Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton has kept his victory in the Grand Prix of Germany following an investigation by a sports commissioner during a collapse in the pit lane.
Hamilton won the race from 14th place, helped by temporary rain and a crash for Ferrari Sebastian Vettel, who slipped into the barrier as an escapee.
Vettel's off triggered a safety car, and with the end of the fast lap, Hamilton was given a series in quick succession, giving inconsistent directions from his Mercedes pit wall.
He then drove into the pit lane, but then skipped the grass on the start-finish straight ̵
But Hamilton and Mercedes were called up to the stewards after the awards ceremonies had been closed, with the summons of notice citing a possible violation of the FIA International S
Hamilton's 4.5-second victory over his team-mate Valtteri Bottas meant that his race win was threatened by the possibility of a time penalty.
After lengthy deliberations, however, the stewards decided the sanction would be limited to a reference – Hamilton's first of the season.
The stewards' explanation for the decision was: "It was clear that there was a violation of the above-mentioned rule – the driver clearly crossed the dividing line between the boxes
" When deciding on the punishment for the Infringement, we have taken into account the following mitigating circumstances.
"(i) The driver and the team have frankly acknowledged the mistake and the fact that there was confusion, the crew, whether they should stay out or in the pits and that led to the offense.
"(ii) The fact that the infringement occurred during a safety car period.
"(iii) At no time was there any danger to" any other competitor and the direction change was carried out in a safe manner. "
" Taking into account all the above points, including taking into account previous violations of the above Usually, we believe that a reprimand is the appropriate punishment for the said violation on this occasion.
The decision means that Hamilton will have 17 points ahead of Vettel in the table until the next race in Hungary.