lewis Hamilton warned, Mercedes also fined for interfering with Saudi F1 training

March 8, 2024

Lewis Hamilton has been cautioned and his Mercedes F1 team fined for interfering with Logan Sargeant’s Williams during second practice for the Saudi Grand Prix.

During a hot lap through the high-speed twists and turns of Jeddah’s Corniche circuit, Sargeant had to take evasive action to avoid the slower Lewis Hamilton at Turn 10.

As Hamilton entered the race track, Sargeant had to veer to the right to go over a curb, reporting the failure as “hazardous” over the team radio.

After the session, Hamilton and Sargeant were called before the stewards, who were deemed “grossly negligent” in monitoring the drivers in relation to oncoming cars, gave Hamilton a warning, and gave Mercedes a €15,000 fine.

“Stewards heard evidence from the driver of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), the driver of car 2 (Logan Sargeant) and team principals, and considered data from the positioning/routing system, video, team radio and in-car data.

Based on video evidence, the stewards’ verdict said they determined that 44 cars “obstructed the movement of the second car at Turn 11”.

As a result, vehicle 2 was forced to take evasive action by veering off the road to avoid a collision.

If this had not been done, a serious high-speed accident would have occurred.

“After listening to the team radio, it became clear that the team in the No. 44 car had not warned the driver that the No. 2 car was coming for a fast lap.

“This was a significant mistake on the team’s part, especially given the speed of this track and the nature of Turn 11, which is at the end of a series of high-speed corners that reduce visibility for the drivers.

The team was given a warning and a fine of 15,000 euros.

“It’s been a tough day, just a lack of confidence at the back of the car,” said Hamilton, who was eighth fastest, more than six tenths behind Aston Martin leader Fernando Alonso.

“We worked session by session in preparation and modified the car a little bit, but we had a big problem with the rear and were struggling, so we were able to get some very important points.

In the high-speed sections you have to have complete confidence in the car, which I don’t have yet.”

Asked about his expectations for qualifying after teammate George Russell set the second-fastest time on Thursday, Hamilton said: “I don’t know.

I’ll have to look at the data, but George obviously has a lot of confidence in his car. I’m very satisfied with that. we went in a slightly different direction.

We’re all trying different things to find the right solution for the car.

All we need is a stable rear and we’re happy, so that’s what I’m working on.