Hamilton reprimanded for impeding Mazepin, cleared of yellow flag breach in FP3

Lewis Hamilton has been given a reprimand for impeding Haas' Nikita Mazepin during third free practice for Formula 1's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with Mercedes handed a €25,000 fine.

Hamilton reprimanded for impeding Mazepin, cleared of yellow flag breach in FP3

In the closing stages of FP3 at Jeddah's Corniche street circuit Hamilton was cruising around in the first sector while Mazepin was on a fast lap behind him.

Through the blind Turn 8 Mazepin had to take avoiding action as Hamilton appeared unaware the Russian was closing in.

The stewards found that while Hamilton was told about Mazepin's position 10 seconds before the incident, he wasn't given further updates until the Haas car was alongside the world champion.

It therefore gave Hamilton his second reprimand of the 2021 season, but also imposed a €25,000 fine on Mercedes, stressing the importance of relaying traffic information on Jeddah's narrow and blind layout.

"The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 44 (Lewis Hamilton), team representative and examined video and team radio evidence," the FIA stewards' statement read.

"The driver was given a 10 second warning that Car 9 was approaching when he was at Turn 2. Due to a failure in communication by the Team he was not given another warning until Car 9 was alongside him.

"The Stewards accept that this circuit presents challenges for drivers in relation to using their mirrors as the method of determining the approach of overtaking cars.

"Although it is the driver’s ultimate responsibility to avoid impeding, for this circuit the driver must depend upon the Team to communicate efficiently. This did not happen in this case and accordingly the penalty for the Competitor is imposed.

"The Stewards take this opportunity to emphasise that due to the nature of this circuit it is essential that teams communicate effectively and proactively with their drivers. This is not to be taken as a precedent for other circuits."

Hamilton was also summoned for an alleged yellow flag breach but was cleared after the stewards found the system was activated accidentally.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“The Race Director reported to the Stewards that the double yellow flag warning on the FIA Marshalling System was activated at Light Panel Number 6 accidentally, for less than 1 second,” a separate bulletin from the FIA read.

“As the on-board video of Car 44 (to be released by the Commercial Rights Holder following this Decision) clearly shows, there was no yellow flag displayed, no yellow lights were displayed to that driver and the yellow warning light was not visible on the driver’s steering wheel.”

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