Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Silverstone, 2021

Penalising Hamilton for severity of Verstappen’s crash not an option – Masi

2021 British Grand Prix

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Giving Lewis Hamilton a more severe penalty because of the scale of Max Verstappen’s crash would contradict a “mainstay” of how Formula 1’s rules are enforced, says FIA race director Michael Masi.

Verstappen and his Red Bull team claimed the 10-second penalty Hamilton received for triggering the 51G crash was insufficient. After serving the penalty at his pit stop, Hamilton was able to catch and pass Charles Leclerc to win the race, taking 25 points out of Verstappen’s championship lead.

However Masi explained it is a long-held convention for motor sport stewards to base their decisions on the incident alone, and not its consequences.

“One of the big parts [which] has been a mainstay for many, many years is that – and this came through discussions prior to my time between all of the teams, the FIA and F1 – the team principals were all quite adamant that you should not consider the consequences in an incident.

“So when they’re judging incidents, they judge the incident itself and the merits of the incident, not what happens afterwards as a consequence. And that’s been something that the stewards have done for many years and have been advised to do from the top down.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was among those who agreed to the principle, Masi noted.

Factoring in the repercussions of a crash would make penalty calls even more complicated, he added. “If you start taking consequences in to account, there’s so many variables rather than judging the incident itself on its merits.”

Masi doubts it would be possible to identify a suitable penalty for a collision such as the one involving Hamilton and Verstappen which would redress the balance between the pair. “I think if you look at it on that basis you’ll never find a penalty that would address an imbalance like that,” he said.

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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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136 comments on “Penalising Hamilton for severity of Verstappen’s crash not an option – Masi”

  1. feels odd to agree with Masi i must say.

    1. @mrboerns For me, not the first time agreeing with him on something.

  2. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    19th July 2021, 13:22

    It’s a fair point, but naturally one that will (and has in the past) result(ed) in revenge-actions. If the tables will be turned this season (so Verstappen behind Hamilton in points), you just know it’ll end the same way and get this whole circus again just ‘the defenders are now attacking’.

    1. You mean like Max diving down the inside of Ham with a get out of the way or crash attitude? Max wouldn’t do that would he?

      1. Verstappen failed to recognise that he now has more to lose than the other driver, so the aggression needs to be toned down a bit. You might say he needs to see the big picture.

      2. @ian dearing
        max never does such disputable moves…

        ask kimi, how much he loves racing max

        1. also his actions have not been challenged by fia, and scaringly his team actually fueled his ego by encouraging him driving this way… kimi said it perfectly “this is not right, but fia is not looking at it that way, unfortunately there will be a big accident, if that doesnt stop…” kimi saw it coming way before… and couldnt word it better

        2. i just found the best video of max antics, that is fully relevant to the crash!

          also one quote from horner showing how hypocrite he is!

          now lets hear from max chanters what their excuses are after seeing this video…

          as kimi said ” unfortunately there will be a big accident, if that doesnt stop”

    2. Agree
      That opens the “new” can of worms. It costs only 10 seconds and 2 points for the race ending and potentially championship deciding collision. Expect more of this type “accidental” contacts in upcoming races to happen. That is no brainer for experienced race drivers. They all are hot drivers, eager to win. They all are experienced enough to make it look like an racing accident. Looks like most of the drivers agree on that.
      That will inevitably spice up the championship. Not in the way everyone likes.

      1. No, that’s far too risky for both drivers. We’ve seen the reports that Lewis’s car was stuffed without the red flag. The consequences of this sort of accident/incident/mendacity are far too tricky to control…

        1. Farquhar McGinty
          20th July 2021, 7:20

          Indeed, there was as much chance of that contact shattering Lewis’ front wing or damaging his front wheel or suspension, he was lucky to escape with minor damage there’s no way that was calculated consequence, merely two stubborn and determined drivers going for a gap and daring the other to yield.

          1. Well if you are behind in points then you can only gain points. Just make sure that the other one goes of. Even if you also get no points, you also don’t lose them.

          2. @Farquhar McGinty


            max doesnt care if you are ahead or behind, he kamikazes if he is behind, he blocks/cuts you off super dangerously…. he only says, either let me overtake you, or hell will take us both… no other outcomes

      2. I think at the finesse these drivers operate in the tracks and in the corners, the ones with a clearer visions have a superior vision to see what possible outcomes and consequences with a touch of their steering wheel can have on an opponent.

        And for the viewers, the ones touching the rear wheel of an opponent in a corner are much more likely to be blamed upon. I can guarantee, especially when a driver is behind in points and behind their near competitor, the exact same scenario will happen.

        The possible consequences just makes it worth the gamble of ruining ones front wing.

        I hope it will not happen, but it’s F1. F1 = drama, which, let’s be honest, gets us involved and talking.

  3. Holy cow isn’t so holy after all. I was afraid that Sir Lewis Hamilton will have to do some kind of repentance dance by kissing the feet of the holy cow for touching it at all. Definition of the holy cow in F1: A talented young driver allowed to do many silly things, without any consequences, in order to attract younger audience.

    1. I’ve tried three times but honestly can’t understand a word! What on earth are you trying to say? Please explain it without using the word’s “holy” or “cow” you’re not Bart Simpson.

      1. Justin Hamilton
        20th July 2021, 2:51

        I think the implication is that Red Bull are the Holy Cow and they can do no wrong.

      2. I think he means Verstappen has gotten away with a lot of crap, aka ‘intemedatory driving’ and no one has lifted a finger to have him mend his ways. He’s seen as the next wonderkin, the next big thing, which seems to imply his ‘ take no prisoners’, ‘there only be one’, style of driving is what’s desired in F1.

        Secretly i think more than a few of the drivers would have applaued Hamilton for not being intemidated by Max headrooom. aka the holy cow.

        1. watch the video to the end and hear everything both says, esp kimi about max. it explains a lot about the accident, it was coming, and kimi said it was gonna happen if that driving style doesnt change

  4. How many points to the license took hammy for yesterday’s event?

  5. F1oSaurus (@)
    19th July 2021, 13:24

    So why wasn’t Verstappen penalized for the dive bomb on Hamilton in Spain? If Hamilton had turned in, then Verstappen would have gotten the penalty, but simply because there was no crash it wasn’t a foul? Like driving through a red light is not an offense until you cause an accident?

