Lewis Hamilton’s action in the final phases of the German Grand Prix when he came back onto the track after cutting through the grass after having taken the entrance to pit lane caused a lot of discussion after the race. Some hours after the chequered flag the Mercedes’ driver’s win was confirmed after having received only received a reprimand from the marshals. For Race director Charlie Whiting there was no correlation with the 5” penalty given to Kimi Raikonnen during the 2016 Baku Grand Prix.
We asked Gian Carlo Minardi, who gave us his point of view. “At this time in F1 there is no certainty in the penalties which are the basis for the regularity of world championship. In order to justify FIA’s position Charlie Whiting climbed up walls, hid behind very soft mitigating factors such as the presence of the Safety-car and not having created a risk situation due to the lack of other cars present,” commented the manager from Faenza.
“This championship will be won by who makes the least mistakes compared to his rival and seven points can make the difference at the end (with a 5” second penalty the Englishman would have finished in second place behind Bottas). In my opinion the regulation was distorted. Unfortunately these episodes also have consequences on the other introductory categories since very often F1 makes the law and is taken as an example by young drivers as well. It becomes very difficult teaching them,” continued.
“I do not want to take anything away from Hamilton who was the author of an extraordinary race, while Vettel make a very serious mistake that could cost him very dearly but there is a need for clear regulations that must be respected”.