Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2019

Stewards clear Hamilton over Verstappen near-miss

2019 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton will not face a penalty over his incident involving Max Verstappen during the second practice session at Paul Ricard.

The Mercedes driver spun off at turn four and skidded onto the run-off area. He rejoined the track between turns four and five as Verstappen was passing by. The Red Bull driver then went off at the exit of turn five as he passed Hamilton.

The stewards spoke to both drivers and reviewed video of the incident before deciding not to penalise Hamilton. “The drivers agreed that the situation was not particularly dangerous and did not give Verstappen a lasting disadvantage in this practice session,” they noted.

“Both drivers agreed that the limited rear visibility and the angle of car 44 made it difficult for Hamilton to see the approaching car and agreed that Hamilton re-joined slowly. The stewards could observe from the on-board video that Hamilton looked in his mirrors at least twice before attempting to re-join the circuit.”

The decision follows the stewards’ ruling earlier today not to permit a review of the penalty which cost Sebastian Vettel victory in the Canadian Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver was also investigated for rejoining the track in an unsafe fashion, in front of Hamilton, and was given a five-second time penalty.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Stewards clear Hamilton over Verstappen near-miss”

  1. “The drivers agreed that the situation was not particularly dangerous and did not give Verstappen a lasting disadvantage in this practice session,” they noted.

    Guess that’s the pertinent point in not penalizing Hamilton.

    1. Of course this was no penalty and contrary to ham on vet, ver did not asked for one.

      1. Can you link me to that mate? Ham asking for a Vettel penalty, I didn’t hear or see anything.

        Unless you mistakenly think his radio message (“Wow, Vettel just rejoined the track really dangerously”) was Ham calling for a penalty, which would be very funny.

        1. Of course that was his only reason. You thought he was using small talk to his engineer.. a bit naive

          1. So in short, you can’t. Surprise.

            I think he was in the heat of battle and was surprised to see a car flying towards him, most drivers radio in when something happens to them on track

            Plain stupid to hear that and say he “called for a penalty”

        2. Gav….. c’mon, you may like the guy, but it’s quite obvious Hamilton asked for a penalty, it’s beyong naive.

          1. He didn’t “call” for a penalty Matn. He may have spoken on the radio, complained even, but what your man there claimed just isn’t true. That’s what I took issue with.

            And in any case, whether he claimed for it or not wouldn’t have changed what happened.

            I continue to be heartily amused how much Vettel’s penalty from Vettel’s mistake is being blamed on Lewis Hamilton.

          2. Since the engineer’s response was “yeah, we’re on it”, I took that to mean that Mercedes had already complained, regardless of Hamilton’s opinion.

            It’s not like the driver’s have a hotline to race control.

        3. When Hamilton says on the radio that it’s dangerous, he is speaking to Charlie, not his engineer. It’s obvious Gav.

          1. The same charlie that is dead?

          2. It’s obvious he’s speaking to a dead guy? Sorry you’ve just destroyed any credibility you could ever have now.

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing the reactions to this decision and the reasoning behind it considering how much this specific topic has been debated since what happened last time out in Canada, LOL.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    21st June 2019, 17:30

    Wait, Red Bull don’t have any overwhelming evidence on hand?

    1. They haven’t got Karun’s skypad analysis yet!

  4. Bad joke indeed!

    That wasn’t a dangerous return to the track?!?!? Then, he didn’t cause VER a lasting disadvantage?! Well, VET didn’t cause either…

    1. Other than the fact that there is a wall few inches to right of Hamilton and it was during a battle for lead of race not some friday practice session.

      1. Also Ham didn’t block Max, maxs onboard shows a clear track, max just got distracted and went off by himself nothing like what happened in canada

        1. @carlosmedrano

          also ham didnt end up at racing line, vettel did, ham slowed down when after joining the track once he saw max, vettel accelerated and blocked

    2. In what way was it dangerous? He didnt go back onto the racing line unlike Vettel. Take your blinkers off mate

    3. @mg1982, from what the stewards are saying, Verstappen seems to have agreed that the way in which Hamilton rejoined the track was safe and that it did not impact him – I’m curious as to why you believe it was so hazardous when it seems that Verstappen believes there was no hazard there.

      1. @Martin
        Canada dangerous? When/where?
        These guys are racing for 25+ years, they have encountered Canada situations a gazillion times, and because of their ability to deal with those instances they’re now the 2 best paid drivers in the world.
        People should have some respect for the abilities of the drivers in F1, and stop calling every little incident dangerous or claim penalties because of the “rules”.

        Schumacher driving Barrichello in the wall, that was dangerous, this was child’s play/proper racing.

      2. I’m curious as to why you believe it was so hazardous when it seems that Verstappen believes there was no hazard there

        Obviously it was unsafe because it was Hamilton. Thats MG’s “logic”

    4. Right. Maybe you forgot that this was a practice session? So they asked both drivers and everyone agreed it was much ado about nothing @mg1982.

      I am quite sure that neither Red Bull, nor Verstappen would have felt it did not impede them had this been a competetive session like qualifying or the race and would have asked for a penalty.

  5. Hilarious all the people trying to claim this is just like Canada in social media. Hamilton wasn’t anywhere near Verstappen or the racing line. Ferrari fans seems to be trying to outdo each other with who can look the most idiotic.

  6. And in more shocking news, the sun rose this morning!

    1. For some, Lewis is the “sun” ;)

  7. Quite rightly so. The sport shouldn’t be too oversensitive and it was just a free practice session after all. I trust Hamilton that he didn’t see Verstappen as well as I trust Vettel that he didn’t see Hamilton, and that’s all.

  8. Of course they did….shouldn’t shock anyone, they won’t penalize the Golden Child of F1.

    1. What do you mean they did penalise Vettel?

    2. You want Max penalised? He did nothing wrong!

  9. I’m just hear for the salt. :)

    1. I know right. The timing is delicious ;)

      At least Hamilton showed them how you do rejoin safely.

  10. Still trying to understand how – gaining a lasting advantage – or – causing a lasting disadvantage – applies to non-competitive practice session. That would seem illogical. Since they are not competing in such a session what advantage could be gained or lost?

    An unsafe maneuver or impeding another driver in a practice session would make sense.

  11. I think nobody expected that Hamilton would be given a three place grid penalty for this incident, but it was (a bit) dangerous as Max was forced to go off the track. It worth a reprimand at least, but no.

  12. An obvious non-issue.

  13. No penalty is needed (same as the Vettel incident) although I would argue that gaining an advantage is irrelevant, it’s the dangerous part that matters.

Comments are closed.