    1. @f1osaurus Running a red light is always an offense irrespective of the outcome.

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      19th July 2021, 13:52

      @f1osaurus Because there was nothing he could be penalised for. He didn’t exceed track limits, he didn’t force him off track, and there was no contact. However, Hamilton, focused on the long game that day, backed out. Had Verstappen made contact, I would have expected a penalty. Yesterday, Verstappen made a misjudgement, albeit one that in the stewards’ eyes was not illegal, that ended up costing him 25 points to Hamilton. Hamilton now is excellent at playing the long game. Go back few years and he was a little less patient and that cost him points. As much as I personally want Verstappen to come out on top, I can’t deny that he is too focused on short term gains. He lost 25 points yesterday. A move can be silly without being illegal.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th July 2021, 14:01

        Although if you don’t want to communicate with me then I can respect that decision. I was in a pretty poor mood this morning and did probably take our disagreement a little bit too far. I would like to apologise for this and hope that in the future I can have a disagreement while still being respectful and not crossing a line.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        19th July 2021, 14:29

        What about the defense into the corner? I thought he defended twice. How was that not reviewed and not taken into context? In more than one ways, Max was the main architect of that crash. Lewis was just minding his own business.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          19th July 2021, 14:39

          @freelittlebirds If this is the crash yesterday, Max moved to the inside before Lewis had committed to the inside or the outside. Lewis originally looks to go to the outside, and then dummies Max and goes to the inside, after the outside line had failed for him on Saturday. Max then moves back to the left, away from Lewis. As this is back towards the racing line, Max is is entitled to do this provided he leaves Lewis one cars width, which the stewards deem he did:

          Any driver moving back towards the racing
          line, having earlier defended his position off-
          line, should leave at least one car width
          between his own car and the edge of the
          track on the approach to the corner.

          International Sporting Code, Appendix L, Chapter IV, 2.b

          There are apparently other documents circulated to the teams by the FIA about overtaking etiquette, but apparently they are not made public. This is likely what Mercedes’ email to Masi mentioned under the red flag involved.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            19th July 2021, 14:46

            Yeah, it’s a double move…. If it’s not, then double moves should be allowed. If Max can do them, everyone should have the same freedom to defend.

          2. RandomMallard (@)
            19th July 2021, 15:04

            @freelittlebirds The regs do contradict themselves here. You are allowed to move once to defend, and then move back to the racing line, as long as they leave enough room. That has been the case for all drivers for several years now. I can’t remember the last driver to actually be penalised for moving multiple times. I think it might have been Max back in like 2016?

            The no double moves rule is designed to prevent actions such as Alonso’s weaving in Sprint Quali on Saturday, but they didn’t seem particularly keen to punish that then, or Grosjean at Silverstone last year, for which he received a black and white flag which I think was the right decision.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            19th July 2021, 15:25

            @randommallard I think Max moved to the inside twice. He moved once to cover the inside move, then Lewis stopped feigning to go to the outiside and Max stops moving. Then Lewis goes to the inside and there’s an extra squeeze from Max to the inside before he goes wide to take the racing line. It is a double move, it is illegal regardless of the fact that he left room.

            When they collide, Lewis’s car is pointed to the innermost part of the turn :-) He’s aiming to clip the entire white line there. He couldn’t point that car a single degree better than he had.

            Terrible “sympathy” penalty.

          4. RandomMallard (@)
            19th July 2021, 16:11

            @freelittlebirds It is a very tiny little move that I think comes just as Lewis changes his mind, as Verstappen then immediately pulls back to the right. I think the stewards decision in that case needs to be whether or not it counts as the same defensive maneuver. Similarly, in France, Hamilton appeared to jink to the inside on the straight up to the chicane twice when Verstappen overtook him at the end of the race. They are both small moves, but if you are going to count Verstappen’s little jink right yesterday then you should count both of the moves from Hamilton that day. Similar to yesterday, Hamilton moves once early, and again as Verstappen draws very close, and then moves back to the outside as Verstappen draws level (note: I can only assess this from Hamilton’s rearward onboard and Verstappen’s front wing camera, so it may not be perfect but I’ve done the best I can). This isn’t a criticism of Hamilton so please don’t take it the wrong way, it’s just to show that this sort of move really isn’t uncommon and the precedence the stewards have set is that it is okay.

            I also agree with the premise of your penultimate statement. I have no doubt that Lewis is trying to clip the inside of the white line. But my view of it is that Lewis appears to understeer as he turns in. The Channel 4 team suggested that this was down to a dirty track on the inside. I do not believe there was deliberate malice from anyone yesterday, just hard racing that went a little bit too far. And I mean Verstappen is still the big loser, losing 25 points instead of 7 or 8 if he let’s Lewis past. My thoughts on this is that what Verstappen did was silly but not illegal, at least by the precedent stewards have set over recent seasons.

            On a different note, what are your opinions on this vs the Raikkonen incident in 2018? I personally think the two incidents are pretty similar, and the 10 second penalty pretty consistent between the two of then, but others may see it either as a “sympathy” penalty or nowhere near harsh enough. This isn’t meant with any malice or toxicity, just curiosity…

          5. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            19th July 2021, 16:57

            @RandomMallard first, I appreciate the level of detail that you’ve provided and I agree with you that it was a tiny move, although Max has been know to make those throughout his racing career and some have been very serious drawing complaints from drivers and accidents.

            I didn’t watch the French GP as I was in Florida on vacation at the time so I can’t comment on that.

            You’re more than welcome to criticize Lewis.

            I personally didn’t see the understeer before contact was made. I can definitely see that Max is taking a much tighter line which he corrects, but not entirely, but I don’t see understeer until after they’ve made contact and Lewis sort of drifts out allowing Leclerc to pass him.

