‘Inspector Max’ may have handed Hamilton a get-out-of-jail-free card

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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[raceweekendpromotion]Two amateur videos which surfaced on social media after Friday’s qualifying session at Interlagos (below) provided revealing insights into the twists and turns surrounding the stewards’ investigation of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

The first showed Hamilton’s W12 undergoing inspection to judge whether it conformed to the regulations governing the dimensions of its Drag Reduction System. The rules state that when DRS is open the height of the gap between the lower and upper planes must be no greater than 85 millimetres.

The video appears to show Hamilton’s car failing to meet this requirement in a test which is conducted by placing a measurement disc between the two surfaces. The same test was performed on 13 other cars, including his team mate’s and Max Verstappen’s, all of which passed.

FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer duly notified the stewards “the requirement for the maximum of 85mm… [was] not fulfilled.” The stewards summoned a Mercedes representative to a hearing.

Report: Verstappen faces investigation over parc ferme rules breach after touching Hamilton’s car
This first video made their decision seem – to borrow an already widely-used joke – an open-and-shut matter. But further footage from the track put a stunning new spin on the controversy, and drew Hamilton’s championship rival Max Verstappen into it.

While the television cameras followed Hamilton’s celebrating his pole position for the sprint qualifying race with his team, Verstappen was comparing the rear wing on his car with his rival’s. Drivers seizing an opportunity to study the competition at close quarters is nothing new – Michael Schumacher was doing it long before Sebastian Vettel and the ‘Inspector Seb’ meme.

But Verstappen went a step beyond looking: He touched first his own car and then Hamilton’s. This appears to be why the stewards have summoned him for an “alleged breach of article 2.5.1 of the International Sporting Code”.

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This is a fundamental part of the rules of racing which applies in series far beyond Formula 1. Its purpose is self-evident: It prevent drivers from interfering with their rivals’ machines before they’re checked for legality.

Verstappen was seen touching Hamilton’s W12
“Inside the parc ferme, only the officials assigned may enter,” reads the rule Verstappen is accused of breaking. “No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations.”

Before the stewards announced their investigation into Verstappen, they also declared the suspension of the Hamilton enquiry until the next day “as they await further evidence that will not be available until the morning.” Verstappen is due to speak to them at 9:30am. Is the outcome of the Hamilton investigation therefore contingent upon what Verstappen tells them?

How will the stewards now rule on a case which has become more complicated than it first seemed? The outcome looked dire for Hamilton at first.

A breach of the technical rules ordinarily means exclusion from qualifying and back-of-the-grid start. Whatever progress he might make from there in sprint qualifying will be trimmed to the tune of five places by the grid penalty he already has for an engine change. Never mind the possibility that replacing the problematic rear wing might breach parc ferme rules and force a pit lane start.

Meanwhile Verstappen stood to inherit Hamilton’s pole position for the sprint qualifying race. He would have a realistic crack at a maximum haul of 29 points, while Hamilton would be lucky to get much beyond the lower reaches of the top 10.

Now Verstappen’s actions are seemingly entwined with Hamilton’s investigation. Will either, neither or both of them face penalties?

It’s not hard to imagine why the stewards might be hesitant to penalise Mercedes over a component which was touched by one of their rivals before it could be tested. Why else have the parc ferme rules? Moreover, only one of the two W12s failed the inspection, notwithstanding any potential differences in specification.

If Verstappen is found to have transgressed, there’s little precedent for how this kind of violation might be treated. Would he receive a sporting sanction, or merely a financial one or the kind of ‘public service’ penalty he was given for his previous transgression in the Interlagos pit lane?

The stewards have a couple of difficult decisions to take in the knowledge the championship is riding on it.

But the ‘Inspector Max’ video is fascinating for one further reason. It reveals that even before the FIA tested Hamilton’s rear wing, Red Bull knew what they were looking for.

What triggered those suspicions?

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2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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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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255 comments on “‘Inspector Max’ may have handed Hamilton a get-out-of-jail-free card”

  1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
    13th November 2021, 3:25

    Even if Max touched his wing, it would not have changed the fact that the DRS system was out of tolerance of the regulations (not like Max was out there with a tools changing wing settings, geez). Lewis should be handed a DQ for qually if indeed the wing falls out of the regulations tolerance. Now, Max should be hit with a fitting penalty, as well, that fits his crime of touching an opponents car per the sporting regulations (not sure what that would entail). Anything less would be a dis-service to the rest of the competition. What Max did is no different than what Vettel did sliding his foot underneath the front wing of Hamilton’s car when he was with Ferrari.

    1. It’s unlikely that max altered the position of the rear wing, but when we’re talking about fractions of a degrees worth of tolerance, it’s not impossible.

      Either way, the decision the officials come to will be a difficult call, but no doubt interesting

    2. It’s irrelevant. Verstappen interacted with an illegal vehicle prior to it being deemed illegal. Outside of conclusive proof he DIDN’T tamper with the DRS gap, uncertainty over the cause exists.

      We both really know Verstappen didn’t do it, but that’s just not good enough when it comes to a situation of this magnitude.

      1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
        13th November 2021, 3:52

        Well, one is sporting and one the technical. So it may not be as “irrelevant” as you suggest. We’ll see. I mean “Tampering” is defined as physically performing alterations. I think its obvious Max is not doing that. He’s obviously checking via fingers widths in terms of rough measuring so I think I may disagree (team members push on the rear wings to push the cars from scrutineering which applies far more force than a few fingers in the gap). But it’s the FIA after-all and they will probably do what’s best for the show rather than the sport. We’ll see tomorrow.

        1. How is it obvious? Some amateur footage from the grandstand doesn’t really cut it, when we’re talking about a decision with huge ramifications on the championship. You THINK it is obvious; that doesn’t mean it is ACTUALLY TRUE.

          Talking about the technical regulation breach: the car was found to be illegal after a competitor touched it. There is no clear way to prove it was made illegal by the team or by the competitor, in such a time as to take action prior to the race. If Verstappen really did cause the car to be illegal, then you can’t prove if the car was or wasn’t illegal during qualifying. There’s really no way to hand down a fair penalty.

          1. Was there a video that showed that max actually touched the car? Because it is not clear from the one above.

          2. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            13th November 2021, 4:15

            Okay, tell me then. A rear wing that can withstand insane amounts of force on track (with bumps in all). Engineers always pushing these care from the rear wing all weekend. And THIS is not OBVIOUS, when considering “tampering” aka altering the legality of said DRS system? I think it should be Mercedes job to prove that its capable for a driver to walk behind and touch two areas of that wing to alter the legality of that wing. Sorry, at some point common sense has to prevail and Mercedes would have to prove that Max or anyone would able (assuming he knew exactly how) to make such an adjustment so quickly and easily.

          3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            13th November 2021, 4:18

            It does seem like he did. The video is far and a bit blurry. But looked like Max used his hands to measure his own rear wings gap, the measured two spots on Hamilton’s and walked away. 3 seconds of touching the opponents rear wing.

          4. @flyingferrarim
            It has to be said that rear wings can withstand significant forces in very specific directions, but outside of that envelope are very fragile. You’d be able to break a lot of parts on a car with your bare hands, if you push them in a certain direction they’re not designed to withstand force from.

            The sport is not ruled by common sense, it’s ruled by a rulebook. Any breaches of the rulebook are judged akin to a court case. If someone touches (aka tampers) with evidence during a murder trial, the evidence is thrown out. Verstappen touched the rear wing that just happened to be deemed illegal. He literally tampered with the evidence of Mercedes’ alleged rule breaking.

          5. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
            13th November 2021, 4:47

            This is not a murder trial. I get what your trying to convey, but I think common sense can be used with conjunction with the rules. I think it can be proven that those 3 seconds of touching that area of the wing would not result in any change to the legality of said wing. Plus, if Max did end up bending or breaking any components, that would be identified quite clearly with a closer inspection. If any parts are deemed to be bent or broken, then yes, I think I would concur that any penalty would be voided per Max touching the car with no proof that parts where damaged or bent prior. I would even concur no penalty would be levied if part(s) are shown be be bent or damaged without Max even touching the car as there is (common sense) leeway to the rules when damage is present on the area of non-conformance. I also do not believe there are any parts on the main elements that are that fragile that it would bend or break. Now, bargeboard areas, sure.

