Lewis Hamilton is always 'lucky' and should have been disqualified from the results of the 2010 European Grand Prix in Valencia last weekend for his safety car transgression – that is the opinion of disgraced ex-Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore.
The Italian was a visitor to the paddock in Spain, meaning he witnessed first-hand the moment Hamilton illegally overtook the safety car on his way to the pit-lane for new tyres on lap ten of the race, and the subsequent punishment – or rather lack thereof, in the eyes of Ferrari – that the McLaren-Mercedes star belatedly received for his misdemeanor.
Briatore – no stranger to controversy himself, of course, following the infamous 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal – agreed with the Scuderia
and his former protégé Fernando Alonso in contending that Hamilton's drive-through penalty that ultimately cost him no ground at all was far too lenient and disproportionate, and that as such the safety car regulations need amending.
“The rules aren't precise,” he told Italy's Sky Sport 24
. “You can't have a penalty for Hamilton after 20 laps; it should be [after] two or three. Passing the safety car is more like a black flag penalty. Hamilton is lucky – everything he does turns out well.”
Regarding Ferrari, meanwhile, the 60-year-old was unequivocal, opining that the Prancing Horse has much work to do if it is to successfully take the fight to pace-setters McLaren-Mercedes and Red Bull Racing for the F1 2010 laurels and concluding: “What is Ferrari missing? Speed – they are not on the level of Red Bull and McLaren.”