Hamilton gets away with only a reprimand despite admitting mistake

on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Germany, Hockenheimringde

The governing body has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton can keep his German Grand Prix victory despite the Briton admitting his own and his team's mistake.

Following the safety car deployment, Mercedes called Hamilton and his team-mate in for tyre change. The Finn went in to the box, but Hamilton was instructed in the last moment to stay on the track. The four-time world champion was already on the pit entry when receiving the instruction from his race engineer Peter Bonnington.

The late call meant Hamilton had to cross the white line between the pit entry and the track. The Appendix L Chapter IV Article 4 of the FIA International Sporting Code clearly says that "Except in force majeure, the crossing, in any direction, of the line separating the pit entry and the track by a car entering the pit lane is prohibited."

The stewards of the Grand Prix, Nish Shetty, Steve Stringwell, Mika Salo and Felix Holter summoned Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team manager Ron Meadows at 18:15. As Kimi Räikkönen made the same infringement in the 2016 Baku race and got a five-second time penalty, Hamilton was thought to receive the same punishment.

However, after a long investigation at 19:31, the stewards confirmed that Hamilton could keep his victory and got only a reprimand, despite: "it was clear that there was an infringement of the above mentioned rule – the driver crossed the line separating the pit entry from the track". The stewards undermined their decesion with the fact that the infringement took place during the safety car period, the team admitted its mistake and it was not dangerous to any other competitor.