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Hamilton has penalty points rescinded by race stewards

28/09/20

Stewards have ruled Mercedes was at fault, not the Brit.

Lewis Hamilton has received some good news after a deflating Russian Grand Prix, as the penalty points he received for an infringement have been rescinded by race stewards.

Championship leader Hamilton was punished after carrying out practice starts outside the designated area prior to Sunday's race in Sochi.

The Mercedes driver was handed two five-second time penalties, which he served in the pits after coming in when leading on lap 17, meaning he had to settle for a third-place finish.

The Briton was also hit with two penalty points on his Formula 1® super licence, taking his tally to 10 across the previous 12 months. If he received two more, Hamilton would have served a one-race ban.

However, after listening to audio, stewards accepted that it was the team at fault, as Hamilton was acting under instructions.

"The stewards received information from the team that the driver of car 44 had received a team instruction to perform the practice start in the incorrect place," a statement from the stewards read.

"This was confirmed by the stewards having listened to the audio between the team and the driver.

"Based on this information, the stewards replace document 47 with this decision and therefore remove the penalty points imposed."

Hamilton had hit out at officials in a post-race interview with Sky Sports F1, the six-time world champion claiming: "They're trying to stop me".

"I need to go back and see what the rules are, what exactly I did wrong, but I'm pretty sure no one has received two five-second penalties for something so ridiculous," he said.

"I didn't put anyone in danger, I've done this at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned on it. But it is what it is."

Asked if the punishment was excessive, Hamilton replied: "Of course it is, but it's to be expected.

"They're trying to stop me, aren't they? But it's okay, I just need to keep my head down and stay focused, see what happens."

Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas clinched victory, reducing the former's lead in the title race down to 44 points with seven rounds remaining.