(Motorsport-Total.com) – For irregular practice starts, Lewis Hamilton received time penalties and two penalty points on his super license at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi, which were then withdrawn due to disproportionality.
Not only from Mercedes and Formula 1 experts there was criticism of the harsh punishment, the competition is also critical. “I didn’t see it, but as far as I know, he obviously broke a rule, but I don’t think he put anyone in danger,” says Daniel Ricciardo (Renault).
From his point of view, penalty points should only be imposed for serious incidents. He draws a comparison to grass sport: “It’s a bit like football in Europe. There you get something like a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. And you get a red card for, let’s say, a very dangerous attack.”
Verstappen: time penalty was “painful enough”
“So I think,” continues Ricciardo, “if you miss a race because of some of these, say, minor violations, it’s a bit extreme.” With the two penalty points from Sochi, Hamilton would have been only two points away from a race suspension that comes into force with a total of twelve penalty points.
Ricciardo says: “Lewis served his sentence in the race. I don’t think there will be another penalty that could mean he missed a race. Would it spice up the championship? Sure! But honestly, I would look at theirs on this point Page (that of Mercedes; note on the R.) hit. “
That’s exactly how Max Verstappen (Red Bull) sees it. He finds the two penalty points “a bit hard”. “If you cause an accident, that makes a difference – but the sentence Lewis received was painful enough,” said the Dutchman.
Amazement at Hamilton’s many penalty points
And Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) adds: “I think if you really do some crazy moves on the track and dangerous driving, then penalty points are justified. But if you drive too fast in the pit lane or commit minor violations, then it is likely not the moment for penalty points. “
Especially since Hamilton has “not made a big mess” over the course of the year, as Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc emphasizes. The Ferrari driver is correspondingly surprised: “I didn’t know anything about the ten points he had and that he was therefore only two points away from a race suspension.”
“It’s kind of weird that Lewis was only two points away from being banned from racing. I don’t think he did anything particularly wrong this year, so maybe there is a better way to sort things out. I don’t know it’s not my job either, so the FIA will look into it, “said Leclerc.
Binotto: “If you are not tough sometimes …”
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto assesses the situation a little differently. He doesn’t think penalties are given too quickly or carelessly: “Maybe you find it pretty tough, especially when you are a victim of it yourself.”
“But on the other hand, if you are not tough sometimes, then you leave the door open to the drivers so that you can repeat it in the future,” the Italian pointed out. “I think it’s never easy to judge and I think the FIA is doing a great job in that regard, so overall I’m happy with it.”
As for the actual offense, the starting exercises outside the permitted range, everyone agrees that there had to be a penalty. “It was very clear where the practice starts were planned – both during practice and before the race itself. That hadn’t changed,” explains Ricciardo.
“On some tracks it changes, which is maybe a little more confusing, but no, it hasn’t changed this time. I think it was pretty straightforward. So there was no confusion.” In this respect, Verstappen also judges: “It was not correct where Lewis stopped, but to award penalty points …”