          6. you can clearly see Max with a torque wrench adjusting Hamiltons car. Ban Max for 2 GP’s and give him a 10 point penalty.

          7. @flyingferrarim the DRS section of the rear wing is built to withstand significant force towards the ground. Moving it away from the ground may be much easier.

            It is possible to manually move actuators past the envelope of normal operation.

            “I think it can be proven that those 3 seconds of touching that area of the wing would not result in any change to the legality of said wing.”

            I think you’ll find that it can’t. That’s exactly why parc ferme regulations exist.

          8. This is not a murder trial.

            As long as he proves that the glove doesn’t fit he’ll be declared innocent ;)

          9. I think both should get a penalty. It is obvious Max did not alter anything on Lewis’ car and should be fairly easy to prove it was illegal before he touched but that doesn’t mean Max didn’t break the rules by touching his rivals car.

            Plus both starting from the back should make a fun race today and tomorrow but that’s not why I’m saying they should be penalised : )

      2. Hamilton to back of grid or DQ and fine for Max.
        If not, Alonso is right when he says the rules are different for Brits.
        Case closed!

    3. Wow, sensational much? We’ve got three groups of people right now:
      Group A – Common Sense / Pragmatic People which look at a rule’s intent and declare the MV aspect a non-issue because Max’s finger tips brushing the car obviously changed nothing. While yes we cannot prove 100% he wasn’t hiding tools in his pocket which he then used while wearing an invisibility suit to put Lewis’ car out of spec, only those desperate to tilt the balance of competition with no regard for sportsmanship would insist on a penalty while hiding behind a shield of semantics.

      Group B – Unreasonable Hamilton fans (referenced in the last line of Group A) who will argue the rule is like crossing the white pit line and that even though they know Max did nothing to the car, rules are rules even though they d*mn well know they wouldn’t feel the same if Max was found to be cheating, but Hamilton’s elbow brushed the car and was therefore let off because it broke parc ferme.

      Group C – Rabid Max fans who will blow this out or proportion the other way: “Lewis and the British have been cheating his whole career this is proof! If he wasn’t British, he’d be slower than Christian Albers.”

      1. I am in Group D – The fans in group C are right

        1. Sorry pressed the report button by accident

        2. I’m in the group E – For giving Max 5 penalty points and for car #44 to DSQ

      2. A suggestion of sensationalism, followed by the sensational suggestion that everyone is biased and reacting only because they want the championship altered.

        It’s a rule. And it’ll be interesting to see how it is applied. It’s difficult to see how it isn’t, to reuse the awful pun, an open and shut case.

        I have no dog in this fight. I’m just another nerd.

        1. Uh, group A = the non-sensationalist demo. So, never suggested everyone is biased. Groups B and C would be the Max and Ham fan boys who attack each driver with the craziest comments. You ever seen the comments sections on sites like PlanetF1. About 75% of them cannot enjoy the show unless their guy wins. Not surprising I guess. Young people tend to not only get extremely emotionally invested in their favorite athletes/stars, but somehow tie up their own ego with how they are viewed.

          PS – It was actually the article I found a tad sensationalist.

      3. LOL@ the Christian Albers reference. Albers would have been even better than HAM trying to race with the fueling hose still on the car.

      4. Disclaimer…

        I’m a lawyer so I get that my argument may be seen to be overly technical. It may be said that we don’t follow common sense and strictly apply laws. That said, most laws are based on logic and are there to serve a purpose.

        So let’s leave a look at some facts because speculation has no value….

        Red Bull has said nothing at all this GP about concerns over the wing. During qualy for the sprint, RB went to the FIA office with videos and documents to show that Mercedes are operating an illegal rear wing. Max then gets out of his car and touches his main rival’s rear wing – the exact part that RB believe is non-compliant. The most probable answer is he was physically “testing” RB’s theory when RB didn’t have that ability – The team could only rely on video and documentary evidence up to that point.

        Then you need to ask the questions…

        Why have RB and Max said nothing upfront about the concerns that they have with Mercedes’ rear wing this GP? They have always done so in the past. Why did Horner and Max say that it was the new engine and Mercedes’ straight line speed that gave Lewis the advantage in the session? They have always been vocal about their true beliefs in the past. Why did Max touch the rear wing after the session when he knows it’s against the rules and he knows his team are dealing with the issue with the FIA? He has never done so in the past (never in his career). So many questions and no answers.

        The only way to treat the situation fairly is to apply the rules. If rules aren’t applied consistently and systematically, anarchy prevails. It would lead to a situation where the rules have no value and serve no purpose.

        Max knows the rules. The rules exist for a reason. They are to ensure that issues like this one don’t arise, whether valid or not. The assessment of compliance of vehicles is undertaken by the FIA, not your main rivals. He knew that what he did was against the rules. Yet, he still went and touched the part of his main rival’s car, which was thereafter found to be non-compliant. That coupled with the fact that Valterri’s wing was found to be compliant raises eyebrows.

        Another person commented that this isn’t a trial – or something to that effect. You are correct. But it is a sport that is heavily regulated due to the difficulty in monitoring vehicle compliance. So why play with fire. You are going to get burnt, whether you did some illegal or not. The touching of Lewis’ rear wing is illegal in itself.

        With everything said above, logic dictates that Mercedes have every reason to express concern. Whether Max was merely “physically” testing RB’s theory or not, he knew it was against the rules to do so. Max should have left it to the FIA, which is responsible for monitoring compliance of such issues. Many say he could never have done anything since a rear wing is highly technical and tampering with one is a near impossible feat.

        That said, stranger things have happened in the sporting world under less precarious situations. That’s why rules exist. If we left loopholes and scope for common sense, which is in any event subjective more times than not, it would be a giant mess.

        I am by no means saying that Lewis’ rear wing was compliant and that Max tampered with it (as a fact), not am I siding with one team or the other. Mercedes have a lot to answer for. But what I do say is there are “issues” that are not petulant, minor or trivial. They are serious issues.

        With all due respect, the “cheating” arguments on both sides are absurd at this stage. These teams have so much to lose if they cheat. Again, stranger things have happened, but it’s the exception, not the rule.

        All I am saying is that the facts above show that there have been breaches of rules. The only way to treat the situation fairly is to strictly apply the rules. In my opinion that should be done against both teams at this stage. If other evidence exists, which dictates a fairer application of the rules (or sanction), you may say otherwise. But at this stage it seems that is not the case.

        With all that said, I am reminded by something that a very wise man once told me… The law is not just. The same applies to the FIA rules and the implementation of such rules. A just result will rarely be achieved. But rules exist to ensure that injustices are minimised, hence they need to be strictly enforced.

        I get it that my argument may be very technical, but it focuses on the rules and the implementation of such rules, instead of subjective views based on alliances to teams. At least so I believe.

        1. Well stated! I don’t think Max affected the wing but the defense that he only touched it for 3 seconds is not a defense. F1 team can do a complete tire change in under 3 seconds and RB can do it under 2 seconds.

          1. With tools, yes. Not really comparable.

          2. He can pull out a dowel or the like with very little force. He doesn’t need to forcefully bend the wing to make it illegal. He could very well have been told to “activate” a part of the wing to make it illegal and he went forward to do so. This action would definitely be tampering.

        2. Your comment is a diamnong among the garbage fire that is this comment section

        3. I don’t think many are arguing the fact that what Max did is against the rules. My point is that Merc broke the technical rules and Max broke the sporting rules. The arguments being debated is whether or not Merc’s possible penalty should be voided due to Max touching that car.

      5. The use of “Max’s finger tips brushing the car” and “Unreasonable Hamilton fans” in your analysis shows which camp you’re in.

        Check your bias before attributing it to others.

        1. Wow?

          From karting up you know you can’t touch cars/karts anything in park ferme, Max knows this but it would seem the insidious schoolboy sneak stuff that comes from his boss got the better of him having had a ‘your the boy but your not a legend yet lesson’ by the guy who somehow lucked into his hundred wins etc.

