F1 German GP: Race stewards clear Hamilton after an investigation

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

What's the story?

Lewis Hamilton's race win came under investigation, as he took the lead in the race by cutting across the grass, right before entering the pit-lane. Although this was against the rules, the race stewards have decided not to penalize the race winner.

In case you didn't know...

Lewis Hamilton started the race from 14th position and climbed his way to the top of the ladder. After Vettel crashed out of the race, the Englishman took full advantage of the situation.

After both Bottas and Raikkonen made their pit-stops (who were ahead of Hamilton at the point in time), the 4-time World Champion took the lead in the final laps of the race. Hamilton took a 17-point lead in the Driver's Championship ahead of the German, Sebastian Vettel.

The heart of the matter

The last few laps were quite chaotic for the Mercedes team. Hamilton was asked to pit first, who then told the team, Raikkonen was pitting ahead of him. The team asked Hamilton to stay out in the last second, which made him cut across the grass and rejoin the main track. Valtteri Bottas followed Raikkonen into the pit lanes.

While this was clearly against the F1 rules, the stewards did take some factors into consideration:

"The stewards reviewed video and audio evidence, heard from the driver of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and the team representative. It was clear that there was an infringement of the above-mentioned rule - the driver clearly crossed the line separating the pit entry from the track.
"In deciding on the penalty for the infringement, we took into account the following mitigating factors.
"i) The driver and the team candidly admitted the mistake and the fact that there was confusion within the team as to whether to stay out or to enter the pits and that led to the infringement.
"ii) The fact that the infringement took place during a safety car period
"iii) At no time was there any danger to any other competitor and the change in direction was executed in a safe way."

What's next?

Hamilton's win tied him with F1 great Michael Schumacher, both having four German GP wins.

The next Grand Prix will be taking place in Hungary, which is the last one before the summer break. With a 17-point difference between Hamilton and Vettel, the competition and the fierce rivalry between these two just keeps getting better.

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