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Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton fined £22,000 for taking off SEAT BELT during sensational Brazilian Grand Prix win

LEWIS HAMILTON’S celebrations after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix have seen him slapped with a £22,000 fine for taking off his SEAT BELT.

The seven-time champion fought up from 10th on the grid to take victory at the storied Interlagos circuit after a tumultuous weekend for his Mercedes team.

Lewis Hamilton flew the Brazil flag after winning at Interlagos

Hamilton was forced to start Saturday’s sprint qualifying race from the pits as punishment for a technical DRS infringement.

He managed to finish an astonishing fifth but was then relegated to 10th for Sunday’s main event due to an engine penalty.

The Brit then produced one of the great F1 drives to overtake his championship rival Max Verstappen and give his title hopes an almighty boost.

But in his jubilation at taking the chequered flag, Hamilton appears to have removed his seat belt for the in-lap as he waved a Brazilian flag above his car.

And race stewards were unimpressed with the 36-year-old veteran as they called on drivers to set a good example on road safety.

An F1 statement read: “The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seat belts on the in-lap at the end of the race.

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“While the Stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seatbelts while the car is in motion.

“Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant.

“Further, Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories. It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.”

Hamilton was slapped with the fine but the race result is unaffected, meaning the deficit to championship leader Verstappen now stands at just 14 points.

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