Lewis Hamilton forgiven after personal letter to FIA

Lewis Hamilton wrote a personal letter to the head of Formula One's governing body to escape a possible...

McLaren Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton is pictured in the pits of the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza. Picture: AFP.

Lewis Hamilton wrote a personal letter to the head of Formula One's governing body to escape a possible race ban for his Monaco Grand Prix outburst against stewards and rivals.

The Times newspaper on Thursday quoted International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt as saying the McLaren driver could have faced a heavy punishment for his comments after the 29 May race.

"It is unacceptable. I didn't want to over-react," the Frenchman said. "I could have asked the judicial court to address the problem but we never officially opened the case and he went with his father to the stewards to apologise.

"He wrote to me and it was between him and the FIA.

"Maybe it would have been a better decision to send him to the judicial court and ban him for six grands prix or something," added Todt. "But for me this thing is over."

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, went to see the stewards to make peace on Sunday evening in Monaco and also apologised to his rivals via his Twitter feed after losing his cool in the heat of the moment.

The McLaren driver had collided with Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Williams rookie Pastor Maldonado, ending both of their races although he himself finished sixth, and called them ridiculous afterwards in a BBC television interview.

The Briton also wondered jokingly whether he was being singled out by stewards because he was black.

Hamilton had already described the stewards' actions against him in imposing drive-through penalties as a 'joke'.

Hamilton will be a favourite in Canada this weekend, round seven of the championship, at the Montreal circuit where he took his first pole position and grand prix win in 2007.

The 26-year-old, currently second overall in the championship and the only man to have beaten Red Bull's champion Sebastian Vettel this year, has won twice in Canada in three visits after starting all three races on pole.