Mercedes Formula 1 technical chief Paddy Lowe believes that Lewis Hamilton’s reaction to the yellow flag saga in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix was “regrettable”.
Hamilton was denied pole in Hungary after Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg beat his time with the final lap of Q3, despite completing part of it under yellow flags.
Hamilton told NBCSN on Thursday in Germany that the saga had set a precedent for drivers to follow in the future, and believes it could cause safety issues in the future.
Reports over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend claimed that Hamilton went to FIA race director Charlie Whiting and asked him to investigate Rosberg’s lap.
On Friday, Lowe said he believes Hamilton did go and see Whiting after qualifying to seek clarity regarding yellow flag rules, not to try and get his teammate stripped of pole.
“It’s my understanding that Lewis did go and see Charlie but it wasn’t in any way to seek a review of Nico’s lap,” Lowe said.
“It was for his own understanding of what should be done in the future, how that should work for him in the future.
“I think that was regrettable. Personally, he should have kept to advice from the team and we can obtain that from Charlie as necessary.
“But I don’t think there was any harm done. It was just a misjudgement from that point of view.”
Whiting confirmed on Friday that if double waved yellow flags are shown during qualifying from now on, the session will be red flagged immediately to prevent a repeat of the saga from Hungary.
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”