Martin Brundle claims Lewis Hamilton should’ve received penalty at Abu Dhabi GP

Lewis Hamilton ended the 2022 season sixth in the Drivers' Championship - his lowest ever result.

The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was simply one to happily forget for Lewis Hamilton, as the seven-time World Champion endured Mercedes’ first technical retirement of the season.

Hamilton suffered from a suspected hydraulic leak in the closing stages of the race, one which resulted in the 37-year-old peeling into the pits.

It robbed the 103-time Grand Prix winner from doing post-race donuts with Sebastian Vettel, something he’ll never get the opportunity to do again.

The retirement meant Hamilton finished sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, marking his lowest ever result.

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To make matters worse, the Stevenage-born driver’s streak of having claimed a victory in every F1 championship he’d competed in came to a disappointing end, with no victories to his name in 2022.

Regardless of that, ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle hailed it as “impressive” that Hamilton’s DNF was the team’s first failure-based one of the season, something which is remarkable given that it has been the first season of the new aerodynamic regulations.

“The only harm done in all of that was damage to the underneath of Hamilton’s Mercedes which was partially helped at his first and only stop for hard compound tyres on lap 18 when they could adjust his front wing to help the aero balance,” said Brundle in his Sky Sports column.

“Then Hamilton was very fast until he suffered Mercedes first and only mechanical retirement of this 22 GP and three Sprint race season. Impressive.”

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Brundle, however, also commented on his shock that Hamilton wasn’t awarded a penalty at the start of the season finale, following an incident with Carlos Sainz.

After overtaking Sainz on the opening lap, the Spaniard decided to dive down the inside of the Mercedes driver at Turn Six, for which there was a substantial gap to do so.

Sainz just about got his car stopped in time and managed to stay within the width of the circuit, whilst Hamilton opted to cut across a giant sausage kerb at the entrance to Turn Seven.

Hamilton then opted to re-join the circuit ahead of the Spaniard, with the Ferrari driver having been noted for forcing the Mercedes driver off the circuit.

The FIA quickly stated that no investigation was necessary, before Mercedes suddenly told Hamilton to give the spot back to Sainz.

Hamilton, interestingly, wasn’t investigated either, despite it having been noted that he cut the corner for the second consecutive season, after taking to the escape road in 2021 following a clash with Max Verstappen.

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Brundle was surprised that Hamilton was let off the hook, whilst the FIA were absolutely correct to do so with Sainz.

“Sainz was correctly exonerated after being investigated for forcing Hamilton off, who was then asked to hand the place back to Sainz which he duly did before quickly re-passing him,” Brundle added.

“Then it was announced by race control that there would be no further action for gaining an advantage off track and curiously Hamilton was exonerated too.”