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Hamilton hit with three-place grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton has already run into trouble with the stewards following opening practice in India.
Lewis Hamilton's Indian Grand Prix weekend may have got off to a promising start with the fastest time in opening practice, but the Briton's season returned to its previous miserable form after he was handed a penalty that will affect his starting position on Sunday.

Hamilton usurped world champion Sebastian Vettel from the top of the timesheets right at the end of the opening session at the Buddh International Circuit, but was adjudged to have ignored yellow flags waving to protect the recovery of Pastor Maldonado's stranded Williams, which stopped track-side following an engine failure in the closing minutes.

The McLaren driver was called to see the stewards - again - immediately after the session and, along with Sauber's Sergio Perez, was handed a three-place grid penalty which will take effect when the field lines up after qualifying on Saturday. Hamilton has held something of a season ticket to the officials' office this season - leading to the infamous 'maybe it's because I'm black' jibe after the Monaco Grand Prix - but may have had a case for pleading his innocence on this latest occasion, as the yellows seemed to disappear as he approached the danger zone.

Although he led the way by half a second in practice, McLaren and Red Bull have proven competitive so far this weekend, and the penalty could have a determining effect on Hamilton's result come Sunday.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
14.10.2011- Friday Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C30
16.10.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 and Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes
Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
18.04.2015 - (L to R): Mansour Ojjeh, McLaren shareholder with Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Isa Hamad Al Khalifa (BRN)
18.04.2015 - Mansour Ojjeh, McLaren shareholder
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, William Stevens (GBR) Manor Marussia F1 Team
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW37
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37
18.04.2015 - Free Practice 3, Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Executive Chairman

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Taz - Unregistered

October 28, 2011 9:25 AM

Haven't seen the incident but if he did ignore the flags then he needs to be given a penalty, they will have the telemetry and can make a judgement. It's just not his year, think he accepts that. I just hope he doesn't start grumbling that he's been singled out, it won't help his cause any.

Oli - Unregistered

October 28, 2011 9:28 AM

Doubtless this penalty will start a slanging match between the "leave him alone" brigade and the Hamilton haters! In this instance though, it should be pretty clear cut - were the yellow flags displayed, and if so, did he continue at full racing speed? If the answer to both of those is yes, it has to be a penalty and no one can complain. If the answer to either is no, clearly it cannot be a penalty. Should be a pretty easy one to sort out. Oli

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