Lewis Hamilton warned he and fellow British F1 stars face PRISON if they break strict isolation rules in Hungary

LEWIS HAMILTON and his fellow British F1 stars have been told they risk being sent to PRISON if they break strict isolation rules next week in Hungary.

The draconian punishment has been slapped on all Brits working in Formula One by Hungarian ministers – but not to fellow Europeans.

Despite the announcement of "air bridges" between the UK and Hungary, all Brits will only be allowed to travel to and from their hotels and the Hungaroring.

It means that Hamilton, Lando Norris or George Russell – plus around 1,700 others making the journey in teams and media – could face a spell in jail, or up to a €15,000 (£13,400) fine, if they breach protocol.

F1 teams have been told they MUST eat at the track or their hotels, with stopping for petrol or to buy a bottle of water, potentially landing them in hot water.

Hamilton, who will sleep at the track in a motorhome to avoid any unnecessary risks, said: "I was only made aware of it before qualifying.

"It doesn't affect me because I stay at the track, but there will be protocols in place for the team.

"They have been fantastic in terms of how they have managed their bubble during this time. I don't know how their set-up will be and it is unfortunate that unlike us, they cannot stay at the track.

"It is a challenge but these are challenging times and why we are taking it very seriously."

F1's governing body, the FIA, had hoped to get an exemption for all of those who have been part of the bubble given the strict testing protocols for COVID-19.

The teams were only informed of Hungary's rules and punishments here in Austria this morning.

Many personnel are now trying to change travel plans to allow them to stay in Austria before going in to strict lockdown.

Mclaren ace Norris added: "We have to be at track or hotel but I am happy with room service everyday.

"I can watch Netflix and play Call of Duty but there will be limitations. I cannot go out for a cycle or a run."

Seven of F1's teams are based in Britain and are now hoping that the sport is able to reverse the decision, which is understood to come as a result of the UK's increasing coronavirus risk.

And they are pressing for the grey areas to be cleared up with regard as to what is permitted, including walking from their hotels to their hire cars.

It is a blow to F1 after ZERO positive COVID tests in the past two weeks as they finally get the sport up and running.

Last weekend saw a thrilling race at the Red Bull Ring, while the Styrian GP will be also held at the same track tomorrow with Hamilton on pole.

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