€50,000 fine for Hamilton? Mercedes driver seen touching Red Bull in Spain
- Lewis Hamilton allegedly touched Sergio Perez's Red Bull at the Spanish GP
- Mercedes denied the accusation, saying his hands were not on the wing
- Hamilton finished fifth at Barcelona
In a picture that surfaced online, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton appears to be touching Sergio Perez's Red Bull at the Spanish Grand Prix. While Mercedes has denied that the driver touched the RB18's rear wing, the FIA is yet to give an official statement.
Last year, in Interlagos - Brazilian GP , Red Bull's Max Verstappen was fined €50,000 after he was seen touching Hamilton's rear wing after qualifying. The reigning world champion had joked that the stewards at Sao Paulo can treat themselves to dinner and several bottles of expensive wine with the money.
However, now that Lewis Hamilton was seen allegedly touching Perez's rear wing, a question emerges - Will the 37-year-old pay a €50,000 fine?
A video that emerged soon after the picture shows that Hamilton was just moving past the RB18 at parc fermé and as per Mercedes 'did his best to avoid making contact with the wing'.
''Some people seem to think he is touching the wing, but his hand isn't on it. At each end of the flap, you can see the white dot for legality - and the bracket which allows the flap to pivot when the DRS opens. Some people seem to think one of those brackets is his thumb - but it's clearly not, as it's the same on both sides," Mercedes told GPblog.
Lewis Hamilton was called for a routine doping test after the race and thus had to go to the circuit's medical centre. It is not entirely clear if the Mercedes man touched the rear wing.
There may also be a question on the timing, and whether or not the cars were still officially under parc ferme conditions, although usually they are taken away by their teams as soon as they are officially released by the FIA.
The FIA Sporting Code, Article 2.5.1 reads: "Inside the parc ferme, only the officials assigned may enter. No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations."
"It is clear to the stewards that it has become a habit of the drivers to touch cars after qualifying and the races. This was also the explanation of Verstappen, that it was simply habit to touch this area of the car which has been a point of speculation in recent races between both teams. This general tendency has been seen as mostly harmless and so has not been uniformly policed. Nevertheless, it is a breach of the parc ferme regulation and has significant potential to cause harm," the stewards had explained Verstappen's case in Brazil 2021.