Lewis Hamilton was shown sympathy by the safety stewards when an investigation was launched following his Brazilian Grand Prix victory. The Mercedes star had already been disqualified from qualifying on Friday and hit with a further five-place grid penalty on for the main race when he was put under investigation once again.
Hamilton found himself in hot water for taking off his seat belt when stopping to collect a Brazilian flag from a steward after he crossed the chequered flag.
But in doing so he broke a crucial FIA safety regulation and was consequently hit with a £4,200 fine and a further £17,000 fine, suspended until the end of 2022.
The stewards noted: “The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seat belts on the in-lap at the end of the race.
“While the stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion.
“Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant.
“Further, Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories. It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.
“The suspension of the penalty is subject to compliance with Appendix L, Ch. III of the ISC during the period specified.”
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