FIA explain why Lewis Hamilton avoided penalty

Lewis Hamilton endured a woeful Brazilian Grand Prix last Sunday, although it could’ve been even worse had he been penalised on the first lap of the race.

The seven-time World Champion was spotted by many as having moved forwards in his grid slot before the lights went out, with him having ended up having an incredible start.

Hamilton started the race in fifth but was in third by the exit of the first corner, although he ended up finishing all the way down in eighth.

Onboard footage showed that the seven-time World Champion did creep forwards in his grid slot, something which led to fans calling for him to be penalised.

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Depending on the severity of a jump-start, a driver can be slapped with either a time penalty of even a drive-through.

Either punishment would’ve likely resulted in Hamilton scoring no points.

However, the 38-year-old wasn’t penalised by the stewards as he remained in his grid slot, with a jump-start only being in effective if a driver moves beyond the orange line on the front-left side of his grid slot.

When creeping forwards, Hamilton stopped just before the orange line, which is why he wasn’t punished by the FIA.

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Had he been penalised, then it would’ve been the cherry on top of what was an outrageous weekend for Mercedes.

Team principal Toto Wolff slammed the car’s performance as “inexcusable”, with Hamilton just wanting to get rid of it now.

“Inexcusable performance, there’s even no words for that,” said Wolff, as reported by The Express.

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“That car finished second last week and the week before and whatever we did to it was horrible. Lewis survived out there but George… I can only feel for the two drivers with such a miserable thing.

“It shows how difficult the car is, it’s on a knife’s edge. We’ve got to develop that better for next year because it can’t be that, within seven days, you’re finishing on the podium as one of the two quickest cars and then you’re nowhere.”

Hamilton’s P8 has seen him fall to 32 points behind Sergio Perez with two races remaining, meaning his chances of finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship are all but over.