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Hamilton avoids penalty for overtaking under red flags
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Hamilton avoids penalty for overtaking under red flags

Hamilton avoids penalty for overtaking under red flags

Hamilton avoids penalty for overtaking under red flags

Hamilton avoids penalty for overtaking under red flags

Lewis Hamilton has avoided a penalty after overtaking under red flags during Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP3.

The seven-time F1 champion was investigated by the stewards after the final practice session of the F1 season at the Yas Island circuit for failing to slow under red-flag conditions.

Via a statement, the stewards determined that "There is no dispute that Car 44 passed Car 20 directly after the track was placed in a red flag condition.

The report continued: "The driver of Car 44 stated that he was on a fast lap, he saw the red light, immediately completely lifted the throttle and applied the brakes, whilst checking his mirrors for cars following in close proximity.

"He stated that he had, in doing so, gone past Car 20."

Noting consistency in its decision-making after Max Verstappen was given an exemption in a similar incident at Zandvoort last year, the report added: "The stewards took note of the precedent in relation to the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix [Verstappen], where no action was taken against the driver under similar but not identical circumstances.

"The telemetry evidence was sourced directly from the live data available to the FIA not from any evidence provided by the team.

"The telemetry data clearly shows the following;

"1. That immediately when the red light was displayed, the driver lifted the throttle 100 per cent.

"2. That immediately when the red light was displayed, the driver applied firm braking pressure.

"3. The speed of Car 44 at this point was 288 km/h. [Car 20 had a speed of 126 km/h at this point – a delta of 162 km/h].

"It is our conclusion that the driver of Car 44 took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red light.

"Notwithstanding, technically this is still a breach of Art 2.5.4.1 b of Cpt IV of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code, however, he could not avoid overtaking Car 20 in this case and therefore the Stewards DETERMINE to apply no penalty."

The incident was kickstarted in bizarre circumstances when a wheel fairing machined itself off and into the right-front tyre of Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri.

That caused a puncture and the right-front wheel cover to break off, with the debris left on the racing line, forcing the session to be temporarily halted.

At the point the red flags were shown, Hamilton passed both McLaren's Lando Norris and Kevin Magnussen in his Haas on the long approach into the hairpin.

Television replays showed the initial light panel passed by Hamilton was red, albeit his closing speed at the time it lit up was considerable, whilst there was no light at all on a further panel at the hairpin turn itself.

Additionally, there appeared to be nothing showing on the dash of Hamilton's steering wheel.

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