil race HAD a thing of targeted actions towards Mercedes and Hamilton. We need to know who they were. These actions are bringing the FIA into bad repute

  7. Oh come on F1, stop being the boring relative.

    Drivers/riders do all sorts of exciting stuff in other series. Lewis slowed to a stop, undid his seatbelt, then drove very slowly with a Brazilian flag. Hardly dangerous, whatever clause 1,136 sub-section 734 says on the official directives.

    1. Not to mention Leclerc did two full race laps with no seatbelts once and there wasn’t even an investigation.

      1. But Charles pitted for that….

        @sonnycrockett, I already knew it would be a fine as a repri would be too heavy.

  8. Setting an example for kids is the best justification ever! Was it not Lewis saying the same in relation to radio messages just last week?

    1. I hate to think how much Webber would be fined for removing his helmet on the cool down lap these days…

  9. Bizarre that Leclerc drove a live race with loose seat belts with no fine
    multiple drivers in the past gave lifts on the in lap
    Mark webber took off his helmet pre halo days
    moto gp rider have zero restraints and wave flags without killing anyone
    But Hamilton gets fined for waving the flag in memory of his Brazilian idol Ayrton Senna..

    “Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories” to justify the fine is a load of crap. Lower formulas are full of rich spoiled pay drivers who drive like maniacs regardless of what the ‘role models’ in F1 do, also talking about setting an example: running cars of the track forcing them to take evading maneuvers to avoid a crash- no fine, loosen seatbelts to hold a flag after winning a race- fined? FIA stewards are a joke and seem to have a vendetta against Lewis Hamilton this weekend.

    If anything he should get a warning but the vindictive stewards obviously want to stick it to Lewis and give him the maximum punishment that does not match the ‘crime’.

  10. That’s all this weekend needed lol. What if they gave him a grid penalty for Qatar. There would be a TRO issued against Wolff.

  11. Not bad. 50k for touching a car with your finger, 5k for driving around without mandatory safety devices.
    Good to see they’ve got their priorities right….

    1. I would think it would be also 50k but for the heck…

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