Romain Grosjean sparked a debate in the Japanese Grand Prix Formula 1 drivers' briefing by querying Lewis Hamilton taking his seatbelts off while celebrating race wins, it has emerged.
Hamilton clearly undid his belts to celebrate winning the Singapore Grand Prix, and admitted he had done so on numerous occasions beforehand.
In a video of the Suzuka meeting published by Formula 1, it is revealed that Grand Prix Drivers' Association director Grosjean responded to FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting's request for questions by raising the seatbelt subject.
Grosjean: "After the chequered flag are we allowed to undo the belts?"
Whiting: "No. Any further?"
Grosjean: "Well I think Lewis has been doing it quite a lot."
Whiting: "Loosening them is reasonable, rather than taking them off completely."
Grosjean: "I'm just asking, I think it's great for the fans, but I wanted to mention it."
Whiting: "At the speeds Lewis was driving at, I think that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Loosen them, not undo them."
Felipe Massa: "But you cannot loosen them. It's very difficult, you need to take it off."
Whiting: "I was asked a question and I said, no, you should not undo them, but if you can loosen them off, I don't see a big issue with that. Lewis, what do you do, do you loosen them or undo them?"
Hamilton: "Undo them. I don't do it very often. Montreal I did, a few other races."
Whiting: "You might have started something here Romain..."
Grosjean: "I think it's great for the fans to see a bit more of the driver. But I just wanted to get a clarification."
Hamilton: "Why would you need clarification on it?"
Grosjean: "Because sometimes you don't put the steering wheel back on and you can get a fine, and it doesn't make sense if the wheels are completely off of the car. So I just wanted to know."
Whiting: "We can clarify it if you really think it's worth it..."
Hamilton: "We're driving so slowly, man. But, I mean, maybe Sebastian should keep his on."
Sebastian Vettel: "Steering wheel or belts? I'm confused now."
Whiting: "That is something we've seen happen, isn't it [referring to Vettel's Sepang crash with Lance Stroll]? Needn't have but it did and something similar could happen."
Grosjean: "I don't want to start an argument or whatever, I just want to know the rules, simple as that."
Whiting: "Well I don't think you should undo your belts. I think we've see what can happen on a slowing-down lap, so I think it's a very bad practice to undo your belts."
Hamilton: "I've only done it when I win to wave to fans."
Whiting: "I understand, yes."
Hamilton: "But I do slow down massively."
At the start of the briefing on Friday evening, Whiting also brought up Vettel's ride back to the pits on the sidepod of Pascal Wehrlein's Sauber after the post-race clash.
Whiting said he should have waited for the medical car, which Vettel nodded in agreement with.
Hamilton then queried up the fact that Vettel did not put his steering wheel back on, but took it with him instead.
Whiting said no action was "reasonable common sense" decision as the steering wheel was not needed for the marshals to move the car, as the race had finished.