Lewis Hamilton said the time penalty which cost him a shot at winning the Russian Grand Prix was “ridiculous”, adding that he felt the ruling was simply made to stop him.
Hamilton missed the chance to equal Michael Schumacher’s 91 career F1 wins after two incidents which occurred ahead of the race. When the pit-lane opened, Hamilton conducted two practice starts down the pit-lane exit instead of at the designated spot at the end of the row of garages.
The incident landed him with a combined ten-second penalty and two points on his superlicence points, moving him to the cusp of a one-race ban.
When told of the penalty during the race, Hamilton replied: “Where is that in the rulebook?”
Hamilton was leading when he served the penalty, but ended up finishing third. He was still angry with the penalty after the race.
“I need to go back and see what the rules are, what exactly I did wrong,” Hamilton told Sky Sports. “I’m pretty sure no one 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. But it is what it is.”
When asked if the penalties were too harsh, Hamilton replied: “Of course it is, and it is to be expected. They are trying to stop me.”
Hamilton still holds a comfortable 44-point championship lead over Sochi race winner and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
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