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Why Hamilton escaped sanction for his “fast arrival” in Miami F1 sprint clash

FIA stewards have explained why they've taken no action against Lewis Hamilton over the first-corner sprint crash at Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix, despite his “fast arrival” contributing to the chaos.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, leads Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-24, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20, Daniel Ricciardo, VCARB 01, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38, and the rest of the field at the start of the Sprint rac

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The opening corner of Saturday morning’s sprint event proved dramatic as an aggressive move down the inside by Hamilton triggered a chain of events.

On his outside, Fernando Alonso had tried to leave some room and brushed Lance Stroll before then being tagged by Hamilton and pushed wide into his Aston Martin team-mate again - who subsequently tipped McLaren’s Lando Norris into a spin that put him out of the race.

Stroll also retired shortly afterwards as a result of damage he picked up, while Alonso had to stop for a change of tyres after getting a puncture.

Hamilton was able to continue without any problems but, despite finishing eighth on the road, was eventually shuffled out of the points as the result of a pitlane speeding offence.

After the race, Alonso had been outspoken in suggesting that Hamilton would escape punishment because “he was not Spanish” – a reference to the fact that he had picked up sanctions himself for his driving in Australia and China where he felt he had done nothing wrong.

In a statement issued by the FIA stewards later, they explained that they decided to take no action primarily because it was impossible to judge that one driver had been “predominantly or wholly” to blame for what happen.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24, and Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15, collide at the start of the Sprint

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR24, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24, and Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15, collide at the start of the Sprint

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The statement said: “From the video evidence, it appeared that there were at least three collisions that occurred – the first between Cars 14 (Alonso) and 18 (Stroll) and then between Car 44 (Hamilton) and Car 14 and finally between Car 18 and Car 4 (Norris).

“While it appeared to us that the incidents began with Cars 14 and 18, the sudden and fast arrival of Car 44 contributed to the various collisions.

“However, we were not able to identify one or more drivers wholly or predominantly to blame for the various collisions or any one of them.”

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The stewards also said that they treated first-corner incidents with a degree more leniency than collisions that happen subsequently in a race.

They added: “Also keeping in mind that this was in Turn 1 of Lap 1 where greater latitude is given to drivers for incidents, we took no further action.”

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