Lewis Hamilton suffered two penalties as he finished third in the Russian Grand Prix
- Hamilton was hit by two penalties after practice start infringements before the race in Sochi
- Valtteri Bottas took advantage to inherit lead and cruise to victory ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen
- After serving a 10-second penalty in the pit-lane during the grand prix, the Brit battled up to final podium spot
- Mental Health and Psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Lewis Hamilton suffered two penalties as he finished third in the Russian Grand Prix.
It was meant to be the afternoon that he matched Michael Schumacher’s 91 victories, but that hope was dashed even before he lined up in pole position for the Russian Grand Prix.
The six-time world champion had staged two practice starts in an ‘undesignated’ area: too far along the pit-lane exit. And, with the race only a few laps old, the stewards imposed a five-second penalty on him for each infringement and a fine of £23,000 on Mercedes.
Those combined 10 seconds cost Hamilton the historic win and gifted top step to his team-mate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was second and Hamilton third, his hackles up.
‘Bull****,’ he said of the sanction. Still seething afterwards, he continued: ‘I’m pretty sure nobody has ever got two five-second penalties for something so ridiculous before. I didn’t put anyone in danger.
‘I’ve done this at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned over it.’
Asked if the punishment was too harsh, he replied: ‘Of course it is, and it is to be expected. They are trying to stop me.
‘(The rules say) you have to be on the right after the lights but it doesn’t say how far. I don’t like the area where everybody has done their practice starts because it is not representative of what it is like on the grid. I try to get on a surface that doesn’t have any rubber laid down.