Formula One: Hamilton blasts 'bloody ridiculous' reprimands

Lewis Hamilton has criticised what he considers unduly harsh decisions by Formula One race stewards.
Lewis Hamilton has criticised what he considers unduly harsh decisions by Formula One race stewards.PHOTO: EPA

(REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN) - Lewis Hamilton has criticised what he considers unduly harsh decisions by Formula One race stewards.

The Mercedes driver and reigning champion, who finished second in the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, was given his second reprimand of the season after qualifying and will face a 10-place grid penalty should he receive a third.

"I'm just aware there's most likely going to be one 10-place grid penalty because I've got one more reprimand to go," he said. "The last one was bloody ridiculous."

The Briton was censured in Sochi for going wide at turn two during qualifying and not, as required, heading to the left to go round a bollard, to ensure no time advantage was gained.

The other reprimand came in Bahrain for reversing in the pit lane.

In both cases, the stewards were following the rules to the letter but Hamilton can feel legitimately aggrieved to an extent.

In Sochi, he gained no advantage from cutting the corner.

In Bahrain, where he could have faced a stronger sanction, he had taken pole and had entered the pit lane to park up but was given no clear instruction where to go, stopped and then reversed for approximately 50cm.

Hamilton felt the decisions were unnecessarily harsh.

"When I was in karting there was one steward who was just there to make everyone's weekend a bad weekend," he said. "I'm starting to have reminiscent experiences.

"Families would turn up and spend so much money to be there but there was this one guy who was a complete a***hole. I heard he's still there. He was just there to ruin people's weekend. I have started to see signs of him."

He said both reprimands had triggered this memory.

There was one common denominator on both steward panels - Paul Gutjahr, president of the FIA (International Automobile Federation) hill climb commission.

In Bahrain he was joined by Roger Peart, president of the FIA circuits commission, and the driver representative, Derek Warwick.

In Sochi Nish Shetty, an FIA steward, and the former Le Mans winner Emanuele Pirro were the other representatives.

Hamilton has not won a race since October, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg has started the season with four straight victories and leads the championship by 43 points.