Lewis Hamilton He and his Mercedes team are believed to be unfairly targeted for their Formula 1 success. The world champion received two penalties in the Russian Grand Prix, finishing third behind teammate Valtteri Bottas who won, and Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Hamilton stated during and after the race that the penalties were an attempt to stop him.
Hamilton has won five of the past six world championships, and Mercedes has dominated the sport since 2014, winning all drivers and constructors titles since then. In Sochi, Hamilton received two penalty kicks for five seconds as he began training en route to the net but outside the set zone.
Both the team and the driver argued that they had not broken regulations. “I’m sure no one has ever had my five-second penalty kick for something ridiculous before,” said Hamilton. When asked if he thought the punishment was excessive he said, “Of course it is. But this is expected. They are trying to stop me, right.”
The FIA also recently changed the rules on the use of engine modes in qualifiers. It was seen as an attempt to diminish Mercedes’ one-lap advantage and Hamilton believed it was part of a concerted effort to undermine their dominance.
“When the team is up front, they undergo a lot of scrutiny. Everything we have in our car is checked three times, they change the rules like the engine regulations and a lot of things to try to keep the race exciting, I suppose. I don’t know if the rules are in terms of what happened.” Today it has something to do with it but that’s how it feels naturally. You seem to be fighting uphill, but it’s okay. It’s not like I’ve never had an ordeal before. “
The British driver was initially awarded two penalty points by the hosts. If he had won two more in the next four races, he would have had one race ban. However, the points were later canceled and replaced with a fine of 25,000 euros for Mercedes on the grounds that it was the team that had ordered him not to start training in the requested area.
However, Hamilton seemed convinced that his actions were more likely to be punished. “We will review the rule book and choose the areas in which they can set the rules, and the areas where sanctions have not been imposed before,” he said. “We will try to figure out everything they have and try to make sure that we cover ourselves. I just have to make sure that I don’t give any reason, not even a sniff, to be able to do something.”
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