Lewis Hamilton avoided any penalty during the German Grand Prix after crossing the pit entry line and re-entering the track. After a 45 minute meeting with Lewis, the team and race stewards, the FIA released the official decision below:
The regulation seem straight forward as a rule and the FIA were careful to mention they reviewed similar incidents, but it is not known which incidents and context they used for their reasoning. Many fans on social media have applauded the decision while others are upset.
The reasoning is curious with respects to “ii” and “iii” as it applies context to the ruling with regards to a Safety Car Period and no immediate danger to those around him. Are these factors stewards can use when assessing this violation? The team argued communication confusion and the race stewards offered SC period and no immediate danger as supplementary context to the decision.
I can’t recall in recent memory if those supplementary contextual issues have played a role in a past pit lane infraction but I do know that pit lane infractions such as unsafe release is a zero tolerance infraction that does not allow for a team to argue its position over communication errors on when to release a car. A team arguing communication confusion on when to secure a car in pit lane seems the like a similar issue at the other end of the pit lane.
How did you see the incident and the decision? Certainly, you wouldn’t want to impose any post-race penalty that had a major impact on the title race but on the other side, rules have to apply to everyone or they are no rules at all. Combined with the lack of consistency, this malleable application of penalties for regulation violations seems to be adding to the inconsistency argument and frustration.
I would hate to see Lewis lose the win over a pit lane infraction, but I also am curious as to the application of the regulations and how malleable they can be given the context a race stewards deems viable to either strengthen or lessen the punitive actions taken. What do you think?