Lewis Hamilton opened up on why he visited the stewards during the red flag period of the Italian Grand Prix. The Briton received a 10 second stop and go penalty whilst pitting under closed-pitlane conditions in yesterday’s race. Turns out, Hamilton’s trip to the stewards’ office was to get a clearer picture of his pit-lane incident.
The confusion began when Kevin Magnussen pulled off the racetrack just before the pit entry. As a result, the FIA deployed the safety car whilst the marshals pushed Magnussen’s car back into the pits.
Mercedes, in a bid to take full advantage of the situation, brought Hamilton in for a change under safety car conditions. However, the team and Hamilton failed to notice the pit-lane closed sign, which flashed on the display boards mere seconds after the safety car was deployed.
Eventually, the stewards red-flagged the race to retrieve Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. The Monegasque suffered a high-speed crash just after the safety car period. During the red flag, Hamilton left his car to get a better idea of the incident from the stewards.
“I came back, spoke to the team, they didn’t have any video,” Hamilton said. “And I just wanted to see what had been missed. I could have sworn on the entry to the pitlane there was no red light.
“It wasn’t to see Michael [Masi], it was to see the other stewards who made the decisions with penalties. They just quickly showed me the onboard, and there were two signs that had an X on it. I actually didn’t see them, because I was looking elsewhere”
The reigning World Champion also questioned the marshals’ decision to push Magnussen’s Haas into the pitlane instead of a gap along the barriers.
“I’m generally quite unsure why they pushed the car from that spot which they could have pushed the car back into,” Hamilton said. “Why the hell did they push it? I know why, but I don’t understand why they took that decision necessarily, because that wasn’t needed.”
Ultimately, Hamilton served his 10s stop and go penalty and produced a brilliant recovery drive. The Briton finished the Italian Grand Prix in seventh, extending his advantage over title rivals.