Lewis Hamilton receives backing from ‘tough guy’ steward

Lewis Hamilton received two penalty points for hitting Sergio Perez at the 2023 Belgian GP.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton reportedly received support from a steward following last weekend’s sprint race at the Belgian Grand Prix, following his collision with Sergio Perez.

During the wet sprint race, Hamilton went up the inside of Sergio Perez and claimed the corner; however, he drifted wide and made contact the with the Mexican driver.

The collision pierced a hole in Perez’s sidepod, something which caused him to later retire from the sprint.

As a result, Hamilton was slapped with a five-second time penalty, demoting him from fourth to seventh.

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He was highly critical of the penalty after the sprint and insisted that it “wasn’t intentional”.

“As Ayrton [Senna] said, if you no longer go for a gap that exists, then you are no longer a racing driver,” Hamilton said afterwards.

“That is what I did. And when I watched it back it feels like a racing incident to me. The conditions were tricky out there. We are doing our best and it wasn’t intentional. He was slow and I went up the inside and I was more than half-a-car length alongside.”

Supposedly, one of the stewards agreed with Hamilton’s stance that it was nothing more than a racing incident and pleaded to the other stewards not to penalise the Mercedes driver.

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“[Derek Warwick] actually pleaded for a racing incident and he’s actually a tough guy,” F1 journalist Michael Schmidt told ams.F1.

“I was talking to [him] yesterday on the grid and Warwick said, ‘well, you know, there are four stewards here, not all of them were in favor.'”

Ex-F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle also viewed the collision as nothing more than a racing incident and admitted that the penalty was “harsh”.

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“I thought it was a racing incident and thought the penalty was harsh,” Brundle told Sky Sports F1.

“I’ll stand by that, having now watched and analysed it again. Lewis had claimed the corner, there was an error before the corner by Perez and he was on the inside.”

Hamilton was also slapped with two penalty points for causing the collision, which will now remain on his super licence for 12 months.