HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- German Grand Prix race winner Lewis Hamilton has been summoned to the stewards for crossing the line between pit lane entry and track in the latter stages of the race.
Hamilton, who started from 14th on the grid, took the lead of the race when Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen pitted ahead of him under the final Safety Car on lap 52 and 53. A mix-up in communication between the Mercedes pit wall and car 44 saw Hamilton go to enter the pit before bailing out at the last minute and cutting across the grass separating pit lane entrance and the track.
Such a manoeuvre is in breach of Appendix L Chapter IV Article(d) of the FIA International Sporting Code, which forbids a driver crossing "the line separating the pit entry and the track".
The article in the Sporting Code adds: "Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards), the crossing, in any direction, of the line separating the pit entry and the track by a car entering the pit lane is prohibited."
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff explained the indecision over the pit stop, revealing that Hamilton had chosen to bail out of the stop.
"Chaos broke loose at that stage out there on track," he said. "It was very difficult to make the right call. At the end in the loss between the various voices over the radio, he made the decision to stay out, which was good for us because we were splitting bets. That proved to be the right call."
The radio traffic between car and pit wall went as follows:
Race engineer Peter Bonnigton: "Box, box. Box, box. Get the gap to Valtteri."
Lewis Hamilton: "Kimi is staying out..."
PB: "No, stay out! ... In! In! In! In! In!"
LH: "Hey man ..."
PB: "No, sorry! OK, just go."
LH: "I was at the entry, man. Are we in trouble?"
PB: "Negative, negative. So stay out."
Hamilton has been summoned to explain the incident to the stewards at 18:15 local time at Hockenheim and may be penalised if the stewards find he is in breach of the regulations. Hamilton pushed hard until the end of the race and finished 4.535s ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas in the final standings.