Formula 1 bosses have rescinded the penalty points they had given to Lewis Hamilton for breaking practice-start rules at the Russian Grand Prix.
The two penalty points handed to Hamilton had moved him to within two of an automatic one-race ban.
Instead, Mercedes have been fined 25,000 euros (£22,816) on the basis the team gave the instruction not to do the practice start in the designated place.
Hamilton was also given a 10-second penalty, which cost him victory.
His Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas won the race and cut Hamilton’s championship lead to 44 points – still nearly two clear wins with seven races remaining.
Hamilton had earlier called the decision to give him penalty points “ridiculous”.
And Red Bull’s Max Verstappen agreed that it was “a bit harsh”.
It is a rare U-turn by the stewards of the FIA, who usually only change decisions in the face of an appeal by a team.
It came after both Mercedes officials and Hamilton spoke to the stewards to confirm the team had given Hamilton the instruction to do his start elsewhere, race director Michael Masi said.
Hamilton said in his television interviews after the race that the 10-second penalty was excessive, adding: “It is to be expected. They’re trying to stop me, aren’t they?”
But when asked in the official news conference whether he meant the stewards were out to get him to liven up the championship, he added: “I don’t necessarily think it’s for me.
“Whenever a team is at the front, they are under a lot of scrutiny, everything we have on our car is being triple checked and triple checked, they are changing rules, such as the engine regs, lots of things to keep the racing exciting, I assume.
“I don’t know if the rules in terms of what happened today was anything to do with it, but naturally that’s how it feels. It feels we’re fighting uphill. But that’s OK. It’s not like I haven’t faced adversity before.”