British Grand Prix: Controversy as Lewis Hamilton keeps pole after blocking row
Lewis Hamilton has kept his pole position for the British Grand Prix after being cleared of blocking Sebastien Grosjean by an FIA stewards' investigation.
Grosjean was left furious after feeling that he had been impeded by Hamilton as he finished his first run in the final shootout session. The Haas team said Grosjean had lost around three tenths of a second.
Although the race stewards launched an investigation into the matter, their analysis of the situation was that while Hamilton had got in Grosjean's way, he had not cost the Frenchman anything.
A statement issued by the FIA said: "The stewards examined video and telemetry evidence and concluded that while Grosjean may potentially have been affected by the presence of Hamilton at Turn 16, he was not impeded."
Prior to the stewards' decision, Hamilton had already apologised to Grosjean and claimed he had received no warning from his Mercedes team over the radio that the Haas driver was approaching him.
"I was coming around to start my lap, Valtteri [Bottas] up ahead, I was trying to get the space," said Hamilton. "Behind me was one of the Force Indias, who then came in, so there was no one behind me. Literally as I was about to get on the gas I looked in the mirror and saw a car, and I tried to get going. I don't know if I got in the way, if I did I apologise."
However Grosjean claimed Hamilton was only let off because of his presence in the title race.
He said: "Surprised by the wording: 'the driver behind has not been impeded'," said Grosjean. "If losing 0.35-0.4 seconds in one corner is not being impeded, I am very surprised.
"I think it opens room for messy qualifying and the rules are pretty clear. And I know there is a world title going on at the front but we are in a position where we actually fight as hard as the boys at the front and I was impeded today. "How can I put it? Maybe if it was another driver there would have been something. It does feel sometimes that there are two types of decision."
Additional reporting by Autosport.