Hamilton under investigation for unsafe release

Lewis Hamilton could face a grid penalty as a result of an investigation following final practice for the German Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was released in front of Romain Grosjean’s Haas early in FP3, with Grosjean having to stop his car in the fast lane of the pit lane. The stewards quickly announced the incident will be investigated, with Hamilton required to report to the stewards at 1230 local time.

While there are a number of potential punishments available to the stewards – including a grid drop for the driver – what will worry Hamilton most is a reprimand. The championship leader is currently sitting on two reprimands for the season, and a third will result in an automatic ten-place grid penalty.

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Daniil Kvyat was reprimanded for a similar incident in Belgium last season, with the Russian deemed not to have been paying attention when exiting his garage.

Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe believes the incident was due to the nature of the pit garage buildings at Hockenheim.

“It’s a very, very tight garage and he’s right butted up against all the Ferrari equipment,” Lowe told Sky Sports in response to the incident. “It’s quite a tight line, so I guess that’s the root of the problem.”

Hamilton’s previous two reprimands this season were due to reversing in the pit lane in Bahrain and failing to rejoin the track in the required manner in Russia.

Hamilton was second fastest in the final practice session, 0.05s slower than team-mate Nico Rosberg and a similar margin ahead of Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull.

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