            I don’t know how Lewis could be pointing the wheels of the car at the white line if he’s already understeered. Wouldn’t he be pointing elsewhere if that happened?

            It’s interesting you bring up Raikkonen 2018 cause they do look similar but there are a few things that are different and make this a “lunge”.

            – Raikonnen at no point was ahead of Lewis or nearly 100% alongside
            – Lewis and Verstappen were racing from Turn 1 and Lewis was ahead I believe on one corner or completely alongside that he yielded to Verstappen.
            – Lewis was closer on the straight
            – Lewis gave quite a bit of room to Raikonnen who locked up.
            – If Raikonnen had not locked up, I don’t think they would’ve collided so ultimately the blame for the lockup falls on Raikonnen who is quite ambitious there. If he had not locked up, I do wonder if they would have given a penalty.

            So, in my opinion, there are some differences there. Some might see an identical situation but it’s hard to argue that Raikonnen didn’t clip Lewis in 2018 whereas in this case, it’s hard to say that Lewis clipped Verstappen.

            I could certainly see a situation where Raikonnen didn’t get a penalty there for that especially without the lockup and it was viewed as a racing incident.

          6. RandomMallard (@)
            19th July 2021, 18:04

            @freelittlebirds The Channel 4 team seemed to be suggesting that he was understeering a little bit. The car doesn’t really seem to “bite” and turn into the corner very well. I found this most obvious when comparing against his turning angle when he made the move on Leclerc at the end of the race.

            I agree that Max can sometimes be a bit reckless, and of course he lost 25 points to Lewis when yielding may have only cost him 7 or 8 points, so Max probably made the bigger mistake, even if, depending upon your viewpoint, he didn’t do anything illegal. And Lewis won the race anyway and I don’t think the penalty points will make too much of a difference as he loses 2 in a few races time anyway. And I think it was an even better spectacle to watch Lewis come back with that penalty than it would have been with him passing Leclerc and driving off into the sunset. He would have probably overtaken Leclerc in the pits anyway, not even on track.

            I would like to extend the offer of ending this discussion that I gave to f1osaurus below to you. We clearly see two different sides of the same incidents, and I think keeping going would just be a bit pointless as we’d be repeating ourselves. I’d also like to apologise if I seemed a but too confrontational in some of my earlier statements. Emotions run high in these moments, and I’d hope that in the future, I, and other commenters on this site, can keep disagreements civil so we don’t stoop to the lows some have gone to with the reaction on social media. These things happen in sport, especially this sport. Senna vs Prost, Schumacher vs Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, and Alonso, Hamilton vs Rosberg. These rivalries and occasional clashes is one of the reasons we love this sport.

          7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            19th July 2021, 18:41

            @randommallard thanks for your perspective and your viewpoint! you’re a model commenter – you put myself and others to shame ;-)

          8. RandomMallard (@)
            19th July 2021, 19:00

            @freelittlebirds Oh err… thanks. I’m not sure whether to take this with a bit of sarcasm (I’m stuck in a bit of a Poe’s Law paradox with the winky face) because I am far from a model commenter. I have stepped across a line a couple of times in the last few days and I’m gonna try and be a bit more cool-headed and try and be one-step removed from the raw emotions next time there is a big incident like this. At the same time, thank you for your input and perspective as well. I certainly feel, after considering more than one track of arguments that Hamilton was not solely to blame for the incident as I initially did, and now think it was much closer to 50:50 than I initially thought.

      3. F1oSaurus (@)
        19th July 2021, 16:07

        @randommallard The point is that if Hamilton had taken his rightful racing line, then Verstappen would have gotten the penalty. This makes just as much sense as running a red light and claiming you don’t get a fine because you didn’t hit anyone.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          19th July 2021, 16:31

          @f1osaurus Well the stewards determined that Hamilton’s rightful racing line was one cars width on the inside. They say that:

          Cars 33 and 44 entered turn
          9 with Car 33 in the lead and Car 44 slightly behind and on the inside

          The question to be answered is at what point do you need to be alongside to earn the racing line. Hamilton is fully alongside on the straight, but then backs out due to the tight radius of the corner on the inside line. From the onboards, he does the same against Leclerc (backing out and allowing Leclerc to go around the outside), before Leclerc got a twitch and went off the track. The stewards seemed to decide that the point you need to be alongside is at turn in (which makes some sense so as to allow late braking moves on the inside, if they weren’t alongside along the straight. They deem this wasn’t the case for Hamilton. In my view, actually watching the onboards, it appears that Hamilton is partly alongside, but not fully, as they begin to turn in, but then he drops further back as they continue to turn in.

          You are certainly doing a good job of beginning to convince me that this penalty was a little bit harsh for Hamilton, especially considering the limited time he has to react at ~300 kmh, and that this should have been a racing incident. You can claim a victory here then. I mean at the end of the day the penalty is almost meaningless as he won the race anyway and Verstappen lost 25 points relative to Hamilton in the championship, and Hamilton has so few penalty points on his license (4, although 2 of them will be gone in after 3 races) that they shouldn’t make a difference. But I don’t really think Max did much wrong either. Although in a way I don’t think Hamilton’s win would have been anywhere near as impressive as without the penalty, so it was good for the context of the race that he got it.

          And as I put above, I would also like to apologise for my pretty heated comments I made during disagreements in the last 24 hours or so. In the future I will try to be more understanding and respectful with my comments, and hope that any disagreement we, or any other fans, have on this site can remain civil and far away from the abhorrent reaction Hamilton has received on social media.

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            19th July 2021, 16:43

            Wow I really wrote all that responding to completely the wrong scenario. I do apologise @f1osaurus, I cometely misunderstood. I’m tired right now. Onto Spain then:

            Spain was a classic example of it taking two to tango. Had Hamilton stayed on his line, I would expect and hoped that Verstappen would have been penalised. He was probably about as alongside at turn in as Hamilton was yesterday, if anything slightly more. I think the main problem is that the FIA’s public guidance on overtaking is very vague and covers nothing after the braking zone and the first moment of turn in. They do apparently have private overtaking guidance documents that are circulated with the teams, but not publicly.