          Bottom line is they RB, could not wait to throw this one into the system at whatever point Max was properly humbled and unfortunately Max jumped the gleeful gun and handed them a conundrum. And a possible out. Unlikely frankly but it’s hard to understand how all the Max fans seem happier to brand Mercedes cheats, Hamilton some kind of ‘suddenly got lucky’ and refuse to even acknowledge the incredible canvas of work that has gone into his years. It does not make the new boy in his seventh season in an incredible car look good! It makes him look bad folks!

          Nope LH is no longer the running on the edge late breaker he used to be because he is driving a fast barge frankly. Give him a RB and see what happens but we never hear calls for RB to match Max with anything other than the likes of Perez. Oh no – let’s just demand only Hamilton must have serious team mates despite being the longest serving ‘my team mate is a world champion’ to date. And despite one that should be ashamed of his last race.

          Anyway point is, if that wing gave a 1/2 second drubbing to RB it’s a total laugh.

          Why don’t we recall 2016. Maxs amazing race. Best wet drive ever.

          Except for the guy out front who put 9s on him and his teammate in two laps…

          Somehow everyone forgets who won that race and then wonders why he is quick here.

          Bottom line he has a five place penalty already – would you like the trophy hand delivered because after Spa – a free win – that’s pretty much what’s happening and it stinks.

          I really do not want this season to be decided in the back rooms via sneaky silly crap

          Let them race – the sprint c#£p is bad enough.

      6. Group E – They are two distinct incidents.

        – Max should not have touched Lewis’ car.
        – Lewis’ car should not have such a big hole in it in that place.

        Unless some evidence can be produced to connect the two, they should be judged and (as appropriate) penalised separately.

        I suspect it will result in a reprimand for Max and a back-of-grid start for Lewis, unless one of two things happens:

        1) the link between the two events is in some way demonstrated
        2) Red Bull told Max to do that check (whether RB intended for Max to touch the car in the process or not).

        In scenario 1, I would expect Lewis to be exonerated and Max to receive a penalty commensurate with the severity of the act and whether Red Bull told Max to inspect Lewis’ car. This potentially varies from reprimand – i.e. the same as he should get without a demonstrable link) to himself getting excluded from qualifying and starting from the back of the grid. I am in the camp of preferring either more video or some eyewitness testimony before judging severity in this case.

        Scenario 2 would shift the penalty emphasis from Max to Red Bull (possibly enabling Max to escape the reprimand, and definitely escaping anything listed in Scenario 1 even if a link is established). It is anyone’s guess what penalty to Red Bull would ensue if they told Max to do that inspection, since Red Bull is directly instructed to ensure all its members follow regulations at all times (the drivers technically have only indirect obligations), but I suspect if that happens, neither driver will get a meaningful penalty – and the circus will continue for some time.

        1. @ Alianora, thank you, exactly this.

        2. Group F – With renewed talk of reverse grid races, sending both Max and Lewis to the back of the grid would trigger hyper-conspiracy theorists to later blame Ross Brawn for using this as a trial to inevitably introduce reverse grid races…

          Hopefully, I am only joking with that!

      7. This is so easy!
        Max is punished for his breach of the rules in touching another competitor’s car in park ferme.
        Lewis is not punished at this time as Max has muddied the waters BUT he risks his car being ruled illegal and therefore disqualified after the race – regardless of the race result. If Mercedes opt to “correct” the rear wing then Lewis will have to start from the pit lane as his car has been worked on under parc ferme.

      8. You have listed group A as common sense, yet max broke parc ferme rules, so is likely to get penalised and Hamilton’s penalty could well be nullified. No one knows what the penalties will be, but I think no penalty for Mercedes and a fine for Verstappen

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          13th November 2021, 12:44

          No penalty for breaking the rules? Doubt it. Hamilton will be out of qualifying and Max will be fined. We’re all speculating here – they know how the parts work and whether in 3 seconds, Max could alter the wing to a point where it opens further than it would usually.

      9. Group G: Wants everyone to shut up so she can watch them battle it out on the track.

    4. The solution is remarkably simple. Mercedes should be given the opportunity to touch Bottas’ legal rear wing in the position that Max allegedly touched Lewis, and do a before/after check of whether the DRS open position can be affected by such contact. Do the same with Lewis’ car. If no change is observed, then the touching cannot have affected the opening of the DRS.

      1. That doesn’t sound that scientific @frasier!

        1. It’s way more scientific than suggesting that Max has material distorting powers that are superior to Uri Gellar..

          1. I had a hood chuckle read this comment! 😂😂😂

          2. Ha good one @frasier !!

            Still there’s a second view come to light and he does touch the car. Obviously he doesn’t bend the wing, but it doesn’t really matter in the sense that if he broke the rules he broke them.

      2. @frasier Unless you can exactly emulate Lewis’ running with Bottas’ car (impossible without several days of data analysis followed by a lot of careful multi-poster rig running), that won’t work.

        1. I have an opinion
          13th November 2021, 11:03

          I think you’re onto a good idea here, @frasier. But Mercedes needs to use one of its reserve drivers (Stoffel Vandoorne or Nyck de Vries) to accurately simulate Max’s interaction with the rear wing.

          1. Preferably on a Mercedes filming day

        2. @alianora-la-canta Erm, if you re-read my post you’ll find I suggest doing same basic tests on both the Mercedes cars. The test on Bottas is to check whether a legal DRS can be made illegal by a magic touch.

          1. @frasier If you re-read mine, you’ll see why that test would fail to answer the question.

          2. Specifically, to test whether it is possible for a given input’s output to replicate – as opposed to whether it is likely – it is necessary to present the same pre-conditions.

            If Lewis and Valtteri had offered the same pre-conditions to their rear wings, they would have had the same laptime.

            The Mercedes’ laptimes were different.

            As such, it is impossible to know whether the wings subsequently react the same way to the same input (Max’s touch), the wings were equally compliant before the touch was done, or indeed something else is going on (e.g. one of Douglas Adam’s microscopic battle fleets landing on the wing and moving it). This is why the FIA’s regulations require that nobody (not drivers, not teams and not microscopic battle fleets) touch cars in parc fermé without authorisation – it raises doubts that should not exist and cannot be 100% answered even with exhaustive testing.

    5. To an extent it depends on the degree of the test failure, but imagine it failed by a very narrow margin, let’s say under 1mm for argument’s sake.

      In such circumstances, it would be very difficult to prove Max touching that area of the car (assuming he did) wasn’t inadvertently the cause of the test failing, because of the very fine margins involved.

      It’s akin to tampering with evidence. Even if the likelihood is the tampering had no effect, it can’t be assumed there was no effect.

      1. @simon999 0.2 mm, from what I heard.

    6. Mr M J Homewood
      13th November 2021, 11:30

      It is possible that a thumb forced into a DRS that may have been damaged slightly during quali would affect the tolerances. The test failed once of the 3 attempts so all is not so clear cut

    7. Fitting punishment for Max would be to allow Lewis to touch Max’s car.

  2. Great piece of journalism, @keithcollantine.

    Glad you broke curfew tonight.

    1. A piece that failed scrutineering was illegally interacted with by a competitor prior to said scrutineering occurring. And the sister car passed scrutineering just fine. Yeah enough reasonable doubt there that you can now DQ Max and allow Lewis to race on.

      1. Hmm wasn’t meant to be a reply sorry about that.

      2. Clearly Max Broke Lewis’ rear wing.
        He Didn’t Just Touch it

        That’s why Botas’one is Still Intact

        1. @Grant
          Think about it, do you think it’s possible to break a wing with your fingers, touching it for one second, when the wing can withstand 100’s of kilos of down force?

          Unless you are being sarcastic :D

        2. From that view it’s hard to tell. From views the FIA has (such as the rear camera on Hamilton’s car) they may have seen more of what happened.

  3. Send them both to the back of the grid. That will make a much more interesting sprint and GP

    1. This, I want to see Perez, Bottas, Gasly racing each other.

      1. Gasly will not be allowed to race Perez unfortunately.

  4. Intriguing turn of events. I’m sure Mercedes will claim Verstappen damaged Hamilton’s DRS and it might even work but at the time we have to question whether a device that is expected to operate at over 300kph would fail after such light touch. I’m sure Albon is already hard at it touching several different Red Bull’s rear wings at varying strength levels to prove that such a damage is impossible.

