F1 stewards ‘mistake’ over Hamilton dangerous driving decision

Ex Formula One champion was in trouble with the stewards because during 2022 Baku Qualifying he slowed almost to a stand still in turn 12 and was investigated under Article 34.4 of the FIA Formula Sporting Regulations for potential dangerous driving.

The regulations states, ”at no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person”.

As Lewis crawled along the circuit waiting for another car to pass him and give him a slipstream advantage, Lando Norris arrived on the scene and slowed to avoid passing Hamilton.

The McLaren driver’s engineer messaged him saying, “don’t let him play silly buggers”.

Norris was additionally informed, “keep an eye on his {Hamilton’s] delta or he’ll be in trouble” followed by “he’s the lead car, he’ll be in trouble”.

Following a number of dangerous and silly qualifying incidents which saw F1 cars crawling around the circuit trying to make space for a clean lap, the FIA brought in article 34.4. Each sector of the track has a minimum time in which the cars much complete the sector or face sanctions including grid penalties.



The problem is the driver could literally drive almost flat our through any given sector – meet the minimum time – but crawl the last 100 metres in a dangerous part of the circuit.

The Baku circuit sees the highest speeds of all the F1 street circuits with many of the corners being huge stops and quick acceleration on the exit.

Driving as slow as Hamilton did anywhere on this circuit is dangerous but the stewards decided against issuing him with a penalty.

“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), the driver of Car 4 (Lando Norris) and the team representatives, and examined video, radio communication and GPS evidence.”

“The driver, in evidence, stated that he did slow down in order to endeavour to be passed by car 4, to achieve a “tow” on his fast lap, however car 4 obviously had the same intent and decided not to pass him.”

“Although car 44 was slow, the Stewards note that for the lap the delta time was respected, the driver pulled over to the left and off the racing line, this occurred on a straight where visibility was not an issue and there was no potential danger at any point, to any other driver. The three cars on this portion of track at the time (cars 44, 4 and 3) were all on ‘out laps.’”



Lando Norris should’ve had a pass from the stewards because he was right to be cagey of the almost standstill Hamilton’s intentions.

Yet failing to sanction Hamilton for almost stopping on circuit is a mistake by the stewards. It is clearly dangerous to act in such as fashion and the FIA Sporting Code regulation covers this by describing any kind of driving “in a manner deemed potentially dangerous”.


If Hamilton’s driving was deemed not potentially dangerous, then the precedent set will come back to bite the stewards in future qualifying sessions.

READ MORE: Russell complains FIA regulations need to be changed

5 responses to “F1 stewards ‘mistake’ over Hamilton dangerous driving decision

  1. When it comes to Hamilton, RDs and stewards are extra careful so as not to be dubbed racists. Ham has that unbeatable argument “maybe because I am black”. Masi did favours to Ham and MB all the time, yet revenge was taken on him with nary a thought of gratitude. That is exactly how snakes bhave!

  2. Who are you to deem what he did dangerous when the reasons he was not sanctioned clearly state that he was off the racing line and visibility was not an issue. Lando did the exact same thing yet you single out Lewis. I wonder why

  3. In 2021, when Verstappen slowed to avoid being taken advantage of by Hamilton, the MB brigade yelled and had a penalty foisted on Max, thanks to the compliant officials. It is disgusting that the blatant favouritism for Mercedes continues.

    • Well Vijay you’re clearly clueless about Formula One and so entrenched in being partizan that you refuse to be honest.

      For a start, when giving a position back, doing so in order to get DRS is against the rules, and Hamilton himself got a large (25 second IIRC) penalty for doing so before.

      Here, Hamilton was *off* the racing line and did not brake test a driver directly behind, neither of those were the case in Jeddah.

      I’m sure you’ll continue to be dishonest in the rant of a reply you’ll give. But quite frankly I won’t see it because I have no intention of returning to the echo chamber of Max Verstappen cultists.

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