            I think the better analogy than a red light is a flashing amber light. If a pedestrian is in the middle of the road crossing and the car jumps the light and hits them, then an offence is committed. If a pedestrian about to cross sees a car coming that is going too quickly (but under the speed limit) to stop and decides to co-operate and not cross the road, then the driver will probably be OK as there is no damage done. Not always, but probably. If a pedestrian jumps out in front of a car, then the driver probably won’t be punished (the equivalent of someone turning in on a driver).

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            19th July 2021, 16:47

            @randommallard Yeah, lets knock this off. I guess we get each other’s points. it’s a waste of time to keep repeating them

          3. RandomMallard (@)
            19th July 2021, 16:52

            @f1osaurus My final point that I forgot to make (and it is actually a criticism of Max more than anything else) is that Max yesterday chose not to tango. He may not have done anything wrong by the rules, depending on your take on the incident, but he lost 25 points as opposed to 7 or 8 if he conceded, which could have earned back later on. It is a bit reminiscent of early Lewis I’m 2011 and 2012 who often found himself getting involved in incidents that may not have been his fault, but by not yielding he came off much worse. It’s something Max will (hopefully) learn with experience. This is his first major charge for a championship after all.

            But we can call it there. We clearly see 2 different sides of the the same page and both have arguments on either side.

    3. If you look at clips from yesterday sprint the positions were reversed when they were alongside each other; and in that case Ham on the outside lifted. Which I think Max should have done Sunday for the same reason. Live to fight another day. The guy on the outside is always the vulnerable one.
      But the idea that you punish someone because the other lifted would be laughable. Whether it would have been Ham Saturday or Max Sunday.
      What Max should understand is that any driver worth his salts may give you a bye by backing out a few times, but at a certain point they will say enough. And anyone who thinks he will not have the same issue with the likes of Norris, Russell or LeClerc when they have a front running car has not watched them race in F2. Maybe in this case, like quite a few on here and in the press, he thought Ham had lost a bit of his desire and aggression in his twilight years.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th July 2021, 14:31

        Ham had lost a bit of his desire and aggression in his twilight years

        I’m gonna go out there and say that he has lost some of that aggression but in a good way. I’m not a Lewis fan, but the way he usually sees the big picture and now manages to keep clean is outstanding. Rewind 10 years and Lewis is arguably in a similar position to Max now. He was (and naturally still is) very, very quick, but he got involved in incidents that ended up costing him points (Many comings together with Massa in 2011, losing crashing out instead of settling for 4th in Valencia 2012, even losing points not worth losing in fights with Rosberg from 2014 to 2016). Lewis is now excellent at looking at the wider picture of the championship, and Max who has spent the last 5 season seizing small opportunities for wins when they come around every so often, now needs to learn this as well.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        19th July 2021, 14:33

        Yeah and stewards should take all that into account. In Max’s case, the incident was inevitable. It’s been discussed everywhere. When will Lewis not back out and save Max’s race? Even there, Lewis was the more sensible driver as he could have easily dive bombed into the corner just like Max did. It’s quite possible that Max owes his life to Lewis and is just a very ungrateful individual.

        1. Your level of turning the facts into fiction is unbelievable. The last sentence is just shocking. Like if Lewis did it on purpose and choose to let Max live. Just utter shocking.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            19th July 2021, 17:06

            @ruben yes, the way things are headed I’ll win a Pulitzer Prize from my comments on this website :-)

      3. What did you think about the celebration of LH afterwards? Ok or disrespectful? Well deserved or over the top? And what about the fact that nobody of Mercedes contacted RB or MV to hear how he is doing when he was taken to hospital? Not their problem or unsportsmanlike?

        1. He was told on the radio that max was ok. so there was yes there was no undue concern for max’s health. Instead Hamilton took his lead for celebrations from his pit radio, who would normal drop a hint on the correct ‘tone’ if it were deemed necesary.

          Hamilton was celebating with the fans, this being the first normal race weekend in a while, on home sole etc etc.
          This wasn’t like bahrain . If every diver were to show remorse for every racing incident, there would be no F1.
          Also if Hamilton had cause the accident, instead of Max bringing this on himself, then and only then might you have found something you seem think was required.

          The same fans would have called it fake remorse, had Hamilton adopted that tone.

          life goes on. ‘this is pod racing’

    4. Hamilton has the experience of knowing the difference between losing 7 points and losing 26 points.

      Verstappen has never fought for a single seater championship.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        19th July 2021, 16:49


      2. Yep, it’s easy to drive aggressively when you average less than two wins a season and have nothing to lose.

        But this season is different. Verstappen failed to recognise that he now has more to lose than the other driver. See the big picture and moderate the aggression – give Hamilton the corner and fight for the win over the next 50-odd laps. Worst case you head to Hungary with a 25 point lead in the WDC.

  6. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th July 2021, 13:26

    In principle I agree with the penalties being a fair punishment, but on the other hand can you have a fair punishment when the disparity between cars is as extreme as it is? If a McLaren or a Ferrari were given a 10sec penalty it would arguably wreck their race, but you give that same penalty to a Red Bull or a Mercedes and they have the pace in hand usually to overcome it with ease. At that point the ‘fair & equal punishments’ aren’t fair at all as it can have an extreme effect on one car but not the other and you end up with situations like this where a car can be given a deserved penalty and still win the race, which isn’t entirely fair.

    I’m not sure what the answer is but people have been saying for a while that the penalty system is confusing and arbitrary and really needs an overhaul and I’d agree with that, as in its current form it is often ineffective or unfair.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      19th July 2021, 15:42

      Stop that. The penalty has nothing to do with the performance of the car. When Italy play San Marino and concede a penalty does San Marino get 3 goes?

    2. Dammit why is that report button identical to the “Reply” button!?! Horrible UX.

      Reported this comment accidentally.

    3. @rocketpanda Changing penalties based on performance is far more confusing and unfair. Literally a performance penalty.

    4. Interesting pitch. kind of predetering the effect the penalties should have on the driver. In effect saying the penality didn’t have that much of an effect , judging by the outcome.

