Lewis Hamilton slapped with double punishment

Lewis Hamilton lost out on valuable points in Belgium after he was dropped down the order through a five second penalty.

Lewis Hamilton found himself at the centre of controversy after the Belgian Grand Prix, as he received a double punishment from the F1 stewards following a collision with Sergio Perez during Saturday’s sprint race. 

The Mercedes driver was handed a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his license, leading to a demotion from P4 to seventh, and costing him three world championship points.

The incident occurred as Hamilton executed a daring manoeuvre, diving up the inside on the exit of turn 15, making contact with Perez’s Red Bull on the entrance to turn 16. 

The force of the collision caused damage to Perez’s sidepod, ultimately forcing the Mexican driver to retire from the race just a few laps later.

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Unhappy with the penalties imposed on him, Hamilton asserted that he considered the incident to be a typical racing incident, rather than an intentional move. 

He referred to the famous quote by Ayrton Senna, saying, “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, then you are no longer a racing driver. 

“That is what I did. And when I watched it back, it feels like a racing incident to me.”

Hamilton further explained the situation, highlighting the challenging weather conditions on the track. 

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“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,” he stated. 

Undeterred by the penalties, the seven-time world champion emphasised that his primary goal is to win, not merely secure a fourth-place finish.

Support for Hamilton’s perspective came from Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle, who defended the Mercedes driver. “I thought it was a racing incident, and thought the penalty was harsh. 

“I’ll stand by that, having now watched and analysed it again,” Brundle asserted. 

He firmly believed that there was nothing significant to scrutinise in the incident and categorised it as a standard racing occurrence.

Meanwhile, for Mercedes, it was a disappointing afternoon overall, with George Russell only managing to secure a single point in P8. 

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However, Sergio Perez refused to take responsibility for the collision, putting the blame squarely on Hamilton. 

The Mexican driver expressed his frustration, saying, “Lewis just crashed into me and took the whole right-hand side of my car off, so we basically lost all of the load. 

“Unfortunately, that meant no points today.”