Hamilton escapes penalty for red flag violation in Abu Dhabi FP3

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Hamilton was called up by the stewards after FP3 at the Yas Marina Circuit after overtaking Lando Norris and Kevin Magnussen when a red flag was thrown during the session.

Hamilton was on a flying lap and passed both drivers on the right side of the track before slowing down, with such an offense typically resulting in a grid penalty.

But after analyzing the data and talking to Hamilton about the incident, the stewards found that he was doing everything he could to slow down safely, so they took no action.

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Records from Hamilton’s car showed that he was on full throttle when the red light was on and braked hard, but there was still a 100 mph speed difference between the two cars.

“We conclude that the driver of car 44 took all reasonable steps to comply with the regulations by immediately reducing speed in a safe manner on the first indication of the red light,” the stewards said.

While acknowledging that it was still technically a violation of the International Sporting Code which prohibits overtaking under a red flag, the stewards said Hamilton “couldn’t avoid overtaking Car 20.” [Magnussen] in this case and therefore the stewards decide not to impose a penalty”.

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The stewards also took precedent from the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix, when Max Verstappen was involved in a similar incident and no action was taken against him.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Erik Junius

Hamilton goes into Sunday’s race in Abu Dhabi with one last chance to end his winless season and continue his streak of winning a grand prix in every year he has raced in F1.

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The seven-time world champion topped FP1 on Friday before dropping to fourth in second practice, believing Red Bull had an advantage over Mercedes going into qualifying.

In FP3 at Yas Marina, Sergio Perez led a 1-2 Red Bull lead ahead of Verstappen, with Hamilton 0.240s off the pace in third.

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