      Imagine if the same penalty had been given to Bottas. Somehow i cant see him making that drive to come back and win. So would your additonal dispropotional penalties be aimed at penalising the capacity of the car, or the capacity of the driver.

      of course we see similar in the rest of society, so why not have the same here in F1.

      is it because i is ‘hamilton’?

  7. A free pass to do anything you like for the quicker cars. Only cost you 10 sec’s maximum……..

    1. We’ll not really because it could have taken out Hamilton’s suspension also. He was lucky the damage was minimal and the red flag (Hamilton’s fortune is for another comment thread though!)

  8. I refer to Grosjean’s ban in 2012:
    “The stewards regard this incident as an extremely serious breach of the regulations which had the potential to cause injury to others. It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.
    “The stewards note the team conceded the action of the driver was an extremely serious mistake and an error of judgement. Neither the team nor the driver made any submission in mitigation of penalty.”

    Now, I don’t think that Lewis should be banned obviously, but certainly the 10s penalty was quite small given the repercussions, and there is precedent for giving harsher penalties that affect the championship. When you think that Norris et al got 5s time penalties for fairly inocuous incidents at a slow corner in Austria, and Kvyat got a 10s stop go for what was a relatively harmless tap on Lance Stroll in Bahrain (which I’m sure he wouldn’t have got had Stroll not rolled), then I think a 10s stop and go would have been fair yesterday.

    1. If I recall correctly, I think Lance was quite gracious about being flipped over in Bahrain, essentially saying that most would’ve gone for that gap after he’d watched it back, but in the moment he hadn’t seen Kvyat, and by the time Kvyat realised he hadn’t seen him he made every effort to get out of the move, but it was too late. Daniil got 10 seconds and two penalty points for that.

      I agree that the penalty was because Lance was upside down, if somehow it was Kvyat who ended up the wrong way up, I’ve no doubt the stewards would’ve penalised Stroll.

    2. Davethechicken
      19th July 2021, 14:29

      My view is the stewards found Hamilton to be “predominantly at fault”, not entirely at fault. Ergo they only attributed the a percentage blame to him.
      The penalty reflects that.
      I also suspect if Hamilton had a dnf and Max had continued after the accident that a penalty may have been applied in the other direction as Mercedes would have asked the stewards to investigate if Max could have done more to avoid the collision.

      1. That is the conundrum the FIA finds itself in through their own making.
        This nonsense started during the Mosley days and have been carried over and perhaps made worse.
        Hamilton didn’t crowd Max to the edge of the track so there was no intention to run him out.
        Max changed his line after Hamilton had already committed to his line and it is called closing the door, something that happened a lot in the past but which the FIA doesn’t take too much pleasure with.
        The true reason why the FIA couldn’t give a harsher penalty was because Max saw his competitor but still proceeded to turn in like those old video games when you could drive through solids including cars.
        The truth is it was an accident and a silly one of which both drivers played equal roles. Max suffered more from it hence the need for a penalty

    3. once again, its Max who turns into hamilton, when he had the advantage of the outside and could have driven further out.
      Look at Hamilton earlier on the corner out of wellington. Hamilton had the clear lead, but was on the outside of the corner,
      he didn’t shoot across to claim the apex, but allowed Max to come back and retake the lead. Its a shame no ones looking at that corner earlier, when Hamilton on the outside and did the sensible thing.

      Max though is different, he takes but doesn’t give.

  9. It sure why it is so difficult to consider consequences here. If I were to shove someone in a crowd, vs shove someone off a cliff, the act is the same but the consequences are completely different, as should the punishment.

    1. Well for starters those are two separate offenses. One is murder and the other is assault. Surely you can’t be this daft?

      1. I would argue the consequences of shunting someone in a slow corner vs one of the fastest on the calendar are plain to see too. Both should not be the same infraction.

        1. “one of the fastest on the calendar” Is that you Christian Horner?


            “Silerstone’s Copse corner is regarded by many as the current fastest corner in the F1 calendar. In 2017 the fastest average speed recorded around the corner was 80.5 m/s which gives the corner a radius of approximately 440 m. Drivers have been recorded experiencing forces of around 5g when taking the corner flat out, for reference astronauts within the space-shuttle experienced around 3g during the launch.”

          2. Doesn’t matter who says it if it is true…

        2. The consequences for the shunter are also quite grave, Hamilton got lucky he didn’t also spin or worse.

    2. But that’s because of the intent, not the consequences. If I shove someone who’s standing next to a cliff, I know what the likely result will be and I should be punished accordingly. Imagine I’m walking down a busy street and I shove someone, who then happens to stand on a manhole cover, which gives way and they fall to their death. Both those situations have the same consequences, but they don’t have the same intent. I don’t think anyone would seriously suggest I should be punished equally for both scenarios because the intent is completely different.

      1. Yes, but if I ‘accidentally’ shoved someone in a crowd vs ‘accidently’ shoved someone off a cliff the intent is exactly the same no? Yes the penalty and consequences are completely different. When you are next to a cliff, you bear some responsibility of being careful. Similarly, that is why manslaughter exists alongside of a murder charge.

        “Manslaughter is any culpable homicide which is not considered murder or infanticide. An example of manslaughter is where someone commits an unlawful act that causes the death of another person.”

        I would say, within the rules of racing, shunting someone in any corner is unlawful, as it was deemed this time by the stewards. The result wasn’t simply max was forced off the track, it was that as they were going 300kph he flew badly in to barrier and ended his race. As Hamilton, you know the corner, you know the potential consequences, and at the end of the day you still did an elicit act, which caused great harm to your competitor. Again, not sure why severity of the crash and its consequences shouldn’t play some role into the punishment.

        1. “As Hamilton, you know the corner, you know the potential consequences…”

          You’re still talking about intent – what Hamilton knows and doesn’t know. Consequences are what happen afterwards. Consider these scenarios:

          1. Russell slams into Raikkonen on a high speed corner. Raikkonnen spins round and smashes into a wall. The car is completely destroyed and Raikkonen has to spend the night in hospital.

