McLaren’s Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh doesn’t believe that Lewis Hamilton will be issued with a penalty for the near-collision between himself and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton was released from his pit bay into the path of Vettel (pictured), with the two running side-by-side down the pit lane after their second pit stop to change from wet to slick tyres.

As well as running side-by-side down the pit lane, Vettel was seen clearly trying to squeeze Lewis down the pit lane and into the mechanics’ pit bay areas, to ensure that the McLaren driver would cede his position as they exited the pit lane.

Race stewards announced that Hamilton and Vettel would be summoned to meet with them following the race, where a determination of a penalty – if any – would be made after hearing from both parties concerned.

Asked by the BBC if he expected a penalty to be meted out to Hamilton, Whitmarsh remained confident.

“I don’t think so, I think in these conditions, both drivers release at the same time, I think it was slippery… I think we will be okay. Who knows.”

Vettel vs Hamilton

After an action-packed race, McLaren took a welcome 1-2 finish with Jenson Button finishing ahead of Hamilton. Whitmarsh confirmed that the duo had been allowed to battle right up to the end of the race.

"Fantastic job by both drivers, they obviously had different strategies, but they ran the race just great," he said.

"It was tense, those last laps, but they were racing, they were going for it. They were quicker than everyone else in those conditions. We took that as our view of how to go racing, but boy did it make a long race for us.

"Lewis had a fantastic race, again so many overtaking moves. Jenson was a little bit lighter on his tyres. We played the right strategy for both cars."

[Image via GP Update]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.