    1. I dont think either team has to prove anything. The FIA decides if there is a case to answer. The fact that Max was touching a rival car at all especially while in parc ferme may be enough to attract a penalty. Max or any driver should know the rules regarding parc ferme. I will say I am not a fan of either Max or Lewis, so there is no bias here.

      1. Luckily for Verstappen this is a sporting regulation that calls for fines for both the team and driving not a real racing penalty whereas Hamilton would be dq from quali and have a pit lane start. The stakes are much higher for Mercedes than red bull

    2. I guess you also need to consider the angles. Yes these parts are extremely strong, but pushed in a way they weren’t meant to be pushed ie from the back, just how strong are they?

      The main problem is that it casts doubt. What if Hamilton’s car was legal and Max did impact it by touching it? Honestly just think about that for a second. It’s easy to say it had no impact, but we don’t know that for sure. Max could have just won himself a WDC from breaking the rules. It’s a crazy situation but I don’t see how they can punish Mercedes now.

    3. The Albon part made me crack up 🤣🤣

    4. I’m sure Albon is already hard at it touching several different Red Bull’s rear wings at varying strength levels to prove that such a damage is impossible.


  5. inspector seb: amateurs, let me show you how to inspect

  6. This is why i hate Max with a passion with his cockyness

    1. So.. you hate him because Hamiltons’ car is illegal and Verstappen touched it?

    2. hate?
      get a life!

      1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
        13th November 2021, 8:39

        Indeed… Hate is a strong word. And there’s a lot of it around in this sport at the moment.

    3. Poor fellow.
      Get a life.

    4. This is unbelievably ridiculous. The greatest shyster in the world, saved by the greatest stupid. Max, you anencephalous, why did you have to touch the crooked car?? Why even come near??

  7. I know it won’t happen but it’d be nice if they did something like they do in American Football when both teams foul each other on the same play. They call it offsetting penalties and make them play the down over again. It’d be great to have Max and Lewis have a one-on-one qualy session to set their times for sprint grid.

    1. As long as they each drive a Haas.

      1. Gold comment

      2. @dmw Haha! It’d be interesting to see how they handle that challenge but I’d prefer to see them driving flat out rather than spinning off due to a unstable car like the Haas. Maybe put them both in a F3 car, which probably is more stable than the Haas.

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      13th November 2021, 7:02

      @g-funk I get the idea, and I can understand why you may want that, but the key difference there is American football only has two teams. Here, member of two teams have committed offences that may or may not affect the other 8 teams. I think there has got to be a penalty or both, although they may drop the investigation into Lewis is Verstappen’s inspection is deemed to be tampering.

  8. Really? Why would Mercedes infringe on one car only?

    Money is paid out on constuctors points, not drivers points, and If the bottas car passed the test, there are doubts as to why the hamilton car would not

  9. I think the more obvious reason verstappen was handling the Mercedes is that rbr have concerns about their wing integrity and design and he wanted to check a detail of construction. Perhaps the team said take a close look at this spot on the end plate, but then he went and actually touched it.

    1. Allegedly touched it.

    2. Yeah, this. Not very exciting, and not a big deal.

  10. Both to the back of the grid, lets see how high far they get.

  11. I agree with others. Send them both to the back. It really is the only move that makes sense.

    Although this is the FIA. Making sense isn’t really part of their makeup.

    1. Sending a driver to the back of the grid when his car was legal and he allegedly lightly touched another car warrants being sent to the back of the grid? And you accuse others of not making sense?

    2. It’s crazy how many people don’t understand how the world works.

      Blanket statements like this make literally no sense. How can you possibly punish someone for something when there’s evidence of a rival touching that very same part?

  12. I can’t see very well, and only saw the footage on my phone So excuse me for asking.

    But did he actually touch it? Is it that clear cut from the video?

    I’m asking because I’m curious about the outcome, if the video isn’t clear enough, Max could go “but I didn’t actually touched it” and how would they find out that he did?

    In any case, it’s a fascinating turn of events. And did Red Bull know something was up with the rear wing?

    1. Looks like he did, but just barely. If this low quality footage is the only evidence then I don’t think he’ll have any issues.

    2. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
      13th November 2021, 7:38

      That video is not strong enough evidence to confirm he touched it. Looked like he was comparing the gap to the width of his hand. Would be thrown out of court

      1. Honestly it looked to me like he was pulling on it. Maybe I haven’t got my orange tints on…

      2. @theessence Court of public opinion trumps the real courts any day of the week.

    3. Max/RB lies about touching it, and then another fan vid appears showing he did?

      Bit too much of a risk I would have thought

      1. Especially when there’s a camera on Hamilton’s car looking straight at him.

        1. Yeh people forget onboard footage will be used by stewards

    4. @fer-no65 when I watched it, it looked like he pretty clearly gave an upwards pull on the underside of the upper flap of Lewis’ wing in 2 places

    5. @fer-no65 There should be scrutineer eyewitnesses to the action, who may not have spoken up previously because usually touched components don’t fail scrutineering (there has in the past been an attitude of “no harm, no foul” in parc fermé, but since this time there might have been harm, it’s hard to definitively say “no foul”…)

      1. (Come to think of it, if the scrutineers did completely miss it, then the scrutineers themselves could be in trouble. Uh-oh!)

        1. @alianora-la-canta unlikely that it was completely missed but was probably thought irrelevant until Merc’s rear wing came under scrutiny. F1 parc ferme is covered by cameras for precisely this reason.

          To be honest, most scrutineers in parc ferme are busy checking tyre barcodes and seal numbers.

          Touching a competitor’s car usually just ends with a “friendly word” in most scenarios, as long as it hasn’t crossed the line into “examining” or “changing”

  13. Pretty sure FIA could also measure it via TV footage. Stop a video footage at the same spot and do a good old-fashioned measuring on screen. Even 1mm on screen might suggest there is a difference.

    Also, I can not imagine how Max could have made LH’s wing illegal? Are there some acupuncture points Max knows that when he touches them, the flap moves? i am starting to shake just by thinking about that. Oh Max, what other superpowers do you have???

    Anyhow, it does add more controversy and will again cause more tension among the 2 fan groups..Anything for the show and for money!

    1. Carbon fibre is a bit like an egg – very strong in some directions and weaker in others. Depending on the construction and what previous pressures were on the wing, a light touch could turn a marginally compliant wing into a marginally non-compliant one.

  14. Let’s see how this situation works out, but I think we are up for an extremely controversial day….
    Whatever the outcome of the 2 separate investigations gonna be, one of the 2 sides won’t be satisfied with the outcome (whether is Mercedes for not penalising Max or the Red Bull camp for the opposite).

    Lewis issue is a technical infringement so I don’t think there are a lot that Mercedes can do to avoid a severe penalty but Max’s case is a big unknown. Will he get just a reprimand for his unnecessary touching of an opponent’s car?

    1. How can you measure the force Max used in touching the wing of the car.
      There is a good reason why teams and especially opposing teams are not allowed to touch their opponents equipment and that is they could cause damage or temper with measurements.
      He touched the car before it was tested, he could have influenced the result.
      Even when the FIA conduct these tests, they do not touch the given part in that manner.

      1. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
        13th November 2021, 7:41

        That video isn’t clear enough to confirm max even touched it. Suppose they need to call max to the stewards to ask him if he actually touched it

      2. That’s up to the stewards to determine. They’ll have to listen to what Red Bull and Verstappen will use as an explanation and then determine the outcome of this unusual incident.

        From the video linked above you can see that he barely used any force when inspecting and the part of Hamilton’s car being investigated (the height of the gap between the lower and upper planes of the DRS must be no greater than 85 millimetres) doesn’t have anything to do with what Verstappen touched.

        Still,a rule is a rule and the “no touching” rule has more meaning since 2014(as the danger of getting electrocuted has increased) so I’m sure Verstappen won’t get away with it without some sort of consequence

        1. @miltosgreekfan how do you measure force from a grainy video?

          1. Obviously the stewards have different cameras @gardenfella72, they don’t use tweets. Cameras mounted on Hamilton’s car for example pointing directly back at the wing.

  15. Ok, this is interesting but I don’t think the stewards have a choice. If the part was “touched” breaking parc ferme rules and it just so happens to be the same part that failed testing??? Conspiracy theory on tolerance of said part under operation are irrelevant.

