Harsh but fair

Lewis HamiltonOkay, let’s cut to the chase. Lewis Hamilton’s drive-through penalty was harsh – but what else could the officials do? There is no lesser punishment and there is no question that Hamilton gained an advantage when he passed the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel going into Turn 6.

It doesn’t matter in the slightest that he had gained the place before turning in to the corner. The fact is that he did it by carrying so much speed that there was no way he could get round the corner, as demonstrated by the McLaren having to take to the run-off and by-pass the second part of the chicane, Turn 7.

I don’t blame Hamilton for pressing on – in fact, it was great to watch – but his biggest mistake was not to let Vettel re-take the place immediately, much as drivers do when they over-shoot the harbour chicane at Monaco.

Then it would have been ‘job done’ rather than undergo the drive-through that wrecked his chances of taking points.

Should the team have advised Hamilton immediately the incident had taken place? Maybe they missed the initial television shots. Maybe they didn’t. That is a matter between Hamilton and his increasingly embattled team.

Hamilton’s biggest threat now is letting a perceived injustice play on his mind as the season reaches the half way point and he finds himself 10 points behind the championship leader going into the British Grand Prix. Ten points is not an insurmountable gap with 10 races to go. It’s been done before. Ask Kimi Raikkonen.

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i think his penalty was not harsh, it was totally deserved, he should have given the position back and he did not, if that was a track like monaco he could not have got away with cutting the corner and that is why tracks should not have large run off areas.

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if it had been Ferrari who made the same move as Hamilton, the stewards would have asked ever so kindly, “If it’s not too much trouble, could you…um…please ask your driver to slow up and let Vettel retake the position? Um, if that’s alright with you. No rush.” But since it was a McLaren they jumped right on the opportunity to give Hamilton a drive-through penalty. I’ve seen this same thing happen many times before, and this is the first time I can recall that someone was given a drive-through penalty for overshooting a corner. Especially when Hamilton made the pass before the corner. Yes, you can say he never would have been able to make the pass had he been traveling at the speed he would have needed to be going in order to make the corner, but come on, it’s not like the pass happened as he was overshooting it. Hamilton probably figured he was in the clear since he passed Vettel before corner and that the stewards would chock up the overshoot to brake lock-up. There is no reason the stewards could not have made an attempt to ask him to give the position back. Especially since it was VETTEL! Not exactly someone who’s in the fight for the championship.

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