Date: 10th April 2011 at 3:23pm
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McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has been demoted to eighth place following the Brit receiving a 20 second penalty from the Malaysian race stewards.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was also given a 20 second penalty, however his race finish of sixth remained unaffected.

Lewis Hamilton received the penalty for making two moves of direction down the main straight on lap 45 while defending his position of third.

Alonso’s penalty was for causing the collision with Hamilton a lap later.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh told the press following the decision that he found the penalties: ‘disappointing and surprising.’

He added: ‘They make those sorts of decisions and that’s how it is, but a penalty to both drivers is fairly harsh.’

Hamilton made a slight move towards the pit wall, before moving across the track, Alonso was not attempting to make a move on Hamilton at the time and only closed the gap under breaking as his DRS was not working.

The move was so innocuous it wasn’t commented on by either Martin Brundle or David Coulthard in the BBC commentary box at the time.

However Hamilton accepted the penalty without complaint: ‘From my side I’m not allowed to move more than once, Do I class it as dangerous? No, but that’s the rule. Twenty seconds is not such a bad penalty for it.’

One lap later, Alonso collided with Hamilton, this incident was a lot more obvious, with debris from both cars being scattered across the track, mainly Alonso’s front wing but also parts of Hamilton’s floor.

Discussing the incident where Alonso struck Hamilton, the Ferrari driver said: ‘I couldn’t overtake him on the main straight, which is the best possibility.

‘So we had to fight in some corners, and unfortunately we touched each other. I broke the front wing and had to pit again. So it cost me maybe the podium today.’


On the penalty he added: ‘It doesn’t change positions, so there is no a big drama. I finished sixth in the race anyway.’

 

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