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Home   /   Crossing the line…is cheating always wrong?

Following Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic British Grand Prix victory many believed the way in which he won, and even celebrated, showed a lack of sportsmanship and professionalism from the seven-time world champion.

After battling with Max Verstappen for the lead on lap 1 they ended up wheel to wheel going into the high-speed right hander of Copse corner where the Dutch driver was sent into the wall at 51 G’s and eventually into the hospital. Although no real injuries occurred Hamilton was able to continue and under red flag conditions was handed a 10 second time penalty by the stewards.

The Penalty

The 10 second time penalty was seen to some as unfair as Hamilton would go on to later win the race by serving his punishment during his pit stop. However, it can’t be argued that the Mercedes driver raced brilliantly to get back into this position to win the race. One issue with the incident is that from replays, Hamilton had space but instead ended up hitting Verstappen when he could have made the corner without the contact. This raises the question to weather it can be seen as cheating or a racing incident, and from the steward’s penalty decision, it can be argued that their decision was cheating.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner made his feelings known about the Crash by stating: “Well he stuck a wheel up the inside in a corner that you just know you just don’t do that” and then further sated that its unacceptable. However this did not stop Hamilton from making the same move a further two times.

Similar circumstances

Although lap 1 did not go to plan for Lewis Hamilton he ended up making two very similar moves during the race with the first being a move down the inside against fellow Brit Lando Norris at the same corner. This time Hamilton made the move easily due to Norris almost allowing him though, maybe due to the fear of being hit himself.

As well as this on lap 50 of 52 Hamilton moves alongside Charles Leclerc going into Copse corner and moves past him in a move that saw the Ferrari driver understeer off the track. This allowed Hamilton to move past and gain the lead in a move that won him the race while David Croft, the F1 pundit, could only think about earlier roaring the words: “Right, remember what happened at copse on lap 1” as the move took place.

Cheating or misjudgement

Comparing the move on Verstappen and Leclerc its clear to see that if Hamilton would have placed the car in the same position on both occasions to the lap 1 incident , then the chance of another crash would be high. However due to the extreme speeds in Formula 1 this incident can be seen as cheating, due to the penalty, but not unsportsmanlike as it would be putting another driver’s life at risk which is unfortunately a common theme in the sport.

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July 2024