Lewis Hamilton accused Formula One stewards of trying to stop him winning after being handed two time penalties in yesterday’s Russian Grand Prix.
The punishment, for infringements before the race, cost the six-times world champion the lead and the chance to fight for a record-equalling 91st career win.
Hamilton finished third behind Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max
Verstappen in pursuit of Michael Schumacher’s record after starting on pole position.
And after being punished for practice starts outside of the designated area on his way to the grid, he says: “I’m pretty sure no one’s got two five-second penalties for something so ridiculous. I didn’t put anyone in danger.”
The stewards also handed Hamilton two penalty points on his licence, leaving him two short of incurring a one-race ban triggered by 12 in a 12-month period.
Asked if that seemed excessive, he replied: “Of course it is. But it’s to be expected. They’re trying to stop me, aren’t they?”
BY ALAN BALDWIN