Lewis Hamilton’s victory in the German Grand Prix is in jeopardy as he has been summoned to see the stewards for cutting across the pit entry during a Safety Car period.
The Safety Car was deployed when Hamilton’s main championship rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the lead of the race, with his car stuck in the gravel at the Sachskurve. Valtteri Bottas was immediately called into the pits for a new set of tires, with Hamilton originally told to do the same while Kimi Raikkonen stayed out.
Hamilton then replied to his team that Raikkonen had not entered the pits while he was coming into the pit entry, and then cut across the grass to rejoin the circuit. It proved a crucial move as Raikkonen later pit for new tires, promoting Hamilton into a lead behind the Safety Car that he would not relinquish.
However, the stewards have now summoned Hamilton over an alleged breach of Appendix L Chapter IV Article 4 (d) of the FIA International Sporting Code, which states that: “Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards), the crossing, in any direction, of the line separating the pit entry and the track by a car entering the pit lane is prohibited.”
In Baku in 2016, Kimi Raikkonen was handed a five-second time penalty for not entering the pit lane when having had all four wheels inside the white line guiding cars into the pits, but those markings were circuit specific. Raikkonen was penalized based on the race director’s notes for that race weekend, rather than the International Sporting Code.
Hamilton finished 4.5 seconds clear of teammate Valtteri Bottas at Hockenheim, with Raikkonen 6.7 seconds behind Hamilton in third place and Max Verstappen 7.6s adrift in fourth.