    If they penalise both wouldn’t make sense, it’s either one or the other.

    1. You don’t move a car part by just barely touching it. They barely move at 300 kph. Verstappen did not move anything anywhere. You can’t even move your rear view mirror in your car without some force.

      1. From the front yes, but how much force can they take when pushed from the back or above? @f1mre

        The fact that some of the smartest people in F1 were discussing this very point for nearly 3hours yesterday and still unable to come to a conclusion makes me believe that it’s not as simple as you try to make it…

        Fact is that this really muddies the water. It throws up a long list of what ifs and I can’t see Mercedes dropping this one if they are disqualified.

      2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
        13th November 2021, 8:31

        Not sure anyone can prove anything here. Certainly not you or I. But as soon as you introduce doubt into a situation, like Max has done here, it throws the doors open. Max really, really should have known better.

        1. Exactly. Redbull know the way to the stewards office they could have reported any suspicion, but tampering with the evidence throws open the whole case.
          I see people saying he didn’t apply much force, yet I’ve seen bucket excavators resting on an egg and not crushing it yet the very next moment lifting a 2 ton load. How can you tell how much force he exerted on the wing.

  16. From a legal logic standpoint, Mercedes doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
    For one, others have repeatedly touched cars in parc fermé in the past without penalties.
    Secondly, Hamilton’s wing being illegal is a statement of fact.
    Thirdly, it is impossible to coherently argue that Verstappen somehow interfered with the wing.

    I don’t doubt that none of the above will apply tomorrow, and that the idiocy of the Drive To Survive stewards will prevail.

  17. RandomMallard (@)
    13th November 2021, 7:10

    Right a couple of things here:

    Firstly, precedence (looking at you Sebastian, who has definitely touched cars in Parc Ferme) suggests there is no serious penalty to the driver who touches the car. However, they may or may not drop the investigation into Hamilton as a result.

    Secondly, I’m not sure or certain if this investigation will lead to Merc’s investigation being dropped. I was reading through the Parc Ferme rules after the original investigation was dropped, and one line that stood out to me said something to the effect of:

    Competitors should be able to prove that setup cannot be changed without tools

    This would suggest that Merc could only have changed that rear wing slot gap with tools. There are so many unknown situations here!

    Thirdly, unless this sends Max to the back as well, surely this doesn’t improve the situation for Merc? Even if the investigation gets dropped today, they’ve either got to replace the wing anyway and take a pitlane start, or risk it being found illegal again. This is a very interesting situation.

    1. Max broke their wing.
      Surely they can’t be penalized for fixing it

      1. Max broke their wing 🤣

      2. Unless Max has the most mega “two finger death punch” in the world, he really couldn’t have damaged the wing with the actions he took.

        1. How do you know that ? Are you Max? Why’d you touch it Max?! WHY???!!!

          Point is you can’t prove it for sure. It’s too simple to say someone can’t do something when you have zero understanding of how the parts work.

          1. The point is common sense needs the be used.
            It’s debatable from the footage whether the car was touched at all, but assuming it was, there’s zero force, zero effort anywhere in Max’s actions.
            You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how much force is needed to flex and bend a ruler. This situation is oh so comparable to that.

    2. Good find on that wording.

      I’d say that if Merc accuse Max of damaging the wing, then the stewards should ask that the manner of damage without tools in 3 sec should be replicated by Merc on a legal spare wing.

      If it can’t be done, both incidents are separate and stewards do to Max what was done in the cases of Inspector Seb.

      If it CAN be replicated, Max is liable for some consequences, but another question that stewards need to put forth to Merc is based on the wording you found: why can setup be changed without tools…?

      Fascinating chapter to an already fascinating season. I’ve never bought an F1 Season DVD but I’m inclined to get it for this year.

    3. @RandomMallard
      Competitors should be able to prove that setup cannot be changed without tools
      This to me is the clincher. If Mercedes can (and must) prove this point then anything Max touched or did not touch can’t matter as he would have been incapable of changing the setup without tools. If Max is found to have changed the setup on Lewis’s car then Mercedes can not say that the setup can not be changed without tools and would receive an appropriate penalty themselves.
      Either way I don’t care. I favour neither driver nor team.

      1. This is the rule RandomMallard refers to in full.
        Source: 2021 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations
        34.6 A Competitor may not modify any part on the car or make changes to the set-up of the suspension whilst the car is being held under parc fermé conditions. In the case of a breach of this Article the relevant driver must start the race from the pit lane and follow the procedures laid out in Article 36.2.
        In order that the scrutineers may be completely satisfied that no alterations have been made to the suspension systems or aerodynamic configuration of the car (with the exception of the front wing) whilst in pre-race parc fermé, it must be clear from physical inspection that changes cannot be made without the use of tools.

      2. Glennb, Max is not the competitor that provides the Mercedes, nor any part of that team.

        1. It does not state which car, do it can be assumed can’t touch any car

  18. Aerodynamic pressure is uniform pressure over the whole wing. A hand or finger(s) deflecting a wing is not uniform pressure. Max didnt have to touch the wing or try deflect it, the tests are conducted every at every event

    1. That’s not true at all, a point load would deflect in a single place much more than a uniform load and the gap only needs to fail in one area to be deemed illegal.

      Clearly I don’t think Max broke the wing or anything, but at the same time he really should not be going around touching other cars, and certainly not a Mercedes.

      Popcorn at the ready…

      1. a point load would deflect in a single place much more than a uniform load

        You have agreed with me.

        1. I have! My bad Oliver :)

  19. I really don’t care who wins the WDC (the desire of ending Mercedes dominance is equal to my dislike of Verstappen cocky behavior), but from the amateur video you can’t confim that Max has touched Lewis rear wing.

    So, it’s a slam dunk penalty for HAM and a probably reprimand to MAX for maybe, maybe not, touching Mercedes wing

    1. I agree, that seems the most sensible outcome to me @doctorlovesexy. However I am sure Mercedes will be arguing that Max’s interference with the car may have caused the breach, and I imagine the standard of evidence required for the stewards to uphold that argument would be fairly low … so it’s not inconceivable that Hamilton gets away without a penalty.

      1. someone or something
        13th November 2021, 12:20

        Agreed, that would be sensible in light of the different magnitudes of the offences. What Verstappen did, was a violation of protocol.
        I don’t think this is a “get out of jail free” situation for Mercedes, no matter how you look at it. The onus is on them to prove that a simple manual interference can alter the wing’s configuration, and even if they managed to do that, it could get worse for them. As others have found out, Parc Fermé regulations require competitors to prove that the aerodynamic configuration cannot be altered without tools. In other words: If it’s possible to change the car’s setup by just touching it in the right places, something that could be done at any given moment between the start of qualifying and the race, then that car has been in breach of the technical regulations regardless of whether the technical infringement was the result of Verstappen’s interference.

        1. someone or something
          13th November 2021, 12:28

          This is all just to say that I consider Mercedes’ situation a catch-22. There is no way to save his grid position. Their only hope is a penalty for Verstappen as well, but expecting him to be sent to the back of the grid for this sounds like a false equivalency. These are best treated as separate incidents, and it’s hard to justify an exclusion from qualifying for anything short of vandalising another car.

  20. i have another one!!!

    Max’s magic fingers..Kelly Piquet must be chuckling now

  21. What was he “measuring” exactly?

    Does the Mercedes activate its DRS while sat in Parc Ferme?

    It’s incredibly coincidental that Max is so interested in the exact part of the car that then fails scrutineering – was it visibly too big?

    What does speed trap data and Mercedes telemetry show?

  22. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
    13th November 2021, 7:44

    Slimes dirty cheating Mercedes, trying to wangle their way out of wrongdoing once again. I hope the FIA exclude them from all prior races where they’ve raced this illegal drs/ wing.

    1. I mean, Max could maybe also help himself a bit by bit touching the Mercedes cars don’t you think @theessence ?!

    2. okay, take a deep breath now and relax

  23. For God’s sake hope Verstappen will clinch the title as soon as possible.

  24. As much as I want verstappen to win the champion, sending him to the back of the grid would really keep the championship alive, just when verstappen looked like he held the advantage. What a season this is.

