FIA chairman of the stewards Tim Mayer has revealed he was once on the receiving end of Lewis Hamilton’s wrath in a post-race meeting – although the race official admitted he was in the wrong. Race stewards have gotten busier and busier over the years with post-race meetings taking place on a regular basis with drivers.
Now in his 17th year in F1, Hamilton has been in the stewards room more than most mainly due to his longevity in the sport. Details of those meetings are usually kept under wraps by all parties involved, but Mayer has given an insight into how they can sometimes go wrong.
The former race steward admitted on the F1 Nation podcast that his “biggest mistake” came at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when Hamilton and Nico Rosberg famously crashed out. Inevitably, both drivers were summoned to the stewards’ room where Mayer was waiting to speak to both of them.
But he felt he had put his foot in his mouth during the meeting, which ended up infuriating Hamilton. Mayer added: “Both drivers were out. We bring them in afterward. And we decide no further action in the end.
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“But Lewis says to me, ‘Well, what was I supposed to do?’ As a steward, somebody who’s never driven an F1 car, I started to tell him what I thought he ought to have done.
“That wasn’t respectful of me, he got up, he was a bit mad and he slammed the door and walked out. Poor Ron Meadows, his team manager, went absolutely white in the face and said, ‘Oh, I’ll get him back to apologise’.
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“I said ‘Actually, Ron, I need you to go and apologise on my behalf because it was a stupid thing for me to do’. It’s maybe not my stupidest thing as a steward but I’m not going to tell you the other ones!”
Hamilton’s latest trip to the stewards room came last weekend at the United States Grand Prix where he was disqualified from the race, along with Charles Leclerc. Both drivers’ cars were found not to be legal after an inspection on the planks underneath their respective cars.
Hamilton was disappointed at the decision from the stewards, but was happy with the overall picture for the team going forward. He said: “It is of course disappointing to be disqualified post-race but that doesn’t take away from the progress we’ve made this weekend.”
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