Hamilton escapes penalty for alleged Qatar GP Quali infringement

© Sebastian Kawka for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix ltd.

Lewis Hamilton has been cleared of any wrongdoing after he was summoned to the stewards for an alleged infringement in Qatar Grand Prix Qualifying.

After the Qatar Grand Prix Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton, Liam Lawson, Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda were put under investigation for allegedly exceeded “the time limit between the Safety Car lines during qualifying”, which refers to the minimum lap time in Q1.

Article 12.2.1 of the International Sporting Code dictates that at the Losail circuit a minimum lap time of 1:46:000 must take place.

However, if drivers are going slower than that time because they are getting out of the way of approaching traffic, they will not be penalised.

Out of all the aforementioned drivers, only Hamilton was required to see the stewards, and ultimately they decided not to penalise anybody.

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“The drivers took appropriate actions to not impede other drivers, and in all cases they slowed down significantly to allow other drivers to pass while giving those drivers a clear track,” the FIA’s verdict read.

“The stewards therefore determine that they did not drive ‘unnecessarily slowly’, and that evidently the reason they were above the maximum time was due to their appropriate actions and take no further action.”

The stewards also noted that “in most of the incidents the fact that other cars were making a gap at the end of the lap influenced the drivers trying to maintain their delta time.

“The drivers are reminded once again that no car may be driven unnecessarily slowly and the Stewards will continue to monitor the issue closely,” the FIA statement concluded.

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