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Hamilton escapes grid penalty for Abu Dhabi

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will not drop any places in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after being investigated for a red flag infringement during FP3.

Lewis Hamilton has escaped a penalty for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after being put under investigation following FP3. Third practice at Abu Dhabi was red flagged after Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture when his front right wheel guard sheared off, causing debris to be strewn across the exit kerb at Turn 10. The Mercedes driver was at the start of his timed lap when the red flag came out, and subsequently passed Lando Norris and Kevin Magnussen as the light panel showed the red indicator. As a result Hamilton was investigated for breaching Article 2.5.4.1 b) of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code, which states “during practice, all cars shall immediately reduce speed and proceed slowly back to their respective pits." The stewards ruled that Hamilton "took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations" in that he immediately reduced speed at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red light panel.

Stewards note previous precedent

The stewards took note of a previous precedent at the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix, where no action was taken against Max Verstappen under "similar but not identical" circumstances. Using the telemetry, the stewards determined Hamilton had lifted the throttle 100% and applied firm braking. Even though Hamilton overtook Magnussen – which is in breach of Art 2.5.4.1 b of Cpt IV of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code – the stewards determined that he could not avoid the move and subsequently decided not to penalise him.

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