Lewis Hamilton had two penalty points added to his drivers super-licence in addition to the five-second penalty for his brush with Sergio Perez in Saturday’s Belgian Grand Prix sprint.
The punishment for Mercedes’ seven-time champion was confirmed on Sunday by the race stewards at the event. Hamilton previously had a clean licence.
In a statement, the stewards said that Hamilton was “predominantly at fault for causing a collision”, a decision that provoked surprised reactions by many pundits and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
He said: “This is a sprint race. We want to see them racing. The argument of there being damage isn’t valid because he was going backwards before then, massively backward.
“They were side-by-side. Fair enough, it takes two to tango, but it is a racing incident – that’s pretty clear.”
Perez’s car suffered slight damage and he retired from the race.
In another announcement on Sunday, it was confirmed that Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg will start the Belgian Grand Prix from the pit-lane after a number of changes were made to his car under parc ferme conditions.
These included a new engine and turbo-charger, electrical components and gearbox parts.
Ahead of the race, the soon-to-depart team boss of Alpine, Otmar Szafnauer, compared the expectations for success with the team to the birth of a child.
Szafnauer joined Alpine in 2022, from Aston Martin, and spoke often of their ‘100 Race’ plan to restore success.
But he and long-serving sporting director Alan Permane are leaving the team, following announcements made on Friday, after Sunday’s race – only the 34th of Szafnauer’s tenure.
“The reality is that changes take time,” he said. “I signed good people from other teams, but they are still in their contracts and won’t move until 2024 or 2025.
“You can’t push development if the people aren’t there. It takes time. As I always say, you can’t get nine women pregnant and hope you have a baby in a month.”
- PAK vs SA, ODI World Cup 2023: South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma is unfazed of chasing against ‘mercurial’ Pakistan
- ODI World Cup 2023: England underestimated us, says Sri Lankan spinner Theekshana
- ODI World Cup: England’s title defence in tatters after eight-wicket loss to Sri Lanka
- French Open 2023: Indian challenge ends after Satwik-Chirag lose, Sindhu retires with knee issue in round of 16
- IPL 2024 auction likely to be held on December 19