Lewis Hamilton is two penalty points away from receiving a Formula 1 race ban after his practice start violation at the Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was slapped with two five-second time penalties for making two separate illegal practice starts prior to the race at the Sochi Autodrom, and has been given an additional two penalty points on his licence.

The FIA confirmed Hamilton has been given one penalty point per incident in Russia, taking him up to 10 penalty points for the current 12-month period.

Any driver who accumulates 12 penalty points in the space of a 12-month period will be hit with a single race ban.

It means Hamilton will have to keep a clean record until after the Turkish Grand Prix, the next time points will expire from the Briton’s licence.

Hamilton has racked up a total of eight penalty points in the opening 10 rounds since the start of the 2020 season.

Hamilton received two penalty points for failing to slow for yellow flags during qualifying at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, and picked two further points up from the same weekend after clashing with Red Bull’s Alex Albon in the race.

That took him up to seven penalty points but he dropped one at the end of the month.

Hamilton was then handed two penalty points for entering the pits when the pit lane was closed at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which took him back up to eight.

The two penalty points in Russia take his total for the current 12-month period up to 10, meaning he is just two shy of picking up a ban.

No F1 driver has been banned for reaching 12 penalty points over the course of a year.

Hamilton currently holds a 55-point lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in the championship but is set to see his advantage cut with Bottas on course to win the Russian Grand Prix.

 

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