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F1 Hungarian GP: Sceptical Hamilton approached Whiting over yellow flags

Lewis Hamilton sought clarification from Charlie Whiting over yellow flag rules but doesn't believe it influenced subsequent Nico Rosberg investigation
Lewis Hamilton has revealed he did seek out FIA race director Charlie Whiting to discuss a clarification over the rules regarding yellow flags before team-mate Nico Rosberg was investigated for an alleged breach in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Stewards belatedly looked into Rosberg's qualifying lap after television images suggested he didn't slow through a yellow flag area, though data showed the Mercedes driver did indeed lift in the disputed region, thus exonerating him.

Nevertheless, the incident has sparked some paddock debate, with Hamilton questioning whether a 0.1s loss of time is enough to demonstrate that a driver is 'ready to stop' if necessary, as written in the regulations, a query he took to Whiting on Saturday evening.

Even so, Hamilton insists his scepticism was not targeting Rosberg specifically and doesn't believe his actions ultimately prompted the stewards to look into it again.

“I don't believe I influenced the stewards' inquiry, but I have spoken to Charlie for clarification because as I said in the press conference the next scenario when I'm in the same position, which I was, all I have to do is lose a tenth in Turn 8 and even if there is a car facing me, all I have to do is lose a tenth.

“Lifting and coasting into a corner, that's fuel saving, and braking at the same place and getting on the power five metres early or whatever it was and being the same speed at the apex and much quicker at the exit. Also at the apex of the corner there was a yellow flag on the right for Turn 9.

Indeed, Hamilton is concerned the open interpretation could set precedent going forward, not least because the margin of error for Rosberg was such a minor loss of time.

“It's just important to know. If that is the case then the precedent was set yesterday and he said he is really going to think about it because that is not how it should be. If I do the same thing in the next race, do I get penalised? All of us here need to know.

“I will definitely raise it [at the driver briefing in Germany] because knowing that on a double-waved flag all I have to do is gas it and be back on it and still go purple and still get pole while there is someone crashed, marshals on the track or someone in the middle of the road. If can get round him by only losing a tenth then there should be no penalty."
by Ollie Barstow



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rob1959

July 25, 2016 6:31 PM

I feel that after all the soul searching that went on after the Jules Bianchi accident this ought to have been easy to sort. You simply cannot have a pole position lap whilst passing double yellow flags. It goes against the whole principle of having a flag system in the first place. I totally agree with Lewis on this one.



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