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"Slow" Lewis Hamilton avoids Azerbaijan Grand Prix penalty

"Slow" Lewis Hamilton avoids Azerbaijan Grand Prix penalty

F1 News

"Slow" Lewis Hamilton avoids Azerbaijan Grand Prix penalty

"Slow" Lewis Hamilton avoids Azerbaijan Grand Prix penalty

Lewis Hamilton has avoided a grid penalty for Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix after being cleared of driving unnecessarily slowly during qualifying.

The incident occurred late in the second session at the Baku City Circuit as Hamilton crawled at one stage in the hope McLaren's Lando Norris directly behind him would pass so he could gain a tow.

Norris, however, refused to take the bait. The FIA, however, announced soon after the seven-time F1 champion would be investigated.

After hearing from both drivers and examining video, radio communication and GPS evidence, the stewards confirmed no further action would be taken.

A stewards' report read: "The driver [Hamilton], in evidence, stated that he did slow down in order to endeavour to be passed by car 4 [Norris], 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 track at the time (cars 44, 4 and 3 [Daniel Ricciardo) were all on 'out' laps."

Post-qualifying, Hamilton had expressed confidence he would avoid a penalty.

At the time, he said: "We don't really have a concern. Firstly I was offline, and you have to be within a delta time, and I was within my delta time so I wasn't below that out-lap pace.

"Within that delta time I should be able to drive the speed I want, and I was offline. I wasn't holding anyone up but I was trying to get a tow because it's so slow in a straight line.

"The guys behind didn't want to go by so I just went off and did my lap."

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