Lewis Hamilton is slapped with £4,000 fine – with another £17,000 suspended – for taking his seatbelt off to fly the Brazil flag around in celebration after stunning Sao Paulo Grand Prix victory
- Lewis Hamilton completed a stunning Brazilian Grand Prix comeback victory
- The Mercedes star began Sunday’s race in tenth but worked his way up to first
- Hamilton celebrated by waving a Brazil flag round the track like Senna used to do
- The Briton has been given a £4,265 fine for taking his seatbelt off to get the flag
- Hamilton also has a further £17,060 sanction suspended until the end of 2022
Lewis Hamilton was fined 5,000 euros (£4,265) on Sunday after he released his seat belt and collected a Brazilian flag to celebrate victory at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver sealed a stunning comeback victory in Brazil to keep hit Formula One title hopes alive, starting at tenth in the grid to pipping rival Max Verstappen to first in the final stages of the Interlagos race.
Hamilton celebrated his victory by flying a Brazilian flag around the track, much to the delight of his local supporters – in the same way his idol Ayrton Senna during his career.
Lewis Hamilton was fined £4,265 for taking his seatbelt off to celebrate his Sao Paulo Grand Prix victory by waving the Brazilian flag
Hamilton completed a stunning comeback win from tenth in the grid to finishing first
But the celebration earned him the £4,265 fine, which was followed by a further 20,000 euro (£17,060) sanction, suspended through to the end of 2022.
Stewards had summoned a Mercedes team representative for an alleged breach of the sporting code by their driver.
The code states that drivers ‘must be properly restrained in their seat by safety belts… at all times during a competition when it is mobile on a circuit, pit lane, special stage or competition course.’
Hamilton had slowed after winning the race to wave at the crowd and collect the flag.
Hamilton slowed down after the race to collect and wave a Brazil flag like his idol Senna did
‘While the stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion,’ the decision said.
‘Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant. Further, Formula One drivers set the example for junior categories.
‘It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.’