Start, Interlagos, 2022

Hamilton and others avoid investigation over grid infringements

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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The Brazilian Grand Prix stewards have decided to take no action against any drivers who may have been out of their starting positions on the grid for today’s sprint race.

During the race the stewards announced they were looking into whether Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu had failed to line up correctly for the start of the race. The rules state that when the start signal is given the car “must be stationary at its allocated grid box with no part of the contact patch of its front tyres outside of the lines (front and sides) at the time.”

After examining footage of the start and checking the dimensions of the grid boxes, the stewards decided no driver had gained an advantage and no penalties would be issued.

“The stewards reviewed the start sequence, as it was observed that multiple cars were potentially out of their grid box in violation of Article 8.6.1.a) of the FIA International Sporting Code, being either to the left or right of the grid box,” they explained.

“Having reviewed all available angles of video, and making measurements on the grid, the stewards noted that the grid boxes were slightly smaller than usual and that the drivers’ visibility makes compliance extremely difficult and that no driver was in a position that gained any advantage. The stewards are therefore satisfied to take no further action.”

Hamilton, Ricciardo and Zhou started eighth, 14th and 17th and finished third, 11th and 13th respectively.

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2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Hamilton and others avoid investigation over grid infringements”

  1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    12th November 2022, 23:36

    Wonder if they’re repaint them for tomorrows race. Bit of an unusual one.

    Glad no penalty for Ham, keeps the front of the grid looking very interesting for tomorrow.

  2. They were cleared only because they want Lewis Hamilton to win the GP, more drama and good for the show. If Ricciardo and Zhou were alone in doing this then it would have been a slam dunk penalty for both of them.

    1. Well, technically, it’s a home race for Hamilton now. ;)

      But if the grid boxes were too small, that gives a lot of leeway– It’s difficult enough to see the grid boxes with the current generation of car (that’s why each box has the little stub off to one side, so the driver can see where the front of the box is).

    2. Nice one. The sad thing is, there are people around that could actually believe this

      1. Because it is true, and there are hundreds of precedents also

        1. OK… Want to list them? The first hundred will be enough for me; not sure what everyone else thinks, they could be more demanding.

    3. That is probably true. Typical f1.

    4. I would not be surprised that commercial aspects taking over sporting one in cases like this.

    5. There’s currently a Red Bull on the starting grid at Silverstone trying to prove Hamilton deserves a race ban for this. It’s not over yet…

      1. Is that counted in the budget cap?

        1. Is that counted in the budget cap?

          By precedent, you use the previous year’s car and a driver that isn’t good enough for a seat in a real race.

          @oweng – made me smile

          On a serious note:- how did they get the grid box dimensions wrong?
          Perhaps a unit conversion that went wrong? cm inches ?? NASA crashed one or two like that, I believe.

          Or is it that F1 are testing a new elimination system? To be done in the real version with LEDs for dynamic adjustment.
          Drivers that can’t line up with the new narrower box are eliminated, all the ones who succeed, tour round for another lap and try to line up with the lap 2 adjusted even narrower box. If this fails to give a full 20 position result within 20 laps the remaining drivers race for 5 laps after starting from their grid positions as determined by qualification.

          What? Don’t knock it, it’s better than the sprint.

          1. Apparently the box was too narrow for the wider tired cars, its the width that they seem to have contravened.

  3. Karun Chandhok just showed on Sky Sports that LH was a few inches short of the line, and if anything had a DISadvantage. He put it down to the position of the sensor being directly on the line.
    I’m sure they could easily arrange for the driver to be told when they are in position. That seems like a simple enough thing to do:
    1) A light 2) a sound 3) team radio 4) Trained giraffes holding semaphore flags.

    1. You may not have noticed but giraffes are unfortunately lacking the necessary number of hands to operate semaphore flags. Can I suggest the flags could be attached to their ears, either surgically, or if it’s just a one-time gig, with gaffa tape. Now that’s something I’d pay to see….

      1. Obviously, they stand on their heads and wave their legs. Duh. That’s why they need to be carefully trained. I am an expert, as in ‘ex-‘ – meaning ‘used to be’, or ‘has-been’, and a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure.

    2. Times change, and F1 should change too with it. We definitely NEED those giraffes. NOW.

      1. @venedikov maybe so but NOW ? I think that’s really stretching it.

    3. I think the issue was more about the cars not being in their grid places on the horizontal (left-right) axis instead of being too far forward. Looking at Hamilton’s onboard, his car is definitely more to the left of the grid box than other cars.

    4. LH was a few inches short of the line, and if anything had a DISadvantage.

      There is DEFINITELY an advantage to being behind the line. The line has a sensor to detect jump starts. If you are behind it you can cheat the sensor and be moving before the actual start and it won’t be detected. It’s common in motorsports to be penalized for hanging back from the line. Drag racing has dual light beams to keep drivers from doing just that. First one the make sure your wheels are in position up against the line and second to trigger a red light (false start) if you’re wheels move before the light goes green.

      1. You are correct, an advantage could have been taken as you describe, but that didn’t happen here. That’s why something like that drag race system would be good. Personally, I like Giraffes. They could cover them in coloured lights, that would look nice.

  4. Can I suggest the flags could be attached to their ears, either surgically, or if it’s just a one-time gig, with gaffa tape

    I would suggest the use of ‘Giraffa’ tape.

  5. …the stewards noted that the grid boxes were slightly smaller than usual…

    Okay, fair enough, but how much smaller?

  6. Fia is a corrupted business I’m afraid to say

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