Hamilton: 'Stewards won't be able to catch me out again'

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Lewis Hamilton says he intends to keep himself out of the Stewards' office in 2021 after visiting the latter four times this year and losing out on each occasion.

Hamilton has rarely found himself in hot water with the Stewards during his 14-year career as a Grand Prix driver.

But this season, the seven-time world champion was on the receiving end of the Stewards' rulings at three events.

In Austria, at the opening round of the 2020 season, Hamilton failed to slow for yellow flags in qualifying, a violation that earned him a three-place grid penalty on Sunday, when a clumsy brush with Red Bull's Alex Albon justified a second penalty from the officials that deprived him of a podium finish.

Later in the summer, in the Italian GP at Monza, Hamilton was hit was a 10-second stop/go penalty after a misguided call from the Mercedes pitwall led him to enter a pitlane that was closed following the deployment of the Safety Car to retrieve Kevin Magnussen's parked Haas.

Finally, Hamilton's decision to undertake two practice starts in the wrong place before the Russian GP compelled the Stewards to hit the Mercedes driver with a 5-second penalty for each transgression, which once again robbed him of a likely win.

Given his quasi-impeccable track record, a suspicious Hamilton suggested at the time that F1's officials "are trying to stop me" as he disagreed in large part with the penalties levied upon him.

But at the end of the season, the 95-time Grand Prix winner said he had learned from his dealings with the Stewards.

"With the FIA and with the stewards, I think there’s been a growth of respect between us and understanding," Hamilton said, quoted by RaceFans.

"I still don’t think those penalties were the necessary penalties. But it is what it is and it’s not my job to come up with what the penalties should be.

"I learnt a lesson from it and they won’t be able to catch me out for that again, that’s for sure."

Hamilton said the decisions won't keep him from seeking "an edge" in the future, but he'll be more careful in doing so.

"I’m just going to be very vigilant and diligent moving forwards," he added. "And not only as an athlete, I’m always trying to find an edge. I’m always trying to find that extra bit.

"It’s a fine line between being over the edge and beneath it. It’s fine if that one was over the edge. I learnt from it and it won’t happen again."

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