The FIA has taken no further action against Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda, Liam Lawson, and Oscar Piastri for driving unnecessarily slowly during the qualifying session at the 2023 F1 Qatar GP. The quartet did it as they were trying to give themselves enough space for a proper push lap.
Since there was a maximum time limit of 1:46:0 to complete even a slow lap, all four of the drivers’ laps were noted and studied, but the final decision to let them go was taken a few moments after the qualifying session was over.
A report from the FIA explained how the race stewards studied all kinds of data to decide that Lawson, Tsunoda, and Piastri should not get penalized for their slow laps. Hamilton, on the other hand, was called by the stewards after the qualifying session for further discussion.
“The stewards thoroughly reviewed marshalling/positioning data, timing data, onboard cameras, and CCTV cameras. Most of the incidents were easily judged based on the video evidence, and therefore there was no necessity to hear from the drivers involved. For one incident, the stewards summoned (document 23) and heard from the driver of Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and the team representative to obtain more clarity,” the report read.
The report further explains how all four drivers were driving at the speed necessary to complete a lap in 1:46:0 but were also slowing down for other cars and not impeding any other driver. Hence, the FIA did not penalize Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda, Liam Lawson, and Oscar Piastri.
“All drivers concerned stayed at or above speeds necessary to stay below 1:46.0 around the vast majority of the circuit. However, in all six cases, the stewards determined that the drivers took appropriate actions to not impede other drivers, and in all cases, they slowed down significantly to allow other drivers to pass while giving those drivers a clear track,” the report added.
“The stewards therefore determine that they did not drive ‘unnecessarily slowly’, and that evidently the reason they were above the maximum time was due to their appropriate actions and take no further action,” it continued.
Lewis Hamilton on finishing second in the drivers’ championship and his battle with Sergio Perez
Lewis Hamilton recently stated that his chances of finishing second in the drivers’ championship table heavily depend on how Red Bull’s Sergio Perez performs in the remaining races.
“I mean its ultimately largely dependent on Checo. Checo’s performance moving forwards. As he should easily have second as you know. But I’m really proud of where we are, where I’ve managed to get to. I am really proud of the race performances so far.” The Mercedes driver told the media.
Hamilton is currently 33 points behind Perez in the drivers’ championship table.