Lewis Hamilton has been hit with a €5,000 fine for undoing his seat belts following his victory in today's Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
The reigning World Champion charged from 10th on the grid to beat Max Verstappen to win his 101st Grand Prix in front of his adoring Brazilian fans and, in the process, cut the Dutchman's lead in the Championship from 19 points to 14 points.
But Hamilton was in trouble shortly after the podium ceremony when Toto Wolff revealed to the media that a Mercedes team representative would be off to the stewards' office because of Hamilton undoing his belts on the last lap of the race, with the FIA alleging that the incident was a breach of Appendix L Chapter III Article 4 of the FIA International Sporting Code.
However, not long after a team member was summoned to the stewards, the FIA reached a verdict on the incident, with Hamilton only receiving a €5,000 for the offense and a €20,000 fine that would be suspended till the end of 2022.
“The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seat belts on the in-lap at the end of the race. While the Stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion. Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant. Further, Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories. It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times. "
“The suspension of the penalty is subject to compliance with Appendix L, Ch. III of the ISC during the period specified. Competitors are reminded that they have the right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, in accordance with Article 15 of the FIA International Sporting Code and Chapter 4 of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, within the applicable time limits. "
The post-race incident has been the second of the weekend for Hamilton. The Brit was sent to the back of the grid after being disqualified from Sprint Qualifying due to a technical infringement relating to the DRS system.