until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

F1 stewards investigate Hamilton over safety belt incident

by Scott Mitchell-Malm
2 min read

Brazilian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton has been accused of breaching regulations concerning the use of safety belts, with Mercedes summoned to the Formula 1 stewards.

The issue is believed to relate to Hamilton loosening his belts on the slow-down lap to collect a Brazilian flag.

UPDATE: Hamilton escapes with fine

Hamilton won the Interlagos race to cut his deficit to Max Verstappen in the F1 championship fight to just 14 points with three races remaining.

He overcame a disqualification from qualifying to finish fifth in Saturday’s sprint race but then took a five place grid penalty for the grand prix because Mercedes had changed his engine earlier in the weekend.

That meant Hamilton started Sunday’s race 10th but charged to victory and passed title rival Verstappen along the way.

However, Mercedes has now been summoned to the stewards for the alleged International Sporting Code breach.

A team representative – expected to be sporting director Ron Meadows – will visit the stewards imminently at 5pm local time.

Hamilton was scrutinised by rivals in 2017 for removing his belts early to celebrate on his slowing down lap.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was also questioned last season after driving back to the pits in the Spanish GP with his belts loosened having thought he was out of the race following a spin, but no action was taken against him.

Last week George Russell openly discussed loosening his belts during the Mexican Grand Prix so he could try to check his Williams’s front wing for damage, accidentally disconnecting his drinks supply while doing so.

Shortly before the latest stewards call-up was announced, team boss Toto Wolff said the combination of the rear wing issue and the decision not to penalise Verstappen for running Hamilton wide during their Interlagos battle had made Mercedes feel like it was being victimised.

“The team has always been together but these decision have brought us so close together,” Wolff told Sky.

“I think this is what Lewis felt all his life and now we feel it together as a team and we’re going to fight, and we’re not going to be victims and that is the emotion we are feeling in the garage at the moment.”

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