Penalty Worthy? FIA slaps Hamilton/Vettel wrists

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For the second race in a row, Lewis Hamilton has left some people asking the question…was his pit lane incident penalty worthy or did a six-year veteran at McLaren (and Chinese GP race steward) give him a free pass?

The FIA announced that race Stewards had issued a reprimand for both McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel for their part in the pit lane incident that saw Hamilton exiting side-by-side with Vettel dangerously close to crew members in the pit area or second lane. One of those race Stewards was former McLaren test driver Alex Wurz. The inevitable question arises doesn’t it?

I seriously doubt Wurz’s association with McLaren had anything to do with his benevolence and that the FIA’s attempt to repair its image as a nanny state was more of a prime mover. Two weeks ago, Hamilton got off lightly after swerving multiple times in front of Vitaly Petrov. This weekend saw Hamitlon cut across the front straight to dive through a gravel trap and enter the pit lane as well as race Vettel side-by-side down while exiting to pit stop.

Well, as the press has said about Hamilton’s aggressive driving:

He may play fast and loose — it is fantastic to watch.

I wonder what all the teeth-gnashing and chest-pounding was about Senna, Schumacher and Alonso’s aggressive style?

Hamilton:

“As far as I’m concerned, I thought it was okay,” said Hamilton. “The team were waiting for quite some time and they waited until it was the right time; but as I came out I noticed Sebastian was there. He was pushing me a little bit to the right and we pushed wheels. Other than that, it was fair.”


Vettel:

“At the stop I was ahead; I don’t know why he pulled to the left and was keen to touch me,” said the German. “I hoped I didn’t get a puncture from that. I don’t really understand why he did that as I was a bit ahead of him and had the advantage anyway.”

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