FIA removes Lewis Hamilton’s penalty points and fines Mercedes

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

After further deliberation, the FIA decided to drop 2 penalty points awarded to Lewis Hamilton at the Russian Grand Prix and fine Mercedes instead.

Lewis Hamilton received two five-second penalties for two practice start violations, both heavily criticized  by both Hamilton and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.

Additionally the Briton received 2 penalty points on his super license, which brought his 12-month total to 10, just two shy of a one-race ban. This decision was criticized by Max Verstappen, among others.

Now, after further deliberation, the stewards decided to remove the penalty points and hand Mercedes a €25,000 fine instead.

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“The Stewards received information from the team that the driver of car 44 had received a team instruction to perform the practice start in the incorrect place,” read the bulletin.

“This was confirmed by the Stewards having listened to the audio between the team and the driver.

“Based on this information the Stewards replace [the penalty points] with this decision and therefore remove the penalty points imposed and fine the competitor (Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team) €25,000.”

The FIA refers to Hamilton being told by race engineer Pete Bonnington that it is ok for him to complete his two practice starts in the locations where he did, which went against Race Director Michael Masi’s instructions.


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