Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

Lewis Hamilton has been fined for undoing his seatbelts on the cooldown lap after his victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Hamilton won from 10th place on the grid ahead of championship rival Max Verstappen, but came under investigation for a seatbelt infringement after seeing the chequered flag.

The Mercedes driver was seen stopping to take a Brazilian flag from a track marshal, holding it aloft in the cockpit as he celebrated his third win at Interlagos.

But the stewards called Hamilton to a post-race hearing for breaching safety regulations in relation to undoing seatbelts after the race has been completed.

The FIA announced Hamilton had been hit with a €5000 fine for the incident, with a further €20,000 suspended until the end of 2022.

A statement issued by the FIA read, as quoted by Motorsport.com: “The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seat belts on the in-lap at the end of the race.

“While the Stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion. Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant.

“Further, Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories. It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.”

It marks the second investigation Hamilton has faced over the Brazil weekend, with the seven-time world champion excluded from qualifying for a technical infringement.

The DRS on Hamilton’s car failed the FIA’s post-session check, leaving him at the back of the grid for Saturday’s sprint race, where he recovered to fifth place.

Hamilton’s victory over Verstappen has closed the gap between the pair in the drivers’ standings to 14 points ahead of next weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix.

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