          2. Russell slams into Raikkonen on exactly the same corner, but at a slightly different angle. Raikkonen spins round, misses the wall and comes to rest in a gravel trap, but he is unhurt.

          Do you think Russell should get a harsher penalty for scenario 1 than he does for scenario 2?

          1. Your hypothetical completely depends on what can be reasonably expected in that scenario.

            But I take your point it is not technically the consequences then that should be punished, it is the act, and in that way I would argue illicitly shunting someone in a low speed corner isn’t the same as a high speed one.

            Is there a difference between squeezing someone off the track onto onto some curbs vs gravel vs a wall? Consequences aside, by the letter of race law they violate the same rule–that you have to leave space for other cars, however there are clearly different levels of danger/recklessness involved with each.

            I think here, the context of the high speed and escalating danger should be considered when determining the punishment.

        2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          19th July 2021, 15:49

          I think that has been answered elsewhere and agreed at the time by the team principles that the consequences would not be taken into account for which penalty should be awarded.

          It is a shame Horner didn’t remember he agreed to that.

    3. Hamilton didn’t run Max off the track there was so much room of the race track Max could have used since he knew someone was on his inside.

      1. Copse is a right hand bend, Max isn’t going to run all the way to the marbles getting dirt all over his tyres before maggots. He gave Lewis space but Hamilton couldn’t hold the apex. I’m not sure what people were watching!

  10. Impede someone in practice = 3 place grid penalty.

    Causing a collision in a race should also = 3 place race penalty.

    That way all cars would be affected fairly fairly.

    1. Except they wouldn’t. Recovering from 3 cars just behind you is much easier than recovering from three cars that are a minute behind. Exactly the same issue, just worse.

      1. (and more random)

      2. That would work for cases like this though: max you end up 4th, you shouldn’t win after causing such a collision.

  11. petebaldwin (@)
    19th July 2021, 13:45

    I agree with what he’s saying but to say that it’s what they’ve done previously is just a lie. If two cars make contact, it’s often ignored. If one of those cars gets a flat tyre, suddenly we see a penalty.

    Same as pushing drivers off the track onto an asphalt runoff – always ignored. Push them onto gravel and it’s a 5 second penalty.

    1. This isn’t true there, there were recently 3 handed out in one race, 2 to perez if i remember, maybe one for norris ?

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th July 2021, 13:58

        @anonymouscoward The incidents you are on about in Austria all involved pushing drivers onto gravel, which is where Pete’s hypothesis suggests the penalties are given.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        19th July 2021, 14:23

        @anonymouscoward – show me a penalty given for two drivers touching with no damage or negative consequences. Or show me a penalty given for a driver being shoved wide onto an asphalt run-off. I’m not aware of a single one.

        1. @petebaldwin
          cc: @randommallard

          Understood, i read it as you wrote it however.

          If two cars make contact, it’s often ignored. If one of those cars gets a flat tyre, suddenly we see a penalty.

          They touched, they didn’t get flat tyres or worse and it wasn’t ignored was my point, but understand your point now with the expansion.

          two drivers touching with no damage or negative consequences

        2. RandomMallard (@)
          19th July 2021, 15:43

          @petebaldwin There are occasionally rejoin penalties given where cars touch without any damage, but they’re usually for the act of the rejoin and the contact the rejoin caused as opposed to the contact alone.

    2. @petebaldwin I suspect that’s precisely why Hamilton did get a penalty for what was essentially a racing incident, first lap or otherwise. So I agree, the principle is sound but actually (as ever) inconsistently applied, in part because consequences are taking into account to some degree. Ultimately that may be as much about accommodating the pressure from opposing teams demanding leniency/heavier penalties and reaching a ‘compromise.’

  12. Have been saying this for years. The outcome of an incident should never be a factor in the decision making, only the cause of the incident. Masi himself has been guilty of using the outcome as a reason behind the steward’s decision making (for example Leclerc’s b&w flag in Monza 2019 due to Hamilton’s avoiding action), so good to see he’s finally acknowledged this.

    1. For example, in football, if a player goes in for a dangerous tackle with studs raised it’s a red card regardless of whether the player on the receiving end receives minimal contact or a broken leg. It ultimately boils down to intent and/or recklessness.

      1. Having said that, the offending player is likely to have an additional suspension if the recipient has a leg-break, so maybe not the best example in hindsight haha! But the main point stands that, in the context of the game itself, a red card applies to either situation. It should be the same in F1.

  13. Err, no. Masi has never adhered to this principle himself. See 4 incidents from 2021 here.

    1) Incident: Max runs Hamilton (on the outside) out of room at Imola. Consequence: Hamilton doesn’t lose any position. Steward decision: Max doesn’t get a penalty
    2) Incident: Norris runs Perez (on the outside) out of room at Austria. Consequence: Perez loses 5-6 positions. Steward decision: Norris gets a penalty
    3) Incident: Leclerc clips Gasly’s rear tyre at Austria. Consequence: Gasly retires, Leclerc pits for repairs. Steward decision: Leclerc doesn’t get a penalty
    4) Incident: Hamilton clips Max’s rear tyre at Silverstone. Consequence: Max retires, Hamilton doesn’t need to pit for repais. Steward decision: Hamilton gets a penalty.

    1 and 2 are similar incidents with different steward decisions. 3 and 4 are again ~50% similar incidents with different steward decisions.

    And frankly, it is ok to give a punishment based on the consequence instead of just the incident alone. Helps in balancing out luck factor better between the drivers. I don’t understand why Masi doesn’t want to accept it and say it outright.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      19th July 2021, 13:56

      Please stop blaming Masi for the stewards decisions. The stewards are independent of Masi, the only influence he has over them is he can send incidents to them for review (and the stewards can choose to review an incident even without Masi’s referral). He even told Mercedes to go to the stewards instead of himself.. He is simply the mouthpiece for the FIA at race weekends.

    2. It’s not like Masi himself is the one handing penalties, or the stewards are the same every race. Besides, if the stewards just don’t always follow it, it should be in large part due to being human and it being impossible to simply erase knowledge from your mind.

