Hamilton reprimanded, but keeps German GP win

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 in the FIA Press Conference.
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Lewis Hamilton has been officially reprimanded by race stewards at the German Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver had been called to explain an incident that happened behind the safety car after Sebastian Vettel crashed out of the lead of the race.

Hamilton was ordered in to pit lane by Mercedes for a fresh set of tyres, but the team then countermanded its instructions and told him to stay out.

In order to do so, Hamilton had to veer across the grass divider and white line separating the pit entrance and the race track. That's considered a serious breach of Appendix L Chapter IV Article 4 (d) of the FIA International Sporting Code.

Hamilton could have been given a time penalty for the infringement- or worse - that would have cost him his remarkable victory in today's race.

But fortunately, after a lengthy deliberation the stewards decided only to hand him a reprimand.

"The stewards reviewed video and audio evidence, heard from the driver of car 44 (Lewis Hamilton) and the team representative," said the official announcement from the FIA.

"It was clear that there was an infringement of the above mentioned rule - the driver clearly crossed the line separating the pit entry from the track.

"In deciding on the penalty for the infringement, we took into account the following mitigating factors.

"(i) the driver and the team candidly admitted the mistake and the fact that there was confusion within the team as to whether to stay out or to enter the pits and that led to the infringement.

"(ii) The fact that the infringement took place during a Safety Car period.

"(iii) At no time was there any danger to any other competitor and the change in direction was executed in a safe way.

"Taking all of the above into account, including considering previous infringements of the above rule, we are of the opinion that a reprimand would be the appropriate penalty for the said infringement on this occasion."

It's Hamilton's first reprimand of the season. Although he and the Mercedes team have the official right to appeal the decision, on this occasion they'll just be taking a big sigh of relief that it was nothing more costly than a slap on the hand.

Hamilton keeps his 17-point lead over Vettel in the drivers standings heading to the next race in Hungary, the last before Formula 1's summer shutdown.

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