Hamilton straight-lined Turn 2 to avoid "commotion"

Lewis Hamilton says he went straight on at Turn 2 on the first lap of the Russian Grand Prix to avoid the "commotion" that was kicking off on his right.

Hamilton straight-lined Turn 2 to avoid "commotion"
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 leads at the start of the race
Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing RB12 crashes into Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H at the start
Start crash with Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35, Rio Haryanto, Manor Racing MRT05, Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1 Team VF-16 and Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 leads at the start of the race
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 crashes at the start of the race with Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-31 and Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
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Hamilton, starting from 10th on the grid, did not lose any momentum when he straight-lined the corner just as the Red Bulls and Sebastian Vettel tangled.

The Mercedes driver - ninth when he started braking for the first corner - emerged in fifth place, leading some observers to suggest that he had gained an advantage.

However, he followed the FIA protocol and went to the left of the bollard in the run-off area, and thus no penalty was awarded.

Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson and Rio Haryanto also went to the left.

Hamilton had received a reprimand in qualifying for going off at Turn 2 and not going to the left as demanded by race direction.

"I didn't have a good start performance-wise," said Hamilton.

"I put myself on the outside because I could see everyone was on the inside, and as I was braking down I was just turning in, and as I was turning in out of the corner of my eye I saw some commotion.

"I was like, 'stuff that,' so I turned left."

McLaren's Jenson Button was one of the drivers to question the advantage that Hamilton and others may have gained.

"Having the bollard at Turn 2 is the problem at the start," said Button. "Because people know that if they brake too deep, they go straight on.

"And they actually don't lose time - they probably gain time because everyone else is trying to fight through Turn 2 and 3. It's a funny one, it needs to be looked at."

 

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