Lewis Hamilton misses out on record 91st victory after ten-second penalty at Russian Grand Prix


‘Bull****… Where is that in the rule book?’: Lewis Hamilton rages F1 bosses are ‘trying to stop’ him after TWO five-second penalties cost him the chance to match Michael Schumacher’s record

  • Lewis Hamilton did two pre-race starts outside of the designated zone allowed 
  • The Mercedes driver was handed a five-second penalty for each infringement
  • Hamilton was in the lead but ended up dropping to third position as a result 
  • It means he misses out on first chance to match Michael Schumacher’s record
  • He also risks a future race ban after moving to 10 penalty points as a result 
  • After the race Hamilton commented ‘they are trying to stop me aren’t they?’ 

Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of matching Michael Schumacher’s race victory record were put on hold as he finished third at the Russian Grand Prix following a ten-second penalty.

The British driver, who started on pole position, was under investigation before the race had even begun after he did two practice starts outside of the designated zone.

Hamilton did his two starts further down the pit exit than he was allowed to do so, and as a result he lost the lead and will have to wait for his 91st career victory.

As well as two five-second penalties, Hamilton was also awarded one penalty point for each infringement taking his total to ten.

The six-time Formula One World Champion hit out at officials, saying they wanted to make it harder for him to collect his seventh title.

It means that should Hamilton get two more penalty points by the Turkish Grand Prix, then the 35-year-old might even face a race-ban. 

Lewis Hamilton missed out on his first opportunity to match Michael Schumacher’s 91 wins

Hamilton was under investigation before the start for two practice start infringements

Hamilton was under investigation before the start for two practice start infringements

It meant Hamilton who was in the lead was punished with two five-second penalties

It meant Hamilton who was in the lead was punished with two five-second penalties

Hamilton was unhappy with the decision which saw him fall behind eventual race-winner Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

After the race Hamilton said: ‘I’m pretty sure nobody has got two five second penalties for something so ridiculous before. I wouldn’t put anyone in danger. I’ve done this at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned on it, but it is what it is.’

When questioned whether the penalty points were excessive he added: ‘Of course it is. But it is to be expected. 

‘They are trying to stop me aren’t they? But it’s okay I just need to keep my head down and stay focused and we will see what happens.’ 

Replays showed Hamilton performing a practice start well down the pit exit, causing several drivers to swerve across the white line as they accelerated out of the pits.

The race director’s event notes for the Russian Grand Prix, under Article 19, state that practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side after the pit exit lights.

19.2 states that for reasons of safety and sporting equity cars may not stop in the fast lane at any time the pit lane is open without a justifiable reason.

When told about the penalty he asked his race engineer ‘what happened, what happened?’

Lewis Hamilton dropped places to Valterri Bottas and Max Verstappen to finish in third place

Lewis Hamilton dropped places to Valterri Bottas and Max Verstappen to finish in third place

Once it was explained why he got the penalty he added: ‘Bull****, where is that in the rule book?’

Hamilton kept his lead at the start but dropped down the field following his pit-stop to 11th position – though with everyone in front of him yet to pit.

He complained to his team for bringing him into the pits earlier than he would have liked. 

Hamilton said: ‘You stopped me so early, I’ll have to manage (the tyres). I’ll struggle to make it to the end.’  

When being told of Verstappen’s latest time, Hamilton then replied to his race engineer: ‘I don’t want any info anymore Bono, it doesn’t make any difference.’ 

After the race when he was questioned whether he was pitted too soon against his will, Hamilton said: ‘The plan was to stop on that lap I was just trying to go as far as I could. 

‘I just knew it was such a long way to go on that tyre (hard compound) and I think I did pretty well on the soft. We will discuss it and figured it out. I just have to make sure I don’t put myself in that position again.’

Hamilton will have to wait until the Eiffel GP to try and match Michael Schumacher's record

Hamilton will have to wait until the Eiffel GP to try and match Michael Schumacher’s record

Valterri Bottas closed the gap to Hamilton in the standings to 45 points following his victory

Valterri Bottas closed the gap to Hamilton in the standings to 45 points following his victory

Hamilton received two penalty points at both the 2019 Brazilian and 2020 Austrian Grand Prix for collisions with Red Bull’s Alex Albon.

He also received two points for a yellow-flag violation in qualifying at this year’s Austrian Grand Prix. 

At the Italian Grand Prix he received two penalty points for entering the pits when the pit-lane was closed following Charles LeClerc’s crash, which also cost him a potential victory.

His two penalty points means he has now four races to avoid any sort of infringements before the two points from Brazil last season are wiped off his tally.

As well as missing out on matching Schumacher’s record it also meant that Hamilton’s championship lead drops to 45 points ahead of team-mate Bottas.

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