ITALIAN GRAND PRIX 2022 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): “That’s how the rule should be applied, right?”

The last six laps of the Italian Grand Prix were strangely reminiscent of those of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. A car immobilized on the track, difficult to evacuate. The passing of time… Only, at Monza, Niel Wittish was the race director, and knew why he was there. To apply this neutralization procedure, however clear in the texts of the FIA, that his predecessor in the post, Michael Masi, had deliberately ignored in the United Arab Emirates. Until compromising the fairness of the final of the world championship.

Lewis Hamilton, victim of arbitrariness, had so far only touched on the subject. On Sunday, he soberly commented on his rise from 19th to 5th place, when his colleagues rose up next to him in the mixed zone against the slowness of the neutralization, the wait-and-see attitude of Niel Wittish who should have relaunched the race rather than agree to finish it under a neutralization regime.

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The German respected the texts and, in the Mercedes clan, Toto Wolff did not hesitate to confide his relief: “Race management will always be criticized”commented the Mercedes team principal. “This time they followed the rules and agreed that it would end behind the safety car. That’s how it should be”added the Austrian, who recently confessed to thinking about the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix every day.

On Monday, Lewis Hamilton surprised by following suit, posting on a social network: “It brings back memories. That’s how the rule should be applied, right? So only once in the history of Formula 1 did they not apply the rule.”

Before Abu Dhabi 2021, the previous arrival under the safety car regime dated from the Bahrain Grand Prix 2020. Lewis Hamilton had won.

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