  25. But Verstappen went a step beyond looking: He touched first his own car and then Hamilton’s.

    Its purpose is self-evident: It prevent drivers from interfering with their rivals’ machines before they’re checked for legality.

    “Inside the parc ferme, only the officials assigned may enter,” reads the rule Verstappen is accused of breaking. “No operation, checking, tuning or repair is allowed unless authorised by the same officials or by the applicable regulations.”

    LOL what? No, that’s not the purpuse of the rule. To me this reads as purpuse is to prevent mechanics to work on their drivers car. How on earth would other driver interfere with their rivals car in 2 seconds without tools? These cars are not made of some flimsy plastic that can be broken easily.

    Also, the rule does not state anything about “touching”. “Checking” can also be interpreted as just “looking”, and as drivers are obviously free to look their rivel’s car, that’s not the right interpretation. I’m sure the rule’s intention is in case mechanics would “check” something with tools or measuring equipment.

    1. @schmi “No, that’s not the purpuse of the rule.”

      It’s definitely ONE purpose of the rule – to stop other teams tampering with cars to make them illegal.

      “Also, the rule does not state anything about “touching””

      Yes it does – “No operation, checking, tuning or repair”

      Source: I’m a scrutineer

      1. @gardenfella For me, term “operation” has very different meaning than just “touching” as “operation” has to be done by touching the car either with hands or some sort of tool. Just touching by it self does not mean something was “operated” on the car.

        I would like to hear from an scrutineer how exactly can another driver tamper with rival’s car?

        1. @schmi I accept that your interpretation of the word “operation” is different.

          You know that bit where it says “only the officials assigned may enter”? As a scrutineer, I’m one of the officials assigned. No matter how you choose to interpret the rules, the basic premis is that no-one may touch a car in parc ferme without the permission of the attending officials.

          As for how another driver may tamper with a rival’s car? There are many ways but the simplest are to remove a component seal (which may be a sticker) or maybe let some air out of one of the tyres. Both can lead to disqualification of the tampered-with car.

          1. Out of interest, are drivers are allowed to enter Parc Ferme at least once? Because they need the park the car at a designated place?

          2. @gardenfella72 Let’s consult basic dictionary (and some common sense), shall we:

            Definition of operate
            to perform a function: exert power or influence, to produce an appropriate effect

            Definition of touch
            to bring a bodily part into contact with especially so as to perceive through the tactile sense, handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate

            Yes, I know the bit where it says “only the officials assigned may enter”. The drivers are already there, exiting the cars. I have to assume this line was added so no other team personnel would enter. You know, the ones that can actually temper with their own car.

            All we have seen is Max in close proximity of Lewis car for no more than 3 seconds. Letting some air out of tyres? Oh, come on.

            Was there ever any incident in F1 where even suspicion was put to another driver trying to tamper with another driver’s car after qualifying? I cant remember any for the past 20+ years.

          3. @schmi no need to be condescending now, is there?

            As a race official, I am telling you how the rule is actually interpreted. You can disagree with it and try to counter it with a dictionary if you like but it doesn’t change a thing. The rule means “no touching without permission” and that is that. I have worked with the FIA at race meetings and have been briefed on their parc ferme procedures.

            A driver can touch their own car, of course, but only to get out of it and put stuff like helmets, gloves etc. back in the car. If a driver leaves parc ferme with permission, they have to seek permission to re-enter. If they leave parc ferme without permission, they may be disqualified.

            I never said that Max let air out of the tyres. You asked for how a team might tamper with another competitor’s car. I gave you two examples that I have seen happen with my own eyes, but not in F1, admittedly.

          4. @gardenfella72 I felt we had an interesting argument, but ok.

            FIA and all the race officials had been known to stretch their own rules too many times unfortunately. Why not then have the rule that would include verb “touch” so rules would be clear for viewers?

            I never implied you said Max let air out of tyres… I understand it was an example.

            I guess we shall wait and see what will officials will decide.

          5. You forgot to define “checking”. Probably to confirm your own bias. So I’ll do it for you…

            examine (something) in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition, or to detect the presence of something.

            I’d say that Max was clearly checking something.

          6. @schmi it was never an argument. It was me telling you how it is and you refusing to accept it.

            As @Pemz said, “touching” seems pretty comprehensively covered by “checking”

          7. @JeroenJ drivers are allowed to enter parc ferme with their cars. They must seek permission to enter and leave parc ferme at other times, as must any member of any team.

            Cars can only be removed from parc ferme when the officials release them.

            Don’t confuse ‘parc ferme conditions’ with the actual parc ferme, though. Parc ferme is the actual compound reserved for post-race checking and usually included the scrutineering bays. ‘Parc ferme conditions’ means that nothing can be changed on the car, with some strict exceptions.

          8. @gardenfella72 it was you who put word “operation” in bold, so to answer @Pemz, that’s why I was refering to that term.

            And no, “examine” does not imply touching. One can “check” or “examine” something by just looking at it.

            Sorry, I don’t see why should I just accept “you telling me how it is” from a random person, even if you have professional experience with the matter. Everyone can be wrong, including me.

          9. JeroenJ, drivers are allowed into certain parts of parc fermé by pre-established permission, at least in F1. This does not include contact with the cars.

            @schmi The definition of words used by the FIA does not always match standard dictionary definitions, common-sense or otherwise. See the “when is a hole not a hole?” double-diffuser saga of 2009.

          10. @schmi you raised an alternative interpretation of an FIA rule. I told you, from personal experience with the FIA, how the FIA choose to interpret that rule.

            Please explain to me how your theory is more valid than my experience.

          11. @gardenfella72 I guess you were 100% right. Still, I find it silly that any kind of punishment would be given for something that was obviously a non issue from the beginning as “no direct harm was done” and that has happened many times before as other here suggested. Cheers

  26. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    13th November 2021, 7:58

    Whatever the outcome, what the hell was Max thinking? Trying to point out a breach of the rules, by breaching the rules??? (I don’t know, but that’s what it appears to be).

    This seems like a very, very basic principle, and he should know know better. RBR are the kings of finger-pointing and faux-drama… I reckon they’re about to get a taste of their own medicine. If there is no penalty for HAM, it’ll because Max did what he did and will only have himself to blame.

    1. @timeslides I assume the touch was accidental in nature, if it occurred. “Nearly touching” is permitted as long as it does not interfere with the car.

  27. I can imagine the tabloids now…
    “Verstappen loses championship because he touched Hamilton’s rear”

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      13th November 2021, 8:02

      Oh My… Ha-ha…

  28. Anything to prevent a non Hamilton driver winning the WDC. Can’t wait to see Max at the back for supposedly touching a car whilst Hamilton wins with his illegally open DRS wing. What a sport, as long as our British boy wins!

    1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      13th November 2021, 8:11

      Yep… because all past champions have been British… Another tin-foil-hat ‘aliens stole my Grandma’ moment…

      1. This was a response to the article, but yes, British drivers have been disproportinally sucessful in F1 and their biased British media heavily pressures anyone who stands in their way. I have seen some appalling treatment of anyone who happens to be rivalling Hamilton at any time, whether it was Rosberg, Alonso, Vettel. This was why Schumacher never did interviews with the British press.

        1. Also it’s important to remember the British and American markets are far more lucrative than the Dutch market. And what could sell better than the first 8xWDC being the only black driver in F1 history. Certainly good PR and it will paper over the lack of diversity in F1 as a whole.
          Money talks and as Liberty know, everything is political.

          1. This is quite some reaching, given the majority of years since the millennium have been won by German drivers. I also think it is highly questionable of you to bring Hamilton’s race into it – please tone back this silliness.

        2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
          13th November 2021, 11:13

          To somehow imply that the press are responsible for Hamilton’s supremacy is petty, and sounds like another poor attempt to diminish Hamilton’s – almost unrivaled – achievements. Makes me wonder where on earth people will dig next.
          Besides, why would the British Press overtly not support a British Driver? Especially since he’s one of the most successful F1 driver of all time and current F1 champion? I’m pretty sure the other domestic markets are equally ‘biased’ (as you call it) Spain… Alonso… anyone…???

          1. @timeslides
            I’ve never seen Antonio Lobato or Pedro De Larosa slamming Hamilton – the way the British journalists did to Alonso after Hockenheim 2010 – after a Mercedes team order.

