Hamilton, Williams and Lotus sanctioned by stewards

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Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen have all been given sanctions for infringements during the second free practice session for the British Grand Prix.

Lotus were called before the stewards after they released Kimi Raikkonen in an unsafe manner within one minute of the session starting, with the team receiving a reprimand.

With four minutes of the session to go, Lewis Hamilton was returning to the pit lane; pit entry at Silverstone is very long and cuts out the final three corners. However, it transpired that the Mercedes driver did not enter in the correct fashion, with the FIA statement reading:

“The driver did not stay to the right of the bollard at the pit entry as defined in the race director’s notes to team managers.

“However, as no other cars were in the vicinity the offence is not regarded as too dangerous and it did not impede another competitor.”

As a result, Hamilton was given a reprimand.

The final visitor to the stewards’ office was Valtteri Bottas who was found to have breached the speed limit in the pit lane at the end of FP2, warranting a €1000 fine for Williams.

The driver steward for this weekend’s race is 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

Teammates James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens earn top-fives at Barber

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For the first time this season, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammates James Hinchcilffe and Robert Wickens earned top-five finishes in the same race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Hinchcliffe finished third in the Grand Prix of Alabama; Wickens was one spot behind in fourth.

Wickens had one previous podium at Phoenix with his second-place finish. Hinchcliffe’s best result was a fourth in the season-opener in St Petersburg, Fla., so this marked his first podium of the year.

Both drivers needed a little help from the rain.

As precipitation began to fall in the closing stages of the race, Hinchliffe asked his team on a couple of occasions if it was wet enough to pit for rain tires. He was told twice to stay out and was then called into to the pits at the optimal time.

“Solid weekend for us after coming here before – not a great test,” Hinchcliffe said. “Two cars in the top 10 qualifying; two cars, top five in the race. Pretty proud of these boys, everybody on the Arrow car.”

The rain helped Wickens’ race strategy come together.

“I was having to save a lot of fuel in that second stint,” Wickens said. “So once (Scott) Dixon starting getting close to me I was thinking ‘Oh God, I’m going to actually have to give this one up.’ And then the rain came, so the fuel mileage happened naturally. So, yeah, it saved us a bit.”

And while both were pleased with their top-five finishes, drivers are rarely satisfied unless they are standing on the top step of the podium.

Wickens’ top-five finish was hard-fought. After winning the pole at St Petersburg and starting sixth at Phoenix, he failed to advance to the Fast 6 in back-to-back races at Long Beach and Barber – qualifying 10th both times.

“I was a little gutted that we came out in a big bunch of traffic,” Wickens continued. “It made the race fun, but a little frustrating as well because of people off sequence and whatnot. We lost a lot of track position there. Both of us could have been fighting for higher steps on the podium, but we need to do a little better job in qualifying. “