Lewis Hamilton hit with £12,800 fine after Sargeant and Sainz lodge complaints

After a close call on the track during the second practice session of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton found himself in hot water.

Mercedes was fined £12,800 (€15,000) for a “serious failure” in communications following an incident in which Logan Sargeant and Lewis Hamilton almost collided in Saudi Arabia.

In an attempt to avoid colliding with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, Hamilton was traveling slowly on the racing line. This put him directly in the path of the approaching Sargeant, who had to make an avoidance maneuver.

“Come on, Mate,” Sargeant yelled into the radio. “It’s too risky.” While Hamilton raised his hand to apologize for his part in the incident, the Williams driver also threw up his hand in frustration.

Sainz reported the incident as well, stating that Hamilton’s actions there were extremely risky. I was unable to move aside, as if he were in the center. Sargeant almost lost control due to him.

In his radio message, Hamilton made it apparent that he was not aware of Sargeant’s presence: “I didn’t realize someone was on a lap.” Suddenly, there was a Williams there and I was trying to make room for Sainz.”

Following a visit with the stewards, Hamilton’s near-miss cost the Mercedes team money. “Car 2 (Sargeant) had to take evasive action by going off the track to avoid a collision,” the FIA stated in an explanation.

“There would have been a catastrophic, high-speed collision if that hadn’t been done. It was evident to us from listening to the team radio that the crew of Car 44 neglected to alert their driver to the fact that Car 2 was approaching at a high speed.

“Considering the speeds on this circuit and the layout of turn 11, which comes at the conclusion of a sequence of fast corners where driver visibility is compromised, that was a very serious mistake on the team’s part. As a result, we fine the team €15,000 and give the driver a warning.”

Despite receiving an official warning, seven-time world champion Hamilton did not have to pay a fine personally.

The Mercedes star will hope to rectify his FP2 mishap when qualifying gets underway on Friday. Hamilton could only manage a P9 qualifying finish in Bahrain last weekend and that heavily compromised his race.

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