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Sport Mercedes knew Hamilton was in trouble before Russian GP start

13:32  28 september  2020
13:32  28 september  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Hamilton leads Mercedes team-mate Bottas in the drivers' championship by 44 points. "I don't know if the rules in terms of what happened today was anything to do with it, but naturally that's Hamilton twice made practice starts during the reconnaissance laps before the cars form up on the grid at the

Even before the race was an exciting time, as we awaited news of Hamilton ’s punishment for those practice starts outside the designated area. Hamilton , maybe in trouble . If Hamilton and his Mercedes team do find a way to win, the Briton will draw level with Michael Schumacher’s record of

(Reuters) - Mercedes knew Lewis Hamilton was going to be in trouble with Formula One stewards when they saw where he was practising his starts for the Russian Grand Prix, according to engineering director Andrew Shovlin.

a close up of a man wearing a hat: Russian Grand Prix © Reuters/BRYN LENNON Russian Grand Prix

The six-times world champion, on pole position at Sochi on Sunday, was handed two five second penalties and ended up third in a race won by team mate Valtteri Bottas.

The penalties put on hold his bid to equal Michael Schumacher's record 91 wins and trimmed his championship lead to 44 points.

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A Mercedes driver did win the Russian Grand Prix but it wasn't the one everyone expected. Lewis Hamilton missed out on equaling Michael Schumacher's record of 91 race wins after two five-second penalties for practice start violations saw him have to claw his way back onto the podium.

Lewis Hamilton has slammed his penalties at the Russian GP as "ridiculous" and claims Formula 1 stewards are Hamilton 's radio messages with Mercedes during practice starts . Never before has a pre-race or reconnaissance lap infringement been penalised with an in-race penalty. Johnny and I, like Lewis, have driven at many, many racetracks around the world, and you knew you can't go that

Hamilton had asked Mercedes on his way to the grid whether he could practise starts further out of the pit lane where there was less discarded rubber, and was told to proceed.

"We hadn't realised quite how far he was he was going to go," said Shovlin.

"We didn't see the first one. When we saw the second one we thought 'they're not going to like that'.

"We thought it might have been ambiguous enough that we would have just got a telling-off. But when we saw the car position, it wasn't a complete surprise that they didn't like it."

Shovlin said rivals could also have flagged it up to the governing FIA or stewards as much as the officials spotting for themselves.

Hamilton, surprised by the penalties, told reporters afterwards he did not think he had done anything out of the ordinary.

"If you look at probably every race that I've done this year, at least, I always start further down. Never, ever had a problem, done it for years," he said.

"I don't like to be on the rubber, that's where everyone has done all their starts so it's not representative of what it's like on the grid, so I try to get onto the surface that doesn't have any rubber."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge)

Hamilton's brother warns: "If he goes, who do we look up to?" .
A resignation of Lewis Hamilton would not only be a loss for Formula 1 from a sporting point of view - brother Nicolas fears for the diversity of the premier class Lewis Hamilton is at the zenith of his career. In this Formula 1 season he is driving towards his seventh world title and is well on the way to catching up with record holder Michael Schumacher. But if Hamilton one day resigns, he will not only be remembered for his successes on the track.

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