Furious Hamilton says 'they are trying to stop me' after 'ridiculous' Sochi penalties

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Lewis Hamilton has suggested the FIA are "trying to stop me" after he was penalised during the Russian Grand Prix.

The actual incident took place before the start as the Mercedes driver completed two practice starts outside the designated area at the end of the pitlane, this after consulting with his engineer on the radio.

The resulting 10-second penalty dropped Hamilton out of the lead to third, where he would finish, and after calling it "bulls**t" during the race, he was still livid afterwards.

“I need to go back and see what the rules are, what exactly I did wrong. I’m pretty sure no one has ever got two five-second penalties for something so ridiculous before,” Lewis told Sky Sports.

“I didn’t put anyone in danger, I’ve done this at a million tracks over the years and never been questioned over it, but it is what it is.”

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Asked if he thought the punishment was excessive, it was then Hamilton, who is now only two points on his superlicence away from an automatic race ban, launched his accusation.

“Of course it is and it is to be expected, they are trying to stop me," he claimed, "but it’s OK. I’ll just keep my head down and stay focused and see what happens.”

Hamilton already faced a tricky task of keeping teammate, and eventual race winner, Valtteri Bottas behind him after the drama of Q2 in qualifying forced him to start on the soft compound tyre.

Ham Pitstop

But after the penalty and pit-stop had dropped him down to 11th, behind the medium-shod cars, there was nothing he could do to recover.

"The plan was to stop on that lap (16), I was just trying to go as far as I could," he explained.

"It didn't really change a huge amount. I had such a long way to go on that [hard] tyre, and I think I'd done pretty well on that soft.

"You know, we'll discuss it and try and figure it out. I just need to make sure I don't put myself in that position again."