Lewis Hamilton questioned the Formula 1 race stewards' decision to show Charles Leclerc the black-and-white flag instead of giving him a time penalty for moving under braking during their battle for the lead in the Italian Grand Prix.

Leclerc went wheel-to-wheel with Hamilton in a fight for the lead soon after the pit stops, with the pair running closely together on the run to the Roggia Chicane.

Hamilton hung his car to the outside of the corner, but was forced to take to the escape road after being squeezed out by Leclerc, who moved late under braking to the right-hand side of the track. The stewards gave Leclerc a warning by showing him the black-and-white flag but did not take any further action.

The pair also ran close together a second time later in the race, with Leclerc again appearing to move under braking, prompting Hamilton to complain over team radio. Leclerc went on to win the race for Ferrari while Hamilton could only finish third for Mercedes.

"It’s just racing I guess. I had to avoid colliding with him a couple of times," Hamilton said after the race.

"That’s how the racing is today. We just move forwards."

The incident appeared similar to the one between Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas in last year's race at Monza when Verstappen was hit with a five-second time penalty for moving under braking, forcing Bottas to go off-track at Turn 1.

Reminded of this penalty, Hamilton questioned the consistency in the stewards' decisions.

"We’ve just constantly asked for consistency. There was a rule put in place, and then it wasn’t abided by today," Hamilton said.

"They used different consequences for the rule today. I don’t know why that was the case. I guess the stewards woke up on a different side of the bed today, I don’t know."

Asked if he agreed with the use of the black-and-white flag, Hamilton said: "Then Verstappen should have got that last year. We’ve asked for consistency, so the same rule should apply each time."

Hamilton later stressed that he was "not unhappy" about the incident, but added that he would look to speak to Leclerc in private about the moves.

"Of course I don’t like to go backwards, but he did a fantastic job today. I put on as much pressure as I could," Hamilton said.

"We had a couple of close moments, I think we can probably talk about it in private together, but there’s nothing major, and we continue to race.

"I’m looking forward to more races together."



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