During the Italian Grand Prix Hamilton received the 10 second stop-and-go penalty for entering the pitlane while it was closed. Although he accepted the blame for this transgression, the Briton admitted that he didn’t see the lights that indicated the pitlane was off limits.
Mercedes’ Motorsport Strategy Director James Vowles agrees the Briton is not to blame.
“If you look at the footage from his car, you can see that there are only two signs indicating that the pit lane is closed. It was difficult for him to see them”, explains Vowles.
“Nowhere else was there any indication for Lewis that the pit lane was closed. We got a message on one of our screens right away, but you don’t look at it right away.
“The focus was mainly on making the pit stop. You don’t look at a single sentence that says that the pitlane is closed.”
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Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin also says the team has to take the blame for this one.
“Lewis is not the person to notice this, we should have been at the pit wall,” said Shovlin.
“The team should take responsibility for this, not Lewis. That is his way of working, every time something goes wrong he takes the blame.
“The problem this time, however, was with the team.”