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Mercedes fined as Hamilton avoids penalty

Lewis Hamilton escaped a penalty as Mercedes has been handed a €10,000 fine for an unsafe release during final practice for the German Grand Prix.

The championship leader was released in front of Romain Grosjean’s Haas in the opening minutes of FP3 at Hockenheim, with Grosjean braking in the fast lane of the pit lane. Hamilton was called to the stewards half an hour after the end of the session regarding the incident, with the threat of a grid penalty hanging over him.

Hamilton already has two reprimands this season and a third would have resulted in an automatic 10-place grid penalty. However, the stewards opted to punish Mercedes for the incident, with a €10,000 fine given to the team.

“The team admitted that they released car 44 from the garage when it was unsafe to do so,” the stewards’ decision read.

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.

His 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.

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