Lewis Hamilton was not penalized for overtaking Kevin Magnussen’s Haas under the red flag in the final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Following the session’s suspension due to Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri fracturing the front right wheel and leaving debris on the racing line, the F1 stewards looked into Hamilton’s Mercedes after it appeared to overtake two cars rapidly.
After the practice, F1 officials talked to Hamilton and his Mercedes team and examined telemetry, team radio, and in-car video data from the positioning/marshalling system.
The ruling stated that there is “no dispute” that Hamilton passed Magnussen “directly after the track was placed in a red flag condition.”
The stewards decided to exonerate Hamilton on the grounds that he slowed as quickly and safely as he could as the closing speed between the two cars was extreme. This comes after Max Verstappen was exonerated for a similar incident during the 2021 Dutch GP.
“The driver of Car 44 stated that he was on a fast lap, he saw the Red Light, immediately completely lifted the throttle and applied the brakes, whilst checking his mirrors for cars following in close proximity,” the statement from the stewards read.
“He stated that he had, in doing so, gone past Car 20. The Stewards took note of the precedent in relation to the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix (Max Verstappen), where no action was taken against the driver under similar but not identical circumstances.”
“It is our conclusion that the driver of Car 44 took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red light.”
The FIA claimed that according to its own statistics, Hamilton applied strong braking pressure and instantly lifted his foot 100% off the throttle when the red light was displayed, as he was driving at 288 km/h compared to Magnussen’s 126 km/h, a difference of 162 km/h.
Despite “technically” breaking the FIA’s International Sporting Code, they claimed Hamilton could not avoid overtaking Car 20 in this situation and the Stewards determine to apply no penalty.