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‘It was uncomfortable for me’ – Lewis Hamilton isn’t happy about not wearing a mask at the drivers’ meeting

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Lewis Hamilton said he felt unwell after members of Formula 1’s governing body failed to wear face masks during a drivers’ briefing for the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

1’s new race director Niels Wittich chaired a two-hour meeting at Melbourne’s Albert Park on Friday night where he announced a crackdown on jewelry and insisted on fireproof underwear.

According to local law, wearing a face mask indoors is not mandatory.

Hamilton said after qualifying fifth for round three of the new season: “Nobody in the drivers’ briefing wore masks. Some of the drivers were, but most of the FIA ​​drivers weren’t, which made me uncomfortable.

“That was the longest driver briefing of my life. I have been racing for a long time and they have never done such a long briefing.

“I don’t understand the little things they pick up on, like the underwear – are we really talking about something like that? But whatever, you take it and move on.”

Hamilton will start the Australian Grand Prix from fifth place while Charles Leclerc secured pole position for Sunday’s race.

After an entertaining qualifying session in Melbourne – twice red flagged – Leclerc took the spoils from Ferrari while Max Verstappen joined him on the front row.

Sergio Perez was third in the other Red Bull, one place ahead of Britain’s Lando Norris in the McLaren. George Russell was sixth.

Hamilton’s bid for a record eighth crown was derailed by his uncompetitive Mercedes machinery. The Briton is already 29 points behind leaders Leclerc.

But after qualifying just 16th on the last lap in Saudi Arabia before earning a single point for 10th, Hamilton will find some solace from his improved grid position here.

However, the Silver Arrows remain a fair distance from rivals Red Bull and Ferrari, who have established themselves at the top of the class for 2022. In fact, Hamilton was almost a second behind Leclerc.

The top 10 drivers had to change their visors for Q3 at sunset in Albert Park.

“Buddy, I can’t see anything with the sun,” said world champion Verstappen. “I am completely blinded.”

Final action was then delayed by just six minutes and 58 seconds after Fernando Alonso fell.

The two-time World Champion lost control of his Alpine at Turn 11, hit the gravel trap and then the tire barriers.

“I lost the hydraulics and couldn’t shift,” he said over the radio.

Alonso had just set the fastest middle sector of all but will not start higher than 10th. A 13-minute delay ensued as Alonso’s wounded machine was removed from harm.

Previously, the opening phase had been interrupted for a quarter of an hour after a clumsy clash between Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll.

As both men prepared for a fast lap, Stroll was caught off guard when Latifi made a move on his inside as he approached Turn 6.

Contact was made, sending Latifi into a spiral against the wall. Aston Martin driver Stroll yelled, “**** Latifi, man. He just *****d me, man.”

His fellow Canadian, Latifi, said: “I don’t understand what he did. He didn’t look in his mirrors. The damn car is destroyed.”

The stewards blamed Stroll and gave him a three-place penalty on the grid.

The suspension allowed Aston Martin’s mechanics to complete their repair work on Sebastian Vettel’s machine – which was damaged in recent practice.

Vettel completed a flying lap and qualified 18th, moving up a place on the grid after Alexander Albon’s penalty of three places for his collision with Stroll on the final lap in Saudi Arabia.

After taking his second pole in the first three races, Leclerc said: “It’s a track I’ve always struggled at in the past, but we worked hard and got it all together. I’m very happy to be on pole.

“The car is nice to drive. We just have to get off to a good start and hopefully we can hold this position.”

Verstappen, the winner of Jeddah two weeks ago, said: “I haven’t felt good in the car all weekend.

“There wasn’t a lap where I felt confident, so it was a bit of a struggle.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/motor-sport/for-me-it-was-uncomfortable-lewis-hamilton-not-happy-at-lack-of-mask-wearing-at-drivers-meeting-41536861.html ‘It was uncomfortable for me’ – Lewis Hamilton isn’t happy about not wearing a mask at the drivers’ meeting

Fry Electronics Team

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