    3. Surely after looking at all the on board video footage Max is as much to blame.
      The only difference this year max stuck is elbows out too far .
      Lewis had had enough of letting him get away with it.

    4. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      19th July 2021, 15:57

      In the Gasly Leclerc incident Gasly is out of the race. Even though Leclerc caused himself some grief it was not as bad as inflicted on Gasly.

      If a penalty is to fit a crime then if you cause another to have to retire then maybe you should also?

    5. Overtaking on the inside and outside are treated differently as are first corner(s) incidents.

      Incident 1: Max on the inside overtaking Hamilton has a right to the corner as he was completely alongside and in the first corner. No penalty is justified.
      Incident 2, Perez overtaking on the outside was completely alongside so Norris had to give him room. Penalty justified.
      Incident 3: Leclerc clipping Gasly in the first corners, so no penalty, as he didn’t get a penalty for hitting Stroll last year. So completely in line with previous cases. No penalty justified.
      Incident 4: Hamilton tries to overtake Verstappen on the inside (after the first few corners) but is not far enough alongside on corner entry so has to give Verstappen room. The penalty is justified.

      I even saw an image today explaining all this (about overtaking on the inside and outside) which was supposedly the email Wolff sent to Masi (from a German journalist)

  14. The way many online & indeed Red Bull are acting you would think that this was an intentional move on the level of Senna at Suzuka 1990 or that Lewis had done something really outrageous on the level of Grosjean at T1 at Spa in 2012 for some of the stuff Maldonado pulled.

    This was a racing incident, Maybe Lewis was more at fault but it was still a racing incident. It wasn’t intentional, It wasn’t dangerous, It wasn’t reckless, It wasn’t overly risky…. It was just close/hard racing between the 2 drivers fighting for the world championship & unfortunately on this occasion it resulted in contact.

    It was a valid overtaking attempt. There was gap which Lewis went for & he got almost completely alongside before the turn in point. That is far from the unacceptable, dangerous, reckless, never on move that so many seem to be calling it. And been honest I think both Lewis & Max probably could have done more to avoid it.

    One other thing. A lot of people seem to be using the fact Max ended up having to spend time in hospital as a reason to hand Lewis a more severe penalty. I don’t agree at all. You look at the incident & not the result because if you start factoring in the result you are likely at times going to end up with some very disproportionate penalties.

    1. Agree,,,you are one of the small amount of people talking sense.
      The rest have blown this completely out of proportion.

    2. @stefmeister It’s frankly a relief to read a sensible appraisal of the incident here.

    3. +1 To hear people saying he PUT Max in hospital is hyperbole when in reality he WENT to the hospital to have a routine MRI scan after a high speed accident, he was even watching the race and tweeting.
      To hear the likes of Horner and others saying it was some sort of Assassination attempt says to me that he is using it to score points against Merc and Lewis, a sort of ‘woe is us’ move that doesn’t paint them in good light.

    4. @stefmeister COTD worthy post.

    5. Totally agree

  15. The rules are clearly insufficient for 1 vs 1 competition, which is what F1 is this season.

    When the most rewarding strategy is knocking your direct opponent of track and running away with the points is an option.

    A dangerous precedent on a very slippery slope has been set.

  16. The principle is correct, the consequences of contact enter the realms of the chaotically unpredictable, so penalties have to be based on the incident. The only thing wrong was the penalty given for a racing incident in the first place. Max had to have some inkling Hamilton was there on the inside – after all he’d moved right to try to block an inside pass. Did he think he’d done enough? Or did he just think ‘the corner’s mine now, I’ll turn in however I want’? Essentially neither driver wanted to cede, Hamilton was well alongside, Max could have avoided turning in sharply. The argument in his favour is that he ‘had the right’ to the apex/racing line. But that’s the variable that stewards typically interpret with far more leeway on the first lap. But I accept that it’s a fine line to judge and sometimes they’ll tip one way (penalty) rather than another (racing incident).

    Put it another way: had Hamilton backed out of Copse, the Verstappen brigade would all be extolling Max’s aggressive blocking and Hamilton not having the ‘champion temperament’ any more to challenge him (no, I don’t expect the majority of Max’s fans here to have the self-honesty to admit that’s accurate but I’m 100% certain it’s the case). I suspect it’s the fact Hamilton didn’t back down and went for a legitimate attempt to pass Verstappen that riles them so much. I thought it was great Hamilton went for the pass aggressively this time, still hungry after all these years. Max has always had a tendency to cut into corners sharply, it’s part of his racing style and also his way of aggressively saying ‘my corner, back off’ (see the Ocon incident in Brazil). Sometimes that backfires. In this case he may have been unsighted, may have presumed Hamilton had already backed off from the inside pass, or he simply went for the corner on the principle that it was ‘his’ irrespective, who knows, only himself presumably.

  17. There needs to be more flexible and progressive penalties. Tsunoda touched the pit-entry line twice in the previous Grand Prix and received the same punishment as Hamilton causing a big accident. It’s just not fair. It makes the sport silly. 10 seconds to a Mercedes are not the same as 10 seconds to Alpha Tauri. They need to seriously consider handing more severe time penalties to drivers that drive the fastest cars. And I can’t understand why don’t they hand 2 second, 3 sec, 4 sec, 6 sec, 7 sec etc penalties. Why do the stewards restrict themselves to 5 sec, 10 sec, drive-through and stop-and-gos?

    1. And 10s with a Max in the car is not the same as 10s with a Perez. So how about Max has a greater penalty than any other driver for the same offence. Which when its boiled down is exactly what most want in relation to Hamilton.

    2. @carbon_fibre Handing out a more severe penalty based on a pecking order would be unfair and biased. Yes, the impact is usually lower for top team drivers than midfielders, etc. Still, the same rules have to apply throughout the field for sporting equity’s sake.

