FIA accused of favouritism after Lewis Hamilton shown flag while Max Verstappen wasn’t warned

Lewis Hamilton was at risk of a penalty during the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as he battled hard in a bid to score a podium.

In Formula 1 there are a number of rules in place to keep racing clean, fair and competitive.

One of these rules prevents drivers from weaving on the straights when defending from another driver and this massively decreases the risk of high-speed crashes during overtaking manoeuvres.

Drivers are allowed to make one defensive action and then must stick to that side, rather than moving back or weaving to block the overtaking car.

Lewis Hamilton was shown the black and white flag during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for weaving on the straight following a battle with Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc.

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The Alpine driver and the Ferrari driver behind Hamilton were battling each other but struggled to get past Hamilton going into Turn 1, hence why the Brit was shown the black and white flag.

Whilst this flag only represents a warning for Hamilton, fans were unhappy with the FIA’s decision to take this action against Hamilton, suggesting that other drivers do not get this treatment.

On Twitter, footage was shared of the dramatic final lap from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where following his overtake on Hamilton, Max Verstappen is clearly weaving to defend and did not pick up a penalty.

“And this was just one example, Max weaves all the time and it has never been a problem for the FIA… until Lewis does it of course but who is surprised,” replied one fan.

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“I’m a Red Bull fan but when they gave Lewis the flag almost immediately I was like oh wow. Favouritism definitely on show,” wrote another.

With Hamilton only being shown the black and white flag once for this infringement, the seven-time world champion did not pick up a penalty and he eventually managed to finish the race in P5.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell managed to finish one place ahead in P4 and was given a podium finish for only a matter of hours until the FIA decided to reverse the penalty that they had awarded to Fernando Alonso post-race.