As is well known, before the start of Sunday’s Formula One Russian Grand Prix, pole-starter Lewis Hamilton was investigated for failing to test drive from a venue that met the race director’s guidelines.
The six-time world champion was eventually awarded two 5-second penalties in lap 16 and then 1-1, a total of two penalty points, though the latter were withdrawn after the race after it was revealed that Hamilton was in the wrong position with a confirmation from the pit lane after questioning the team.
Motorlat was now digging an interesting case, although it did not receive any publicity, but at the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August, Charles Leclerc from Ferrari was involved in a very similar case.
The Monaco driver was examined at the Spa because he was driving too slowly in the warm-up lap, but the matter was only discussed after the race, after hearing a Leclerc and Ferrari representative, it was found that the reason for the slow drive was that the driver was the second safety car near the line, so it did not stop for a test drive at a place previously designated by the race director, but the stewards then assessed this as a de facto excuse (in terms of slower-than-normal lap times), closing the case without further action.
Different race judges work on the race weekends, with three people – including the former driver with racing experience, Johnny Herbert in Spa and Mika Salo in Sochi – delegated by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and one by the local car club or motorsport association.
A small side effect is that although the stewards were different, he escaped a penalty in Sochi after Leclerc Spa: although his incident of Lance Stroll’s elimination resembled the case of Hamilton and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon in Austria, a 5-second time penalty and two points “worth” there was no sanction.