Stewards investigating Hamilton's driving
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, October 4th 2007, 09:42 GMT|
World championship leader Lewis Hamilton is currently under investigation by the race stewards at the Chinese Grand Prix over his behaviour behind the safety car in Fuji last weekend, autosport.com can reveal.
It is understood that the FIA has been supplied with new information about Hamilton's driving behind the second safety car phase - where it is suggested that he contributed to the collision between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
It is not clear what this new evidence may be, but it could relate to video footage suggesting that Hamilton was braking and accelerating excessively.
An FIA spokesman confirmed that the stewards were looking into the matter.
"New evidence has been brought to the stewards attention and they are currently investigating the matter," he said.
It is understood Hamilton has been asked to meet with the stewards tomorrow.
The Webber/Vettel accident was not caught on camera by Formula One's official coverage, but a Youtube video of the accident filmed from the grandstands has highlighted how Hamilton slowed down dramatically on the right of the track, forcing Webber to slow down and catch Vettel unaware.
Formula One's regulations dictate that the race leader must keep a standard distance behind the safety car until the lap before it is due to come into the pits.
Article 40.10 of the F1 Sporting Regulations states: "The safety car shall be used at least until the leader is behind it and all remaining cars are lined up behind him. Once behind the safety car, the race leader must keep within 5 car lengths of it."
With Vettel having already been handed a 10-place grid penalty in China for his part in the accident, it is thought that if the stewards believe Hamilton has done wrong then he could be punished in a similar fashion.
Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber said on Thursday that he believed Hamilton's behaviour had contributed to the accident.
"It definitely contributed to Sebastian hitting me up the back because he (Hamilton) wasn't doing what he was supposed to be doing, clearly," Webber told a news conference.
"He spoke in the drivers' meeting about how good a job he was going to do and he did the opposite. Still, we know for next time."
Amateur video of the incident, taken from the grandstands