Former F1 racer Mika Salo, who was on the stewards' panel which penalised six-time champion Lewis Hamilton for pre-race infractions, says the Brit is 'full of sh*t' after the Mercedes man claimed the stewards are against him
Prior to the Sochi Grand Prix, Hamilton was found guilty of performing a practice start outside of the designated area and rather directly in the pit exit.
The incident saw Hamilton receive two five-second penalties, which all-but guaranteed he'd have to wait until the Nurburgring on October 11 for a chance to secure his 91st race win.
A win in Germany would take him level with the iconic Michael Schumacher for the record of overall race wins, hence Hamilton's frustration at being hindered in Russia.
Hamilton was also handed two penalty points on his licence, which put him on 10 points and dangerously close to the 12-point requirement for a one-race ban. However, the points have been rescinded after it was recognised his team instructed him too. Mercedes were then fined €25, 000.
“I need to see exactly what I did wrong. I’m pretty sure nobody has got two five-second penalties for something so ridiculous before.
“I didn’t put anyone in danger, I’ve done this [type of start] at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned on it."
However, Salo has come out in rebuttal against Hamilton's remarks, stating Hamilton is subject to the same rules as everybody else.
Speaking to Ilta-Sanomat, Salo said Hamilton's claims are "full of sh*t" and are by no means true.
“It’s pretty clear. Hamilton did his starts from the side of the track and twice more.
“Hamilton made his last practice start at the white line that almost ends the pit lane exit.”
Salo's comments were underscored by Federation Internationale de l'Automobile race director Michael Masi, who stated his door is always open for any aggrieved drivers to come and discuss a complaint.
“But I think from an FIA perspective, we are there as a sporting regulator, to administer the regulations.
“We have the stewards as an independent judiciary to adjudicate those, and therefore there was an infringement and it doesn’t matter if it was Lewis Hamilton or any other one of the 19 drivers."
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