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Whiting experienced 'key difficulties'
F1 race director Charlie Whiting experienced "key difficulties" during his investigation into Lewis Hamilton's incident with the Safety Car in Valencia.
According to BBC F1 commentary box producer Mark Hughes, Whiting was held up as he was forced to "order aerial footage from the official Formula 1 Management helicopter".
Fernando Alonso and Ferrari are fuming over the time it took race control to investigate and hand Hamilton a drive-through penalty for passing the Safety Car.
Hughes, though, says 'Whiting was primarily concerned with attending to the Webber accident'.
The race director only turned his attention to the Hamilton incident once the track had been cleared and the race restarted. It took him seven laps to reveal Hamilton was under investigation and another four to confirm his punishment.
But there was a reason for the delay, explains Hughes.
'In determining whether an offence had been committed he had a few key difficulties. There was no timekeeping loop at that part of the track, so the evidence was going to rely on footage and the transponders of each car - Hamilton's and the safety car - as they crossed the safety car line.
'The in-car footage from Hamilton was far from decisive in that it was such a close call that the angle of the view could not support a conclusion. He then ordered aerial footage from the official Formula 1 Management helicopter - and this took some time to be found.
'The complication of the transponders in the two cars was that they were almost certainly at differing lengths from the frontal extremities of each car, so Whiting was seeking this information too. Only once he had all this compiled did he feel confident in confirming that an offence had taken place.
'At this point, he could have chosen a harsher penalty that would have had a greater detrimental effect on Hamilton's position. But the precedent for this offence is a drive-through. It is not in the regulations, but is at the race director's discretion.'