      1. @jerejj No, it wouldn’t be unfair. And you explained why in your post. The impact for the top teams shouldn’t be lower. And it wouldn’t be biased if the penalties were pre-determined and every team agreed with the guidelines.
        They have those AWS perfomance scores, right? They could use them to create tiers of cars. For the same transgression, for example, the cars in the top tier (Red Bull and Mercedes) would receive the heavier than normal penalties, the cars in the low tier (Haas, Williams) would receive the lighter than penalties and the mid-tier cars (the rest of the field) would receive normal penalties.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          19th July 2021, 16:06

          I wouldn’t put any faith in AWS at all. They showed Hamilton had good tyre life and Leclerc had almost none. Hamilton has to pit as he starts losing time and Leclerc goes on for two more laps.

  18. Would be fair enough if they didn’t fly the red flag each time Lord Egesta needs the car repaired

    1. As I’ve had to point out a few times, it was either a red flag or 20+ laps behind the safety car.
      And referring to someone as Egesta really says more about the person saying it than the person its aimed at.

    2. @f1-plossl is right, that comment says more about you and your constant hate comments towards Hamilton: egesta here means excreta, detritus. Such a comment has nothing to do with motor racing and everything to do with racial hatred. Frankly I’m fed up with the tolerance shown on this site for a bunch of racists masquerading as ‘Hamilton critics’ who constantly fill the comments pages with these kinds of comments. Sort out it RaceFans.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        19th July 2021, 16:08

        Did you press the “REPORT COMMENT” button?

        1. No, why? ‘melanos’ makes negative remarks about Hamilton here constantly but only rarely lets slip this kind of covert racism (half-hidden here by language), which – as so many people suspect – is the true motive for this constant harassment of one particular driver. It’s revealing. If you want to report it, feel free.

          1. I would bet over 50% of hamilton’s criticism has nothing to do with racism, more like constant dominant car, constant luck, mercedes-style antics as well now.

          2. @esploratore1 Me too, well over 50%, I appreciate that.

  19. And he responded to Toto’s email!

  20. Patrick Swier
    19th July 2021, 15:07

    Hmm, wonder if they take the speed of the incident into consideration. A gentle tap against the back wheel at 300 mph is very different from a gentle tap at the start of the race in a slow corner and the consequences are vastly different as a result. Besides I think they should adopt a rule that the driver at fault can never benefit from his infraction ( perhaps the drivers should get equal points after an incident like this) . Now, because of the perceived unfairness by Red Bull, you open the door to escalation of words and actions. This can get very ugly and very deadly as a result because of the speeds involved.

  21. Stewards earlier reasoning for giving a race ban (missing breaking point at T1, L1):

    “The stewards regard this incident as an extremely serious breach of the regulations which had the potential to cause injury to others. It eliminated leading championship contenders from the race.”

    How many L1 T1 crashes have we seen that hardly gets a word from the stewards, but once the outcome was severe, the penalty was drastically changed, so this is all hypocrisy again.

  22. Talking penalties and addressing their inconsistent deployment of them: Let’s get rid of all but one penalty, the drive through. So you have to run through the pit lane within 3 laps. And then all the other teams get the opportunity to booh you as you drive along. Maybe throw an egg or two?

  23. I wholeheartedly agree with 2018 Lewis: “Ultimately, when someone destroys your race through an error and it’s kind of a tap on the hand really – they’re allowed to come back and still finish ahead of that person he took out – it doesn’t weigh up”

    1. Shame so many disagreed with him at the time. Same as those who disagreed with his objections to those such Horner who promoted the get out of my way or we will crash behaviour. Although now he has gone over to the dark side I’m sure those very same people will be fully behind his new no coughs given attitude.

  24. Initially I was fully on Masi’s side, the resulting consequences aren’t as important as the cause.
    Mainly because consequences depend so much on luck (we’ve seen wheel banging through T1 with both drivers coming out fine on one hand, and a driver hospitalized with the other winning on the other hand).

    But after seeing through some comments and discussions here I’m having some second thoughts….

  25. one key element in a crash like this is that often it penalises both drivers automatically through retirement, plus the offending driver may get a post race penalty, like a grid drop for the next race
    the situation here was that Hamilton was incredibly lucky to keep going after the contact, and then had the red flag to fix his car. It’s unheard of a crash of this magnitude not resulting in both drivers retiring on the spot

    1. Indeed, but then again luck.

  26. What a load of bs from Masi. Of course it was possible to give Hamilton a more severe penalty.

    Raikkonen got a drive through in Austria for hitting Vettel and Hamilton only got a 10s penalty for hitting Verstappen. What is different in those cases that Hamilton should be punished less?

    1. @silfen Good point as this was just last race, and even less of an offense too. The difference is of course who is involved, nothing else.

    2. Because he wasnt wholly to blame. And they do not give severity of penalties based on who is involved, as much as some people believe it should be the primary factor.

      1. I dont read anywhere in the decision that Verstappen could have done anything to prevent the crash, whereas Hamilton could.

        1. As hamilton weaved gron left to right uppon verstappen entering the corner there was no way max could know lewis wasnt on his left amymore. Weaving up front is prohibited, they should do that for coming from behind too

        2. That is significant. Why wasnt it mentioned that Max could have taken actions to avoid contact? why was that not in the ruling for that decision? I guess it would have made a mockery of the penalties. A very telling omision in my opinion.

  27. I think a lot of people are forgetting that the stewards ( these are the ones that decide penalties) have multiple camera angles and car telemetry, when Lewis front wheel drew level with Max’s cockpit area (so Max would of known he was there) he backed out and started to turn, they would of seen that he was trying to avoid contact while still trying to take the corner, Max on the other hand just carried on like there was no one there, this would of all been seen on the telemetry. That is why it was only a 10 second penalty because it was an opening lap incident like we have seen many times before.

    1. If it was deemed an opening lap incident he wouldn’t have gotten a penalty.

      1. He should not have been penalised. The dramatic nature of the contact, all but demaneded a responce. That and Horner crying fowl to sway their judgement.

  28. Yet he only got 2bpoints on the license instead of the normal 3. Because its lewis? I cant find any other reason to deduct 1 penaltypoint

  29. …and i thought it ws the stupidity, nay the shear arrogance of driving into the path of another driver.

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