Lewis Hamilton received a €5,000 ($5,724) fine — with a further €20,000 ($22,895) suspended — for undoing his seatbelts on his cool-down lap in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver had won from 10th on the grid and was celebrating his victory when he undid his safety belts to receive a Brazilian flag from a marshal. Hamilton then completed his in-lap with his belts undone, returning to parc ferme where he celebrated with his team and took the flag up onto the podium.
Undoing safety belts contravenes the FIA International Sporting Code (ISC), with the stewards fining Hamilton based in part on the example it sets to younger drivers.
“The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seatbelts on the in-lap at the end of the race,” the stewards’ decision read. “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.”
The fine follows a €50,000 fine for Max Verstappen on Saturday for also breaking the ISC, after he checked the rear wing of Hamilton’s car in parc ferme.