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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Hamilton's Japan win to be probed

October 04, 2007 17:42 IST

Formula One stewards summoned Lewis Hamilton [Images] on Thursday after complaints about the Formula One championship leader's erratic driving behind the safety car in a wet Japanese Grand Prix last weekend.

- Images: Hamilton evokes memories of Senna, Prost

"New evidence has emerged and the stewards are looking into it," said a spokesman for the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

"We can't pre-empt the stewards' discussion, let alone the decision," he added when asked what sanction the McLaren driver might face.

A decision was expected at the Chinese Grand Prix on Friday after another meeting of the stewards.

Red Bull's Mark Webber and Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel collided while following Hamilton behind the safety car in that race and complained that his driving was a contributory factor.

Webber and Vettel, who was blamed for the accident and given a 10-place penalty on the grid for this weekend's race, collided at Fuji while in second and third places respectively.

Hamilton's win left the 22-year-old British rookie in a position to clinch the title in China. He leads double world champion team mate Fernando Alonso [Images] by 12 points with two races remaining.

RUNNING WIDE

Toro Rosso is Red Bull's sister team and both drivers said on Thursday that Hamilton had contributed to the accident by running wide and slowing while the safety car continued on the normal line.

Webber told a news conference in Shanghai that he thought Hamilton did a terrible job driving behind the safety car.

"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."

Under Formula One rules, stewards can review decisions if new evidence emerges.

The sporting regulations also say the race leader must keep a standard distance behind the safety car.

"When I was behind him it felt really inconsistent," said Honda's Jenson Button [Images]. "I don't know what he was doing really.

"He came through the last section and he kept slowing down," added Button, who had been fourth at Fuji during an earlier safety car period.

"He knew the safety car wasn't coming in and he kept hitting the brakes hard in the last sector so everyone would bunch up. Then he'd shoot off and brake again," added the Briton.

"It was quite strange and it normally only happened in the last sector."

Vettel said Hamilton's movement had been so extreme that he thought the McLaren driver was retiring from the race.

"I was wondering what happened to him, I already thought he's retiring, there's no more power...by the time I looked back in front of me, I was already in Mark's rear."

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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