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Hamilton and Mercedes to race "squeaky clean" to avoid future punishment

Hamilton and Mercedes to race "squeaky clean" to avoid future punishment

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Hamilton and Mercedes to race "squeaky clean" to avoid future punishment

Hamilton and Mercedes to race "squeaky clean" to avoid future punishment

Lewis Hamilton believes he and Mercedes need to start racing "squeaky clean" for the rest of this Formula 1 season after initially claiming the FIA is out to get the team.

Following a Russian Grand Prix in which he finished third, Hamilton departed the Sochi Autodrom a clearly frustrated figure after being handed two five-second penalties by the stewards for pre-race practice start infringements.

Following on from the penalty that was dished out to Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix which also compromised his race there, it initially led to him declaring that "They [the FIA] are trying to stop me, aren't they?"

Asked to clarify whether he truly believed he was being targeted, Hamilton pointed to the fact that Mercedes certainly appeared to be in the crosshairs of the governing body.

"I don’t necessarily think that it’s for me," said Hamilton. "Whenever a team is at the front obviously they are under a lot of scrutiny. Everything we have on our car is being checked and triple checked and triple checked.

"They are changing rules, such as the engine regs, lots and lots of things to get in the way to keep the racing exciting, I assume.

"I don’t know if the rules – in terms of what happened [in Sochi] – was anything to do with it but naturally that’s how it feels, like we’re fighting uphill.

"But it’s okay, it’s not like I haven’t faced adversity before so we just keep our heads down, keep fighting and keep trying to do a better job and be cleaner and squeaky clean."

Hamilton was also initially handed two penalty points on his super license - one for each infraction - pushing his total to 10 within the last 12 months and leaving him two shy of a race ban.

Following a review, however, the stewards opted to rescind those points and instead fine the team €25,000.

Hamilton still feels he and the team will have to be whiter than white, adding: "We'll go through the rule book and pick out areas where they can create rules, areas where penalties have never been given before.

'We’ll try and figure out all the ones that they have and try to make sure that we cover ourselves in the ones that we are aware of.

"We’ve gone through seasons before without penalties so we just have to make sure I give them no reason, not even a sniff, to be able to do something."

Before you go...

Sainz hits out at Sochi corner that "shouldn’t exist"

Penalty "lit fire under my bum" for rest of Russian GP - Ricciardo

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