            To imply that the press are responsible for Hamilton’s achievements is quite silly but I find more silly the fact that some people ignore the huge psychological advantage he has over his rivals thanks to some British journalists who act sometimes like hooligans grilling and bullying his rivals in every press conference and interview.

            That seems to work pretty well against Vettel who was failing badly every time he sees Hamilton in his mirror and Rosberg who retired because he had enough but with people like Alonso and Verstappen with nerves of steel and strong personalities it didn’t work.

          2. How stupid do you have to be to not know the role the British media plays in F1. Their feed is shown across the world and their journalists disproportionately make up the bulk of the F1 press pack. They famously favour their own over their driver’s foreign rivals. Your misguided comparisons with Spain are off the mark because the Spanish media is less powerful and their press members cannot afford to be as hostile as the British press can. Sky/BBC already act like the Silverstone incident didn’t happen but harped on about Adelaide 94 and Jerez 97 throughout Schumacher’s career and constantly diminish Alonso’s character whilst acting like Hamilton is some easy going angel.

          3. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            14th November 2021, 8:31

            @brum55 Let’s not stoop to personal insults now. HAM has also been the subject of untold hatred in the British Press over the years, which sadly, we all know is down to his skin colour. But still, he has become one of the, if not the greatest driver ever, and definitively the best of this era. You know this.

            Yes, the press have influence, but a case in point… if PDR could, he’d marry Max on live TV, such is the love and adoration (Yes, bias) that comes across whenever he talks about him on SKY.

          4. @timeslides Personal insults. A bit rich coming from the guy who started with :

            Another tin-foil-hat ‘aliens stole my Grandma’ moment…

            The arrogance and double standards of Hamilton fans never ceases to amaze.

            Hatred, F1 the media has been a Lewis Hamilton fan channel save 2009-11, where they had Jenson Button to distract them. You should have seen how they treated Alonso in 2007, “ the hot headed Spaniard” a jibe that affected his reputation and followed him through his career. Hamilton and his fans were all to happy to lap up the xenophobia against him when it suited them. I would like for you to find one racist story in the media that constantly deifies him. They also used stereotypes on the likes of Schumacher, Massa and Senna but who cares right?

            Best of his era is inevitable when you’ve been given his privileges throughout his career. He’s been in at worst the 3rd best car in his career but majority the best. Yesterday summed it up, like a computer game on easy mode. With a general aerodynamic advantage, a DRS aid and straight line speed advantage, drivers were powerless to stop him sweeping through whether Alonso, a McLaren or Ferrari. It serves as a reminder of what an advantage Hamilton has had over the field over the last 8 years, a car that dominates like no other in the history of the sport for so long with a second rate team mate for most of them.
            He struggled to put Rosberg away in 14 and 16, outscored by Button in 3 years and beat Alonso by countback after the latter had massively fallen out with the team. Put those three, plus Max and possibly Leclerc in a similar situation as Hamilton has had in the last 8 years and they would obtain similar stats. But of course the biased British media probably had you believe OMG he has da stats he’s da gr8st!

            PDR talks about Max the way Sky, C4, and BBC r5 talk about your boy for the last 14 years. You are too blind to see it.

    2. I think this is such rubbish @brum55.
      I mean, Max really didn’t have to start touching a Mercedes did he, but of course you’ll find a way to spin it. Send them both to the back I say.

      1. I’d say cheating should carry a far harsher sentence than the apparent touching of a car.

        1. @brum55 but the apparent touching of a competitor’s car could well be cheating, could it not?

          1. There’s barely evidence he touched it let alone evidence he applied the force required to lead to the wing gap. I guess anything for “the show”.

          2. @brum55 well that doesn’t answer the question but OK

        2. Firstly Hamilton hasn’t cheated, if anything it’s Mercedes, whereas Max was solely the one that went and pulled on the Merc DRS (having seen the second video) @brum55.

          Secondly, some things have to be black and white. For example crossing the pit exit line, running a front wing 1mm too wide and definitely touching other cars in Parc Ferme. I have seen Vettel do it once before, he should have been punished but because he wasn’t it doesn’t make it right.

          1. Pull! Next you’ll tell me he was throwing it in the air! I agree, Max deserves a reprimand but cheaters need to face consequences in this sport and as Sir Lewis says, he and Mercedes win and lose as a team.

          2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            14th November 2021, 8:33

            @john-h We’ve made a mistake trying to reason with @brum55.
            They’re clearly long-gone.

      2. It’s never been an issue when any other driver including Hamilton looked at other cars, why would it be a problem now?

        If an actions legality is dependent on the standings in the WC, than the rules are arbitrary…

    3. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      14th November 2021, 23:19

      @brum55 Bitter much? Keep those insults coming. They look good on you.

  29. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
    13th November 2021, 8:10

    Keith I strongly believe you need to correct your article. It is not definitive that max touched it.

    Please correct your story to “It comes after video footage emerged on social media in the hours after Friday’s qualifying session that appeared to show Verstappen touching the rear wing of title rival Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes”. It’s not conclusive, so don’t put fake news out there which claims it is.

    1. “appeared to show” @theessence

      That’s not being conclusive or fake news. It does appear to show him touching it.

      1. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
        13th November 2021, 11:29

        “But Verstappen went a step beyond looking: He touched first his own car and then Hamilton’s.“- that is conclusive fake news my friend

        1. Good point @theessence, that’s another paragraph I missed.
          Anyway, I’ve just seen the second view online, max clearly touches the rear wing so it doesn’t matter any more.

          1. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
            13th November 2021, 13:26

            Any sources?

    2. Blaize Falconberger (@)
      13th November 2021, 8:36

      It’s not conclusive that he was inspecting either, so can we also correct the title to read ‘Potential Saboteur Max’ instead of ‘Inspector Max’ while we’re at it.

  30. Part of this whole mess is very easy and clear. GPS data will show Hamilton gained time on his teammate on the fast sections do the result was a pole through running an illegal car. That should be punished severely.

    Touching the car may be wrong, it may be illegal if you apply the rule extremely strict but there is no way that Max could have interfered with the wing even if you can prove he actually touched it….
    A reprimand, a fine, points on the license that’s possible but doesn’t change the fact Mercedes took pole with an illegal car.

    1. I kind of agree @w0o0dy but it would be good to see a precedent of when another driver starts touching (or appeared to touch) another car. Obviously Seb used to give close inspections, but I can’t remember him touching a car.

      1. Correction he has done once, a Red Bull wing mirror, however it looks like he got away with it.

      2. There’s a video in youtube: 2017 Australian GP at Melbourne. Inspector Seb touched Red Bull and Mercedes bargeboards live
        And many times, after the Qualifying, I’ve seen the drivers lean on the rivals car to congratulate the poleman.

        1. People keep pointing out that Vettel touched cars in the past, the problem is the parts he touched did not come under scrutiny for not conforming to the regulations.

          1. Blaize Falconberger (@)
            14th November 2021, 8:37

            And that he wasn’t hauled up about it… some people get away with very serious ‘crimes’ – are those now legitimate acts because they were never punished? Flawed reasoning.

      3. But there is evidence of Vet touching a car (ironically a Red Bull). I think if you search in YouTube you will find it easily. My personal take is that Red Bull had evidence that the wing was wider than it should and have discussed it internally and Max being impatient decided to check it himself using the reliable “how many fingers” is the gap measuring system. Hey given that Liberty is now US we all know how much those guys love measuring in anything other than the metric system. I think its a bit ridiculous to suggest Max actually tampered with the car to break that part. Its in a public view, in front of the whole world to see, with cameras everywhere, to be honest if that was the intention its an act worthy of an Ocean’s Eleven heist. I get the comment that car parts are designed to withstand big loads under certain angles only and can break more easily if pressure is applied differently, but surely such light touch can hardly move it. I mean if he leaned on it fair enough, but just by measuring it with your fingers, surely vibrations going through the kerbs cause more force than that. But hey maybe there is an audio recording of him blowing at it like the Big Bad Wolf. But I think that this opens an interesting point to make. I am all for broadcasting those FIA discussions to the public. There is no secret there so providing full transparency to the general public might make these manners more comprehensible and avoid this speculation among fans of how these decisions are made.

