Lewis Hamilton sparks FIA investigation

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has endured a challenging weekend at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has escaped a penalty or a reprimand at the Qatar Grand Prix, after being summoned to see the stewards after qualifying.

The seven-time World Champion was summoned to see the stewards after going slower than the 1:46.000 minimum lap-time in Q1, something Liam Lawson, Oscar Piastri and Yuki Tsunoda were also placed under investigation for.

However, out of the quartet, only the Mercedes driver had to make the trip to the stewards for “exceeding the time limit between the Safety Car lines during qualifying”.

The FIA’s full statement regarding the 38-year-old being summoned read: “Alleged breach of Article 12.2.1 i) of the International Sporting Code and non-compliance with Race Director’s Event Note (item 4.2, document 16) – Exceeding the time limit between the Safety Car lines during Qualifying.”

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As expected, no penalty was awarded after it was deemed by the stewards that Hamilton went below the minimum lap-time as he was letting faster cars go past, all of which were on hot laps.

In fact, no driver received a penalty for going slower than a 1:46.000, to the relief of Mercedes and all those who were put under investigation.

Due to not being penalised, Hamilton will start Sunday’s race from third on the grid, despite the fact his best lap-time was only good enough for P5.

Hamilton was promoted two places at the Lusail International Circuit after Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri both had their lap times deleted for exceeding track limits.

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George Russell also benefited from Norris’ lap being deleted, as the 25-year-old will start from the front row on Sunday after being promoted to second.

Of course, it was Max Verstappen who claimed pole position, with him highly likely to start Sunday’s race as a three-time World Champion.

READ: Max Verstappen lashes out at ‘idiot’ George Russell

Verstappen can seal the title by finishing at least P6 in Saturday’s sprint race, if Sergio Perez wins it.

Both Hamilton and Russell will be hoping to qualifying well for the sprint race, given that Ferrari appear to be struggling.

Carlos Sainz will start Sunday’s race from P12 following a Q2 exit, meaning the Silver Arrows could extend their advantage over the Italians in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.