‘Why Such a Harsh Penalty?’ – What Lewis Hamilton Asked F1 Stewards After Monza Penalty

Published 02/10/2021, 1:20 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 30: Pole position qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 30, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton was leading the race in Monza when a lack of judgment from the team and the driver changed the course of the race. Kevin Magnussen’s Haas gave up on the track and triggered a safety car. Mercedes called the Briton to the pit lane to take advantage of the yellow flag.


Article continues below this ad

However, the team failed to notice that the pit entry was closed at the moment. The stewards penalized the Briton for it and handed him a stop-and-go penalty. Hamilton was obviously furious at the decision and confronted the stewards during the red flag caused by Leclerc’s crash.

Speaking to stewards over a web conference last weekend, Garry Connelly explained his conversation with the world champion. “Lewis hopped on his scooter during the stoppage of the race, scooted down the pitlane, and came up and paid us a visit,” he recalled.


Article continues below this ad

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“Lewis was extremely polite. And he just said, ‘Guys, can you tell me why I’ve been penalised?’ And we said, ‘Yes, because you entered the pitlane when it was closed.'”

“Can you show me?” asked Hamilton. “And we showed him the video replay. We showed him from his onboard camera. And there right in front of him was the warning light for the first panel, and then again, the second panel,” Connelly shared.


How Much Weight Do F1 Drivers Lose During a Race?

6 months ago

Lewis Hamilton had a few comments for his team

After the stewards showed the video to Hamilton, he accepted his mistake. However, he still wanted an explanation as to why he was handed down such a harsh penalty. Connelly explained that it was a mandatory penalty and the stewards don’t have a choice on its imposition.

And he said, ‘Oh, okay. I accept that,’ he said, ‘but why such a harsh penalty?’

“And we explained to him, ‘Unfortunately Lewis, it’s a mandatory penalty. And we don’t have any choice but to impose this penalty on you.'”

He continued, “And whilst he was not absolutely delighted with this, Lewis accepted it, and was extremely polite, as I’ve always found him, and left the room and went back.”

Connelly further pointed out Hamilton’s exchange with Mercedes and praised the Briton for handling it so well.


Article continues below this ad

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Second placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on in parc ferme during the F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northampton, England. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“Now, no doubt, he had a few comments to his team about why they didn’t warn him on the radio. But I think that’s a perfect example, that no matter how painful the decision, it was accepted by Lewis, and it was accepted by his team,” he explained.

The Monza race result went down the history as one of the most unpredictable ones. Pierre Gasly won his first career race while Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll completed the top three finishers – a race without the top names standing on the podium.


Article continues below this ad

As we stand closer to the 2021 season, All I want from this season are such unpredictable races and Gasly-like stories of redemption!


Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!