Lewis Hamilton has escaped censure for an unsafe release during the final practice session at the German Grand Prix, but his Mercedes team copped a EUR10,000 fine.

The incident, involving Hamilton and Haas driver Romain Grosjean, occurred early on in final practice when the world champion was released in front of the Frenchman, forcing him to stop in the fast lane of the pits.

The stewards looked into the matter after the session, and even a relatively minor punishment could have had major ramifications for Hamilton as he went into the weekend just one reprimand shy of a ten-place grid penalty following tenuous indiscretions in Bahrain and Russia.

The Briton could also have receive a grid penalty in isolation but, as as it wouldn't have counted towards the 'three strikes' reprimand policy, it would probably be a smaller drop than he would otherwise receive.

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In the end, however, the stewards - under advisement from the race director and having reviewed both video evidence and spoken testimony from both team and driver, accepted Mercedes admission of guilt and decided to fine the team rather than punish Hamilton on an individual basis, leaving the Briton to resume his on-track battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg.