Sunday 3 April 2016

Lewis Hamilton Reprimanded For Pitlane Reverse After Bahrain Pole

Lewis Hamilton has been reprimanded for reversing in the pit lane after claiming a last-gap pole position for the Bahrain GP.  The stewards looked into a breach of the rules by the world champion after he returned to the pit lane at the end of qualifying. Cars cannot be reversed in an F1 pit lane under their own power. However, although found guilty of the infringement, Hamilton escaped with a reprimand and his pole position for Sunday's race stands.

Hamilton had been as low as fourth before his final flying lap after an error on his initial flier but produced the fastest lap ever recorded at the Bahrain International Circuit to pip Rosberg by less than a tenth of a second. Hamilton's pole position is the 51st of his career and was the undisputed highlight of a qualifying hour that otherwise fell flat with only one flying lap set in the final six minutes of Q2.  Hamilton said “It was a relief to finally put a lap together, on the lap before I was down already to Nico and then l went wide and lost it, so I knew that l had to go out and get everything more on that final lap. It means a lot - it felt like my first pole. I nearly lost my voice [on the warm-down lap], it was like scoring a goal!”

Both Mercedes cars were beaten off the line in Melbourne by Ferrari and Hamilton, who also claimed pole in Australia from Rosberg, has admitted that race starts remain an area of concern for the world champions. He said “It's always important to get a good start. It's something we've been working on, but it's only been a couple of weeks so whether or not we've made big improvements I highly doubt it, but hopefully it is better. I was 100 per cent sure l had pole so that was disappointing, but if there is one track where pole isn't important it is here in Bahrain and so much can happen. It will be an interesting race with a lot of opportunities”.

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