After Lewis Hamilton received a grid penalty for speeding during the qualifying session at the 2018 Formula One Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia, he was given two penalties and had to start from last. However, soon after the race began on Sunday, his car caught fire resulting in him finishing it anyway with an 11th place finish.
Lewis Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty for an incident with Esteban Ocon in the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, he managed to escape grid penalties throughout the rest of the season.
JEDDAH, JEDDAH, JEDDAH, JEDDAH, JEDD Lewis Hamilton avoided a penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after race officials looked into two separate final practice incidents involving the Mercedes driver and determined that none justified a grid penalty.
Hamilton was called to the stewards for disobeying double-waved yellow flags in the early part of the practice hour and then obstructing Nikita Mazepin at the finish of the session.
The stewards determined that no further action was required in the yellow flag incident, and that a reprimand (Hamilton’s second of the year) was enough for obstructing the Haas driver.
The punishment for ignoring double-waved yellow flags is ordinarily a five-place grid penalty, however the signal was unintentionally enabled on the central marshalling system, and no yellow flags or yellow light panels were shown on track.
The ruling might be appealed by other teams. There was anticipation that Mercedes’ championship challengers Red Bull might do the same, but they chose not to.
Before deciding on the appeal, Red Bull CEO Christian Horner told Sky Sports:
“It’s a bit out of sync with what we saw two weeks ago.” We have the right to file a complaint. We’ll take a look at the data we have; we haven’t given it any thought.
“Because these choices were made so late, the team management had to concentrate on qualifying.” So we’ll have a look and see what happens. Consistency is something we greatly want.
“The difficulty is that if there is an appeal, it will be heard here, by the same stewards, and I’m confident the conclusion will be the same.”
The following was the statement on the yellow flag incident:
“The Race Director informed the Stewards that the FIA Marshalling System’s double yellow flag warning was mistakenly triggered at Light Panel Number 6 for less than one second.”
“As the on-board video of Car 44 (to be provided by the Commercial Rights Holder after this Decision) plainly demonstrates, no yellow flag was shown, no yellow lights were presented to that driver, and the yellow warning light on the driver’s steering wheel was not visible.”
Lewis Hamilton in final practice at the Jeddah street circuit. Getty Images/Dan Mullan
“Unlike prior cases this year, neither yellow flag or yellow light was flashed to the vehicle (the car was already deep inside the marshalling sector when the system was temporarily triggered), hence there was no violation of the laws.”
The Mazepin incident happened almost 20 minutes later in the practice, when Hamilton was caught by the Haas driver at Turn 8 while on a slowing lap. To prevent a collision, Hamilton obstructed Mazepin’s course into the turn, causing the Russian to skip over the inside of the kerbs.
The stewards, however, determined that Mercedes’ communication with Hamilton was also to fault, fining the team €25,000 and issuing a reprimand to Hamilton.
“When the driver was at Turn 2, he was given a 10-second warning that Car 9 [Mazepin] was coming,” according to the statement. “Due to a communication breakdown on the team’s part, he did not get another warning until Car 9 arrived beside him.
“The stewards acknowledge that this track creates issues for drivers in terms of gauging the approach of passing vehicles using their mirrors. Although it is ultimately the driver’s duty to prevent impeding, the driver must rely on the team to communicate well on this circuit.
“This did not occur in this situation, and the contestant was penalized as a result. The stewards use this opportunity to emphasize how important it is for teams to communicate properly and proactively with their drivers owing to the nature of this track. This should not be used as a model for other circuits.”
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Lewis Hamilton escaped a grid penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after Mercedes changed his gearbox. Lewis Hamilton’s wife, Nicole Scherzinger, posted a photo of her husband on Instagram with the caption “I’m just lucky to have him.” Reference: lewis hamilton wife.
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