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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Hamilton cleared after Japan row
Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton has been upset by the whole saga since Japan
Lewis Hamilton will not be punished for alleged erratic driving behind the safety car in the Japanese Grand Prix.

The FIA cleared the 22-year-old of causing a crash between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel in heavy rain at Fuji.

The ruling leaves him on the verge of winning the title in his debut season, but Hamilton admitted he had been disillusioned by F1's latest dispute.

"If this is the way it's going to keep going, it's not somewhere I want to be," said the McLaren driver.

Hamilton, Vettel and Webber and their team officials reported to stewards ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

They watched parts of the Japan race, including amateur footage of the accident which had appeared on video-sharing website YouTube.

606: DEBATE
William

Following that meeting, the stewards stated: "The involvement of Lewis Hamilton in this incident has been considered in the light of the evidence given by him, his team manager and in particular all other parties present, and no penalty is imposed on him."

Vettel had a 10-place penalty on the starting grid for Sunday's Chinese GP replaced with a reprimand.

Hamilton takes a 12-point lead over McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso into the final two races of the season.

But the Briton was left unhappy by the row which erupted after Red Bull's Webber accused him of doing a "bad job" behind the safety car.

He was knocked out of the race by Toro Rosso's Vettel when they were following Hamilton, and the Australian claimed Hamilton braked excessively behind the safety car on lap 45.

But Hamilton said: "If I've been in the wrong, I've been the first to put my hand up, or apologise at least.

"And I don't mind being given a penalty but there's been some real strange situations this year where I'm made to look the bad person.

"If this is the way it's going to keep going, it's not somewhere I want to be.

Surely this could all have been decided yesterday, when Toro Rosso made their appeal

BBC 5Live's David Croft

"I had a good weekend, I didn't put a foot wrong. I didn't do anything to put anyone else in danger.

"I just think it's a real shame for the sport. Formula One is supposed to be about hard, fair competition.

"That's what I've tried to do this year, just be fair."

BBC 5Live's David Croft F1 correspondent has questioned why the ruling was so long in coming.

He said: "The three-man panel studied the new evidence and decided it added little to their original film.

"So why the delay? Surely this could all have been decided yesterday, when Toro Rosso made their appeal.

"To leave it 24 hours before interviewing the drivers, keeping Hamilton in particular in limbo on such a critical weekend, appears unnecessary at the very least.

"It is situations like this that have left the British driver frustrated by the politics of F1."

SEE ALSO
Raikkonen sets pace in Shanghai
05 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton faces Japan win inquiry
04 Oct 07 |  Formula One
China holds no fears for Hamilton
03 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton 'deserves to win title'
01 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton moves to brink of title
30 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton senses F1 title is close
30 Sep 07 |  Formula One
Japanese Grand Prix as it happened
30 Sep 07 |  Formula One


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