Autosport.com: Hamilton handed post-race penalty
Lewis Hamilton has been given a penalty for having caused a collision with Pastor Maldonado in the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Briton, who got his qualifying time deleted on Saturday and got a drive-through penalty for causing a collision with Felipe Massa during the race, was handed another drive-through post-race after his crash with Williams driver Maldonado.
The McLaren star was given the penalty after the race, which means 20 seconds were added to his final time. Hamilton keeps his sixth place despite the penalty.
Hamilton was very critical of the stewards after the race, labelling their decisions as a "joke".
"Out of six races, I've been to the stewards five times. It's a joke," Hamilton told the BBC. "It's an absolute frickin' joke."
He went on to blame the other drivers for his collisions with them. Once again, whatever happens to Lewis Hamilton is someone else's fault. For what it's worth, both penalties were well deserved: in neither case did Hamilton have a real shot at overtaking, but he tried to force his way through and caused a crash. If that isn't clearly against the rules, I don't know what is, but it isn't surprising that Hamilton, a hypocrite and long-time beneficiary of special treatment by the FIA, can't seem to understand that. I agree that this is a joke, but probably not the way he intended.
That isn't my point here, though. This has annoyed me before and it continues to do so now: Hamilton's drive-through penalty was converted, post-race, into a twenty second time penalty that didn't affect how he finished. I still can't grasp the thinking behind this. The stewards decided on the penalty after the race, knowing full well that it wouldn't affect the standings, because the seventh-place finisher was well over 20 seconds behind. This isn't the first time it's happened, either.
A penalty that doesn't have any effect isn't a penalty. In this case, as they've done before, the stewards are effectively choosing to not penalize Hamilton at all. I have a problem with this in general, no matter which driver it is, because effectively this means that if you commit a rule violation worthy of a drive-through penalty late enough in the race, there are no consequences. If the penalty is given early enough that it has to be served on the track, at least there's a chance that it'll affect the standings and the race; this way, nothing is accomplished.
These situations need to be handled differently; if a driver breaks the rules, they need to be penalized properly, not by changing a meaningless statistic. In this particular case, considering the reckless driving Hamilton was engaging in throughout the race, it's appalling that he won't be further penalized. Over the last few years, grid penalties have been handed down for much less. But not, of course, to Lewis Hamilton.