As if it couldn’t get any worse for McLaren this year, it seems as though it could possibly still do just that. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton is currently under investigation by the Chinese Grand Prix race stewards because of his driving behaviour at the previous Japanese Grand Prix held at Fuji Speedway last weekend. It is believed that his driving while following the safety car in the poor weather conditions may have contributed to Sebastian Vettel colliding with Mark Webber, ending both races for the respective Toro Rosso and Red Bull drivers.
I have been following a great conversation for the past couple of days over at Sidepodcast.com, where the crew there asked readers to decide what happened following footage being made available from a fan on YouTube. The official footage broadcast all over the world doesn’t appear to show Hamilton doing much different. Though admittedly, his previous encounters behind the safety car in the opening laps seemed to be pushing the boundaries of the rules a little, and even commentator and ex-driver Martin Brundle commented on this during the race. However, not much was said about the second safety car period and the brunt of the blame was put at Vettel’s feet.
This amateur footage though, could now be the new evidence the the FIA are considering while they investigate the incident.
The post over at Sidepodcast.com asked a couple of pertinent questions: Why was Lewis on the far side of the track and why was he driving so slowly? The comments have flooded in and they make for an interesting debate. Especially given that this isn’t the first time this season Lewis’s driving has been called into question.
So the FIA have launched an investigation into the incident, and in typical FIA style it is the stewards at the following race (along with a couple of full-timers) who get to discuss and decide. A possible sanction, should Lewis be found in violation of the rules, would be a grid-slot penalty for the Chinese event. I’m sure Fernando Alonso is hoping and praying right now…