Michael Massi explains Hamilton’s grid penalty decision reversal

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

F1 Race Director Michael Massi explains why the FIA ultimately decided to penalize Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, despite at first letting him off the hook.

On Saturday after Qualifying Lewis Hamilton was summoned by the stewards for allegedly failing to slow for the yellow flags and a potential track limits’ breach. While he was found guilty of the second offense (but ultimately wasn’t penalized because it wasn’t his fastest lap), Hamilton was cleared of failing to slow for yellow flags.

However, after an appeal from Red Bull, who presented additional evidence (in the form of a 360 video of the incident), the FIA decided to hand Hamilton a 3 place grid penalty just ahead of race start, which demoted him from P2 to P5.

Formula 1 Race Director Michael Massi explains why the original verdict has been reversed.

“We simply didn’t have onboard images of Lewis’ car and when Red Bull alerted us late Saturday night to that 360 degree video, that was new evidence for us,” said Masi.

“We talked about this with FOM in the afternoon [before the race]. It’s not something that’s available live because of the bandwidth.

“In fact, it has to be downloaded from the car, processed, etc.”

This ruling reversal wouldn’t have been possible in the past, but several years ago the FIA changed the rules so that a ruling can be changed if new evidence is presented.

What are your thoughts about this whole situation? Was Hamilton justly penalized? Was the FIA right to reverse their original decision? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Source: motorsport-total.com

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