Damon Hill: Why didn't stewards stop Lewis Hamilton's 'unsafe' Mercedes?
"If l was a racer who carried on to the race and was then told that I had been in an unsafe car l would be very annoyed and would want to know why they didn't bring me in," former world champion says
Last Updated: 10/09/15 10:45am
Sky F1 pundit Damon Hill has questioned why Lewis Hamilton was allowed to continue in the Italian GP if the stewards believed his car may have been unsafe.
Mercedes were alerted around 20 minutes before the end of the race that the pressure on the rear-left tyre of Hamilton's Mercedes had been measured below the prescribed minimum imposed - 19.5 PSI - on the teams following the tyre blowouts endured by Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg in Spa two weeks ago.
However, instead of being called into the pits, Hamilton was permitted to finish the race and was even instructed by his Mercedes pitwall to speed up during the final laps – presumably in a bid to build up a sufficiently large lead to mitigate against any sort of time penalty to be subsequently levied by the stewards.
"If they let someone carry on racing with tyre pressures that they knew were below the pressure that Pirelli said was safe then why didn't they red flag him? If l was a racer who carried on to the race and was then told that I had been in an unsafe car l would be very annoyed and would want to know why they didn't bring me in," said the former world champion.
Prior to Mercedes being cleared of any wrongdoing by the stewards, Hamilton himself Sky Sports F1 that the alleged breach - measured at 0.3 PSI - wouldn't have made any impact on his dominant performance at Monza.
"It would have been very, very small, if anything, if it was just one tyre," the Mercedes driver said. "That small amount on the tyre doesn't do anything.
"It has to be a much bigger amount – 0.5 or 1 PSI – to make a difference. Pirelli will be able to prove that it doesn't make any difference, particularly on one tyre. If it's all the tyres maybe you can argue it."
The Monza stewards announced three hours after the end of the race that Hamilton's win would be allowed to stand, leaving the world champion 53 points clear at the top of the summit.