The Briton was penalized for two pre-race practice start infringements. In addition to two five-second penalties, he also received 2 penalty points, but they were later removed because it was deemed to be the team’s mistake.
However, the two in-race penalties stand and Lewis’ race was essentially ruined. When asked about it in his post-race interview, Hamilton said: “They are trying to stop me, aren’t they?”
Later, the Briton was asked to clarify if he believed he was being targeted by the FIA.
“I don’t necessarily think that it’s for me,” Hamilton explained.
“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 and triple checked.
“They are changing rules, such as the engine regs, lots and 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 [in Sochi] – was anything to do with it but naturally that’s how it feels, like we’re fighting uphill.
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“But it’s okay, it’s not like I haven’t faced adversity before so we just keep our heads down, keep fighting and keep trying to do a better job and be cleaner and squeaky clean.
“We’ll go through the rule book and pick out areas where they can create rules, areas where penalties have never been given before.
“We’ll try and figure out all the ones that they have and try to make sure that we cover ourselves in the ones that we are aware of.
“We’ve gone through seasons before without penalties, so we just have to make sure I give them no reason, not even a sniff, to be able to do something,” concluded the six-time champion.