Lewis Hamilton has escaped punishment after overtaking a car under red flag conditions during practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A failure for Pierre Gasly left debris on the track in FP3 and caused the session to be stopped, with Hamilton on a flying lap and approaching two cars just as the red flag was about to come out. Lando Norris complained the Mercedes had overtaken both himself and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen ahead, with the stewards investigating but deciding no penalty was required.
The stewards found that Hamilton passed Norris before the red flag was thrown and was traveling 162kph (100mph) faster than Magnussen at the point the warnings appeared, with the driver immediately lifting completely off the throttle and applying the brakes firmly.
“It is our conclusion that the driver of Car 44 took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red light,” the stewards’ decision read.
Taking into account an incident involving Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll at last year’s Dutch Grand Prix, “where no action was taken against the driver under similar but not identical circumstances,” the stewards deemed no penalty is required against Hamilton.