Hamilton received a combined 10-second sanction - made up of two separate five-second time penalties - at last year’s Russian Grand Prix for carrying out pre-race practice starts in the wrong place in the pit lane.

The Mercedes driver went past the designated area of the pitlane to perform his practice starts and instead carried them out on the right-hand side of the pit exit road.

Hamilton criticised the penalty and suggested he was being targeted by race officials, though FIA race director Michael Masi insisted the punishment was fair for a clear breach of the regulations.

The seven-time world champion originally received two penalty points but these were later rescinded, with Mercedes instead being fined €25,000.

Ahead of this weekend’s race at Sochi, the race directors’ pre-event notes featured new instructions on where drivers can perform their practice starts.

“Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side immediately after the pit exit lights and, for the avoidance of doubt, this includes any time the pit exit is open for the race,” the note read.

“Drivers must leave adequate room on their left for another driver to pass.

“For reasons of safety and sporting equity, cars may not stop in the fast lane at any time the pit exit is open without a justifiable reason.

“For reasons of safety and sporting equity, at any time the pit exit is open and when practice starts are permitted to be carried out, any car who wishes to perform a practice start must form up in a line and leave in the order they got there unless another car is unduly delayed.”