F1: Lewis Hamilton extends Mercedes contract
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Lewis Hamilton’s low point of the 2020 season came when he finished seventh at the Italian Grand Prix, which was the result of a 10 second stop-go penalty. Now for the first time an FIA steward who was involved in the decision has explained what happen.
Hamilton unknowingly entered the pitlane when it was closed under a safety car which is punishable by a mandatory penalty.
Kevin Magnussen has stopped near the entrance so drivers were banned from visiting their engineers until the incident was dealt with.
Even though Hamilton was unaware that the pitlane was out of bounds, he was still hit with the 10-second penalty which killed his hopes of winning the race.
And Garry Connelly, one of the stewards who made the decision, has explained how he spoke to the seven-time world champion afterwards.
“Lewis Hamilton entered the pitlane,” he said. “Once we established that it was closed, the warning lights and panels, two of them located at the entrance, clearly showed the cross to indicate that the lane was closed. We then adjusted to the regulations.
“We had no choice, and this is something that most of us do not like because we are not supporters of mandatory penalties.
“In fact, almost all FIA stewardship presidents in Formula 1 and most stewards do not they agree with the mandatory sanctions, but they are there, mainly at the request of the teams. And this infraction required a stop and go.
“And while he was not delighted, Lewis accepted it and was extremely courteous, as he always has been.
“He left the room and returned to the pits. He certainly had something to say to his team because he was not notified by radio.
“But I think it’s a perfect example, that no matter how painful the decision was, it was accepted by Lewis and it was accepted by his team.
“That shows that if you can explain something, you can make a difficult decision acceptable to whoever applies it and the general public.”
Hamilton’s dialogue with the stewards
Hamilton: “Hi guys, can you tell me why you have penalised me?”
Commissioners: “Yes, because you entered the pitlane when it was closed.”
Hamilton: “Can you show me?”
Stewards teach Lewis Hamilton the action from their camera: “Right in front of you was the warning light from the first panel and then the second.”
Hamilton: “Okay. I accept it. But why such severe punishment?”
Commissioners: “Unfortunately Lewis, it is a mandatory penalty. And we have no choice but to impose this punishment on you.”
Hamilton: “Ok. Thank you very much.”
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