The FIA have revealed details on why Lewis Hamilton was investigated for a start procedure beach after the Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race. Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu were all noted for possibly breaking F1’s start line rules in the opening stage
The FIA later confirmed that the incident would be investigated after the chequered flag, putting the Mercedes driver’s grid position in doubt. The governing body has now confirmed the Mercedes driver was one of “multiple cars potentially out of their grid box”.
However, after analysis it was clear that the grid slots were simply “smaller than usual” and they accepted that no driver had gained an advantage. The FIA report reads: “The stewards reviewed the start sequence, as it was observed that multiple cars were potentially out of their grid box in violation of Article 8.6.1.a) of the FIA International Sporting Code, being either to the left or right of the grid box.
“Having reviewed all available angles of video, and making measurements on the grid, the stewards noted that the grid boxes were slightly smaller than usual and that the drivers’ visibility makes compliance extremely difficult and that no driver was in a position that gained any advantage.
“The stewards are therefore satisfied to take no further action.” Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin was baffled at the FIA’s call to investigate his driver after the race.
Initially, he believed the problem could be a sensor issue as he admitted Hamilton had not exceeded his grid slot. Shovlin explained: “It may be linked to positioning in the box but we’ve got the onboard and it looks [like] we were very conservative with where we positioned it. Whether it was a sensor issue I don’t know.
Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok also found no wrongdoing with Hamilton’s start when he watched the onboard footage. It means Hamilton is clear to start from the front row of the grid after a strong Saturday for Mercedes.