The heavy penalty caused Lewis Hamilton to return to three, watching his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas win the F1 race in Sochi.
Compared with the struggles of the September 26 qualifying round, Hamilton was even more difficult when entering the official race on the Sochi race on Sunday, September 27. Due to two training starts in the restricted area before entering the official race, Mercedes driver is fined plus 10 seconds. And taking advantage of the chance that his British teammate fell, Mercedes’ remaining racer Valtteri Bottas took his second victory from the start of the season, thereby shortening the gap on the standings to 44 points.
However, Bottas’s throne in Sochi was not entirely due to Hamilton’s double penalty. The Finnish racer only started third, but had the advantage of hiding the wind right behind his teammates. Starting with medium tires, instead of soft tires like Hamilton, also gives Bottas an edge over the internal duel.
Hamilton was caught in the sights of the judges as he drove the W11 away from the garage to the track. The champions initially lined up to do the starting exercise in the same area as their peers. But the British driver suddenly asked race engineer Peter Bonnington if he could start at the end of the pitlane, instead of the designated area at the exit. “It’s all crumbs, can I run for more to practice?” Said Bonnington. The W11, therefore, rushed to the end of the pitlane – the area that intersects the track – to practice starting.
According to World Racing Federation (FIA) regulations, “start-up practice can only be done in the right lane, just behind the exit light from the pit. The driver must leave enough room in the left lane. let another colleague pass. For safety and fair reasons, if there is no good reason, the vehicle must not stop in the high-speed lane, upon exiting the pit exit. And starting training is not considered a good reason in this case.
Because the two training starts out of the range, “Hamilton received two 10-second penalties, adding up to 10 seconds. The incident also means that Hamilton gets 10 points on the driver’s record, if receiving 12 penalty points in 12 months, the driver will be banned from playing one leg.