Autosport has a story about the Hamilton penalty at Spa this past weekend. In the story, Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren CEO, said they asked Race Control twice if they were comfortable with Lewis’s actions.The answer, per Whitmarsh, was that the FIA Race Control was fine with the actions of Lewis Hamilton.
Whitmarsh said: “From the pit wall, we then asked Race Control to confirm that they were comfortable that Lewis had allowed Kimi to repass, and they confirmed twice that they believed that the position had been given back in a manner that was ‘okay’.
“If Race Control had instead expressed any concern regarding Lewis’s actions at that time, we would have instructed Lewis to allow Kimi to repass for a second time.”
Lewis Hamilton has chimed in on the subject by saying:
“In the closing stages of the race I was catching Kimi consistently, lap by lap, and with three laps remaining I got close enough to attempt to overtake him on the entry to the last chicane,” he said.
“I managed to get slightly ahead of him in the braking area for the first apex of the chicane. He fought back approaching the second apex – but, in doing so, he left no room for me on the inside line. The only way for me to avoid a collision was therefore to cut inside the second apex.
“I came out of the second apex in front of Kimi and so I momentarily lifted-off on the straight, to ensure that Kimi got back in front. The team also came on the radio and instructed me to allow Kimi to repass, which I had already done. As a result, Kimi crossed the start/finish line ahead of me and 6.7 km/h quicker than me.
“After allowing Kimi to completely repass, I crossed from the left side of the track to the right side of the track, passing behind Kimi in the process. I then attacked Kimi on the inside of the first corner, and successfully outbraked him.”
I must say that watching the on-board footage of Hamilton’s car, I did not hear any lifting off of the throttle out of the Bus Stop Chicane to allow Kimi to regain the position. It seemed to me that Kimi was just faster off the corner and re-took the position but Lewis was also running full-tilt trying to take the lead. Hmmm. Telemetry would be handy about now.