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Why Hamilton's Sirotkin block was not punished

Why Hamilton's Sirotkin block was not punished

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Why Hamilton's Sirotkin block was not punished

Why Hamilton's Sirotkin block was not punished

FIA race director Charlie Whiting has explained that Lewis Hamilton avoided an investigation for a potential block on Williams' Sergey Sirotkin in Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying predominantly because both drivers were on out laps at the time of the incident.

Sirotkin had to swerve on the grass to avoid a slower-moving Hamilton during Q2 at Interlagos.

Hamilton had been backed up by his teammate Valtteri bottas ahead, but Sirotkin did not slow down to maintain the order – something Hamilton initially described as "disrespectful" before retracting his comments later.

The Mercedes man put his car on pole and faced an anxious wait to see if he would keep the position, but was able to celebrate his 82nd pole position after stewards decided the matter was not worth a second look.

"The predominant factor is both drivers were on an out-lap," Whiting explained.

"Lewis was told Sergey was behind him but he was on an out-lap, so Lewis was thinking, 'OK we're fine here, I can do my usual routine, get a gap to the car in front'.

"[Then] Sergey was coming through Turn 11 flat out. Lewis saw him coming and thought 'There's a car on a fast lap the team didn't tell me about'.

"So, he went to move over to let him through and Sergey had already committed left. That was the reason for the incident.

"For me it was just an unfortunate misunderstanding. It was clear immediately to me what happened, that nobody had done anything wrong.

"I discussed it with the stewards, asked if they wanted it investigated and they felt no investigation was warranted.

"It would quite possibly have been quite a big shunt, but if you looked at the causes they would be the same.

"That's why I would have thought the stewards would have come to the same conclusion."

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