Lewis Hamilton will not be punished by the FIA despite being summoned to the stewards at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix for allegedly driving unnecessarily slowly during qualifying in Baku. After an incident with McLaren’s Lando Norris at the end of Q2, Hamilton and Norris have both been cleared of breaching the regulations and no further action will be taken.
The pair both visited the stewards to give their takes on the situation. Norris admitted post-race he did not think Hamilton did anything wrong. That’s despite him being told by McLaren on his team radio: “Don’t let him play silly s***. He’s got to keep an eye on his delta, if he doesn’t he’ll be in trouble. He’s the lead car, he’ll get in trouble.”
The FIA explained of Hamilton’s defence in the stewards’ room: “The driver, in evidence, stated that he did slow down in order to endeavour to be passed by car 4, to achieve a “tow’ on his fast lap, however car 4 obviously had the same intent and decided not to pass him.
“Although car 44 was slow, the Stewards note that for the lap the delta time was respected, the driver pulled over to the left and off the racing line, this occurred on a straight where visibility was not an issue and there was no potential danger at any point, to any other driver. The three cars on this portion of the track at the time were all on ‘out’ laps.”
Article 27.4 of the FIA sporting regulations states: “At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.”
But neither Hamilton or Norris are adjudged to have broken this rule and will maintain their starting positions for Sunday’s race. Hamilton starts P8 in his Mercedes with Norris down in P11 for McLaren.
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