Did Hamilton break the parc ferme rules in Barcelona?

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Can these pictures of Lewis Hamilton have an aftermath? An image has surfaced online showing the Mercedes driver appearing to touch the wing of Sergio Perez ‘Red Bull after the Spanish Grand Prix – which has given rise to comparisons with the controversy in Sao Paulo 2021.

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At the time, Max Verstappen was caught touching Hamilton’s back wing after qualifying, after which he was fined € 50,000.

The current photo from Barcelona appears to have been taken some time after the podium ceremony as the cars were driven away from their original location just after the race and lined up side by side in the Parc Ferme.

Video recordings suggest the opposite

Hamilton had by that time been summoned for a routine doping check, which is why he had to go to the district’s medical center. From this one can conclude that the picture was taken on the way back from the doping control, long after the award ceremony.

However, it is not entirely clear whether Hamilton really touched the wing or just passed between the car and the barrier behind. Video recordings from the moment suggest the latter.

Either way, it could also be a matter of timing, and whether the cars were still officially in parc ferme conditions – usually they were taken away by their team once they were approved by the FIA.

To classify: Verstappen’s behavior last year in Brazil was considered a violation of Article 2.5.1 of the FIA ​​International Sport Code.

It states: “Only designated officials have access to park ferme. Interventions, inspections, adjustments or repairs are only permitted if they are approved by the same officials or in accordance with applicable regulations.”

The story became even more explosive because Hamilton’s wing then failed control. Specifically, the distance between the rear wing flaps was criticized.

Verstappen therefore received a penalty in 2021

At the time, the stewards on board examined footage of various cars in the Parc Ferme, as well as videos taken by fans and posted on the Internet. Eventually it was agreed that Verstappen had touched the Mercedes but had not exerted any force on the wing.

So he had not contributed to the car not complying with the rules. But in their verdict, the commissioners made it clear that Verstappen should not have touched the car and fined him 50,000 euros.

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“The stewards are aware that it has become a habit for drivers to touch the cars after qualifying and the races. This was also Verstappen’s explanation,” the verdict said, “to touch this area of ​​the car that is in the last few races. has been a point of speculation between both teams. “

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“This general trend was considered mostly benign and therefore not uniformly punished. Nevertheless, it is a parc ferme breach with considerable potential to cause harm.”

The fine was imposed by the trustees “taking into account that, in the trustees’ view, no direct damage was caused in this case and that there is no precedent for such sanctions, but that there is a breach of the Regulation.”.

They also pointed out that future violations could be punished differently. The FIA ​​made further adjustments to this year’s sports regulations. Article 60.5 states that “drivers shall not in any way interfere with parc ferme protocols”. What that means in the current case is still unknown.

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