The FIA to conduct further review into Hamilton crossing the track during F1 Qatar GP

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Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

After the sanction suffered at the Losail weekend, the FIA ​​is launching a review into the penalty imposed on Lewis Hamilton for crossing the track, following his retirement following the crash in turn one with George Russell. A review not aimed at tightening the sanction on Lewis but, on the contrary, at defining clear guidelines for the future.

The Qatar GP weekend was decidedly negative for Lewis Hamilton, as his race ended after just one corner after he was forced to retire due to contact with teammate George Russell. A contact, a racing accident, which occurred between the two Mercedes drivers while they were fighting, at turn one, for second position (and, perhaps, also to attack the race leader, Max Verstappen), after which Russell’s W14 picked up a puncture, but managed to continue, while Hamilton’s car ended up stuck in the gravel, with the right rear tyre falling off.

After the incident, the seven-time world champion had no choice but to get out of his Mercedes to return to the pits. In doing so, however, the Englishman crossed the track to return to the garage and paddock as quickly as possible: that is not permitted by the regulations and which, noticed immediately, cost the seven-time World Champion a summons from the Losail stewards to analyse it.

The commissioners, after appropriate investigations, gave him the first reprimand of the season and a fine of 50,000 euros (25,000 suspended pending other similar violations).

An episode which, at the end of the Losail weekend, seemed definitively archived but which, a week later, the FIA ​​announced it wanted to re-examine because it was deemed more serious than initially defined. A decision taken not to increase the punishment imposed on Hamilton but to increase, in general and for the future, the sanctions for those who cross the track during the race in progress and with cars in transit. On the question of reopening the case, an FIA spokesperson stated:

“The FIA ​​is revisiting the incident in which Lewis Hamilton crossed a live track during the Qatar Grand Prix. The FIA ​​notes that Lewis apologized during subsequent stewards’ hearings into the incident and acknowledged that the crossing was a error. However, given his role model status, the FIA ​​is concerned about the impression his actions may have created on younger drivers.”

A decision, that of the FIA ​​commissioners, taken both due to the possible risk linked to the Hamilton episode but also following a recent accident that occurred at the Finals of the Karting World Championship in Franciacorta. British kart driver Joe Turney ended up off the track after attempting to overtake and, to get back into the race, pushed his kart back onto the track. In doing so, however, he was unfortunately hit by another kart driver, suffering nasty leg injuries.

As mentioned, returning to what happened at Losail, the penalty for Hamilton (who said he was deeply sorry for what happened) will not be toughened, but it is likely that the FIA ​​review will lead to the definition of a directive and clearer sanctions for the future.

“During the hearing the driver of car 44 was very apologetic and realized that the situation could have been very dangerous for him and for the drivers approaching. The Stewards highlighted the fact that crossing a live track can cause extremely dangerous situations and pilots have to be very cautious about it.”