FIA Race Director Michael Masi has said that Lewis Hamilton was aware of the rules regarding safety when the Brazilian GP race winner undid his seat belts on the cooldown lap after crossing the finish line.
Hamilton stopped in the second sector of the lap to pick up a Brazilian flag from a track marshal as he circulated his way back to the pits, undoing his belts in the process. This earned him a trip to the stewards immediately afterwards, with Hamilton being given a €5,000 euro fine for the transgression.
Asked about the incident post-race, Masi explained that it ended up being a very straightforward conversation with Hamilton as the rules have always been made clear to the drivers.
"Everyone knows that rule, it's been discussed before," Masi told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I'm well aware that it was discussed in Charlie's [Whiting, Masi's predecessor] time, drivers were reminded that, obviously, on cooldown laps, there's no problem loosening their belts, but they need to remain fully attached.
"It is a safety item. I think the stewards have made it quite clear in their decision that it's not about stopping celebrations at all.
"But at the pinnacle of motorsport, we make it clear that A, it's a safety issue, and B, we're sending a message all the way through that [this] type of behaviour is not acceptable."
F1 Podcast: Could Mercedes' pace in Brazil spell the end for Red Bull?
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was simply unstoppable in Brazil, forcing his way past Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Is momentum coming back towards Mercedes in the 2021 title fight?