The F1 world experienced yet another controversial and exciting weekend when the fourth and final race of the season took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil yesterday. In a race in which the defending champion started in tenth place, Hamilton beat all odds, including a Verstappen “push” to lead teammate Bottas in a Mercedes 1, 3.
After the impressive win that saw the defending champion reduce the gap between him and the current leader, Verstappen, to 14 points, the Briton was obviously too excited and broke a seat belt rule.
To receive the Brazilian flag from a marshal after crossing the finish line, Hamilton is said to have loosened his seatbelt, an action that violated racing rules. Apparently, drivers aren’t allowed to loosen or remove a seatbelt when their cars are moving, no matter how slowly.
“…it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion,” FIA stewards announced via a bulletin after the 36-year old’s act. According to the bulletin, “Slow speed in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant” and could endanger a life.
The report emphasized the importance of having F1 drivers adhere to all safety rules. “Formula One drivers set the example for junior categories,” it stated, stressing the importance of junior drivers learning from their seniors like Hamilton to keep safe via the set safety rules.
Apart from the initial amount, Hamilton is expected to pay another 20,000 euros after next season, while rival Verstappen parted with 2.5 times that amount for touching Lewis’ car before the race.