Mercedes knew Lewis Hamilton was going to be in trouble with Formula One stewards when they saw where he was practising his starts for the Russian Grand Prix, according to engineering director Andrew Shovlin.
The six-times world champion, on pole position at Sochi on Sunday, was handed two five second penalties and ended up third in a race won by team mate Valtteri Bottas.
The penalties put on hold his bid to equal Michael Schumacher’s record 91 wins and trimmed his championship lead to 44 points.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
Hamilton had asked Mercedes on his way to the grid whether he could practise starts further out of the pit lane where there was less discarded rubber, and was told to proceed.
“We hadn’t realized quite how far he was he was going to go,” said Shovlin.
“We didn’t see the first one. When we saw the second one we thought ‘they’re not going to like that.’
“We thought it might have been ambiguous enough that we would have just got a telling-off. But when we saw the car position, it wasn’t a complete surprise that they didn’t like it.”
Read nore: Lewis Hamilton warns he will be ‘a machine’
Shovlin said rivals could also have flagged it up to the governing FIA or stewards as much as the officials spotting for themselves.
Hamilton, surprised by the penalties, told reporters afterwards he did not think he had done anything out of the ordinary.
“If you look at probably every race that I’ve done this year, at least, I always start further down. Never, ever had a problem, done it for years,” he said.
“I don’t like to be on the rubber, that’s where everyone has done all their starts so it’s not representative of what it’s like on the grid, so I try to get onto the surface that doesn’t have any rubber.”
Belgium F1 Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton triumphant for 89th career winFormula One world championship leader Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday in a one-two with Mercedes team mate ... Sports
Hamilton dominates while winning Spanish GP, three short of Schumacher’s recordFormula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won in Spain for the fourth year in a row on Sunday to celebrate a record 156th podium finish and stretch ... Sports
Six-times world champ Hamilton wins Styrian Grand Prix in Mercedes one-twoSix-times world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Styrian Formula One Grand Prix in a Mercedes one-two on Sunday to celebrate his 85th career victory ... Sports
Lewis Hamilton launches commission to push diversity in motorsportSix-times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton is launching a commission to help motorsport engage more young people from black backgrounds and ... Sports
Lewis Hamilton criticizes F1 for staying silent on George Floyd deathSix times Formula One motor racing champion Lewis Hamilton has criticized his sport for its silence on the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black ... Sports
Messi, Hamilton joint winners of Sportsman of the Year at Laureus AwardsFormula One champion Lewis Hamilton and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi were declared joint winners of the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award in ... Sports
Lewis Hamilton warns he will be ‘a machine’Lewis Hamilton has warned rivals that he plans to be better than ever as he chases a record-equaling seventh Formula One championship this season. The ... Sports