Hamilton fined $80,000 after Qatar crash
By Mat Coch
Monday 9th October, 2023 - 7:39am
Officials have fined Lewis Hamilton more than AUD $80,000 after he crossed the track following his opening corner retirement in the Qatar Grand Prix.
Hamilton came together with his Mercedes team-mate George Russell as they swept into the right-hander with enough force to break the seven-time champion’s right-rear wheel.
He spun into the gravel, his race is over, venting his frustration over the radio to his team.
After climbing from the car, Hamilton then crossed the live race track behind the train behind the Safety Car his crash had triggered, but before Russell had emerged from the pit lane.
While nothing came of the investigation into the crash itself, stewards did take issue with Hamilton crossing the racing surface.
“After crashing out of the race in Lap 1, the driver of Car 44 abandoned his car in the gravel and ran back to the pits,” the stewards noted in their report.
“He thereby crossed the track that was live at this time and reached the inside edge of the track just seconds before Car 63 arrived at high speed after exiting the pits.
“He then continued to walk alongside the track until finally exiting the track.
“During the hearing the driver of Car 44 was very apologetic and realised that the situation could have been very dangerous for him as well as the drivers approaching,” the report continued.
“The Stewards reinforced the fact that crossing a live track can cause extremely dangerous situations and the drivers have to be very cautious about it.
“In addition to imposing a significant fine (which is suspended in parts), the Stewards also reprimand the driver bearing in mind that receiving a certain number of reprimands during a season will draw a significant driving penalty in accordance with Article 18.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
Hamilton was thusly handed a €50,000 fine, half of which is suspended for the balance of the 2023 season provided there’s no similar breach.