During the Russian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton was awarded two penalty points for his practice starts violations. This has now be changed to a 25.000 euro fine for the team.
The stewards spoke after the race with Lewis Hamilton and the team and according to race director Michael Masi, the stewards decided to change their verdict.
In their revised decision, the stewards said they “received information from the team that the driver of car 44 had received a team instruction to perform the practice start in the incorrect place.”
Before the original penalty was issued, Mercedes radio communications were broadcast on the world television feed which showed Hamilton asking the team whether he could perform his practice starts “further out”.
Masi said the stewards subsequently decided “it was actually a team instruction to Lewis of where he could perform the practice starts.
“On that basis, the stewards have now rescinded the penalty points on both those decisions because they thought it was inappropriate and as a result has fined the team €25,000 for that instruction.”
The stewards and Michael Masi believe that giving to penalty points would be harsh for a team mistake.
However, when you listen to the radio communications before the race you can hear the team give the correct instructions to Valteri Bottas while giving incorrect information to Lewis Hamilton. This combined with several interviews that Lewis Hamilton did before the race saying Pole is the worst place to start in Sochi still gives to believe that the team did it on purpose trying to force a grid-penalty.