Lewis Hamilton had a small crash on the track in Imola. However, the scenario that raised eyebrows was the fact that he ended up reversing his car.
FIA race director Michael Masi has revealed that Hamilton broke no rules and has cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Hamilton ran into difficulties after attempting to overtake George Russell. But he encountered a damp part of the track which sent his car on to the gravel.
The 36-year-old then had a misjudgment while trying to turn his car and ended up damaging his front wing against the barrier.
After some time, the Brit found the correct gear, reversed his car all the way across the gravel and on to the track. He then headed into the pits for a new wing and tyres.
Masi acknowledged that Mercedes’ precise instructions to Hamilton were what helped him avoid a penalty.
“Looking at the incident at the time, it was reversing out of the gravel trap towards the edge of the circuit,” said Masi.
“Listening to Lewis’ radio between him and his team, they were absolutely advising him all the way through, so in that particular circumstance, I wouldn’t consider reporting that to the stewards.”
FIA’s sporting regulations made it clear that Hamilton did nothing wrong.
According to the rules, Article 28.3 states that , “at no time may a car be reversed in the pit lane under its own power”. However, on the track, different rules apply.
Article 27.3 states that “should a car leave the track the driver may re-join, however, this may only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any lasting advantage”.
While 27.4 states that “at no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person”.
Hamilton was guided by his Mercedes team who ensured to use GPS to study the positions of other cars before making an attempt towards reversing the car. This meant Hamilton broke no rules.
When asked what had happened while Hamilton was trying to reverse, he revealed that he was unable to get into the gear.
“It just wouldn’t go into reverse so I was holding the reverse button and it took forever to engage.
“I didn’t think it was going to work. I tried reversing and then tried to kind of do a burn-out spin to get going again and I was back in the barrier so then it took a long time again to get back in reverse.
“And when I was reversing, I was like I’ve just got to keep going backwards and work my way out in reverse and if I hadn’t done that I would probably still have been there now so I’m grateful for it.”
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