      4. @john-h F1 paddock precedent is that if the car passes scrutineering, nothing more is said about it.

        Which doesn’t help us here.

    2. That makes zero sense woody. The team can be running completely different setups and Hamilton had a brand new engine which is known to provide more power. How can you say if it was extra DRS, extra engine power, better driving skill or setup which cost Bottas time against Hamilton. Getting a good corner exit alone could cause a few kph difference… why do people always say things are simple to try ram home their point, when in fact they aren’t simple at all.

      1. Zero sense… Teams can calculate the horsepower the car makes by analysing gps data. Wing settings, exit speed, reference laps… I am absolutely sure they can prove how much time Hamilton won by analysing.
        The gap to Max and Bottas was significant in the first Q3 runs but was massive in the 2nd run. That car claimed pole by being illegal.

      2. A little insight from Mark Hughes (the race): “Past the start/finish line Hamilton was travelling 3.5km/h faster than Bottas, part of which is down to Hamilton getting a better exit from Juncao (Turn 12) at the bottom of the hill. But not all.

        With the same wing settings, it’s clear that Hamilton’s power unit is pulling harder than Bottas’, because between the start/finish line and the speed trap at the end of the straight Hamilton’s car accelerates by another 3.7km/h compared to just 1.7km/h for Bottas (with neither being towed).

        Given that Hamilton was already travelling faster and that the drag is squaring with speed, to find 2km/h more than the other car between those two points suggests a healthy power advantage.”

        I would say, in hindsight yes maybe the engine pulls harder but at least some of those gains over Bottas are a clear as day effect of the DRS infringement.

    3. Has anyone seen any speed trap data or sector times, I can’t find them on here.

  31. Well there is jurisprudence, we have seen Vettel literally push Hamiltons tire with his foot to have a good look at that and absolutely nothing was thought of it.

    Therefore I highly doubt Max did anything wrong.


  32. This is a s getting a bit ridiculous

  33. Verstappen obviously didn’t tamper with the wing, but gosh he’s made a previously straight-forward situation a lot more complicated!

    I expect RB have suspected something’s amiss with Hamilton’s wing and Verstappen thought he’d take a closer look — and felt the gap. You obviously can’t “feel” 85 mm; he should have left well alone.

    Otherwise touching isn’t “tampering” and I doubt Max will be sanctioned.

    No way is this going to let Mercedes off the hook though.

    1. Is he touching it to see if it flexes?

  34. This is where F1 fails to impress.

    Now Lewis will be disqualified because car is Illegal? By how much? Was wing design Illegal? Or is wing damaged to allow for bigger gap? Is it bending beyond allowed gap?

    Did Max sabotage it?

    What is the penalty for touching rivals car?

    Did he touch the rear wing?

    All kinds of questions come up, but in the end we want to see them race, that would hardly happen if Lewis starts P11, even worse if he starts P20 and gets stuck behind Alonso at P8, while Verstappen drives away in to the sunset with 30s infront..

    Offcorse car is either legal or not legal, howcome Bottas has a legal car?

    In short, nobody wants to see Championship fight end in some steward office.

    Rules should be amended so Illegalities deduct WCC points based on severity.

    If illegality does not effect performance of the car in a meaningful way just deduct points and slap a penalty.

    This was the case I imagine.

    But rules only provision for DNF.

  35. I accuse that it was in fact: Max, in the Parc Ferme, with the crowbar.
    Or possibly Professor Plum.

  36. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    13th November 2021, 9:08

    It’s why the inpounded the entire wing: if it can be proved that it cannot be altered to ‘illegal’ by merely touching it (or messuring it, as that is what Verstappen seemed to be doing), it’s a non-issue. Sure, you are not allowed to touch matrerials bli bla blop, but touching something doesn’t make it illegal. Cheating makes it illegal.

    Slap on the wrist/fine for Verstappen, DQ for cheating Mercedes/Hamilton. And even IF the stewards are too cowardly to do that, Mercedes will still have to make the wing compliant and therefor break parc-ferme. Which results in a pitlane start.

    1. Seems like a completely unbiased view to me @barryfromdownunder lol.

  37. Once again i fear there will no consistency in the FIA’s application of their own rules.

    There videos of seb touching other cars after quali in Parc ferme and not a thing was done or mentioned about it.

    From the videos: both guilty. But a few more questions need answering to get a fuller picture.

    1. But Seb didn’t touch a bit that was later investigated by the FIA. There is a common sense element of applying the rules here.

      If Merc’s rear wing wasn’t under investigation, Max touching it wouldn’t have been seen as an issue.

    2. As my grandmother used to say: “Two wrongs don’t make it right.”

  38. Some key questions:

    Bottas DRS has passed the same test. If both drivers run the same configuration of the wing that would be a point for Mercedes defense. Some people pointed that due to fresh engine, Hamilton may be running different downforce setting to Bottas or even different rear wing configuration. If he runs a rear wing that was delivered recently and hastily deployed there might have been some failure in the construction etc.

    Why was Verstappen touching the DRS area? Has RB something to go with? Did they ask Verstappen to measure/check something for them? But what? If I understand it correctly, the allowed gap (85mm) is only created when the upper flap moves upwards and therefore the gap cannot be measured or even guessed when DRS is deactivated because it is not equal to the width/depth of the upper flap.

    Can Mercedes point to some damage or failure or deformation on the rear side of the wing? Ideally close to the two places where Verstappen seems to have touched it?

    Final question is, will some additional footage appear? The already revealed footage is in poor quality and seems insufficient to make conclusions in either direction. The footage from Hamilton car (rear wing view) will be pretty useless in my opinion since it shows the wrong side of the wing.

    1. Can Mercedes point to some damage or failure or deformation on the rear side of the wing? Ideally close to the two places where Verstappen seems to have touched it?

      This cracked me up :)

      1. Re-reading it, yes it sound funny and awkward. :D

        But we are dealing with details here. If Mercedes can point to some anomaly/deformation on Hamilton´s wing in comparison to Bottas (provided the race the same spec) that would make a DSQ against them controversial.

    2. Tbh if the wing is out of regs Merc have no defence. I should think their only hope is getting the FIA to use a different measurement technique to show the wing is compliant (fitting a disc through the gap seems a bit rough and ready to me).

      1. Ted Kravitz has just demonstrated it’s pretty precise in fact. It’s a short hollow cyclinder — maybe 15mm long — not a disc, and it’s attached to a Newton meter. The ring mustn’t pass through the gap with less than 10N of force — and apparently it did on Hamilton’s car. Manufacturing error?

  39. Why would Mercedes do that? I’m not sure if they will check every peace of nuts and bolts after the qualifying but making the DRS bigger? That’s what they thought would fool the FIA? If the gap is big enough you could even compare them from the TV screen. From that video it looked like that what Max was doing. Measuring the gaps by his hand. I’m not supporting eather of them but it seems like Mercedes should get a penalty but that Max incident looks more leanient. He may have touched it but it seems that he was just measuring and it is up to the stewards to decide what to do.

  40. Immediate 12 month suspension for Max seems perfectly reasonable given the gravity of the rule breaking and cheating he’s guilty of.

  41. This one is easy, both get punishment. Max a fine or reprimande. Mercedes disqualification.

    1. That’s what I also expect. If Hamilton’s car is illegal. If not, then reprimant/fine for Verstappen and nothing for Hamilton.

      But we’ve seen strange decisions given to title contenders towards the end of a season… so anything can happen unfortunately.

      1. You are right. I wrongly suggested that Mercedes rear wing was illegal. It still has to be proven yet.

  42. Sorry but the title is probably wishful thinking.

  43. Red Bull obviously had some idea that Hamilton’s rear wing was suspicious, which is why Max was so interested in it, but what was he trying to “measure”? The DRS isn’t activated in Parc Ferme is it?

    If Mercedes can argue Max somehow damaged or altered the win by touching it then they get off and Max get’s a lifetime ban from the sport.

    (Max fans, I am joking)

    FIA will manufacture some penalty that keeps the title fight alive I expect, they always do, once again they are to blame for not enforcing their own rules, ie Vettel often “inspects” rival cars with no consequence.

    1. I don’t know the details of how the DRS flap works at all, but Verstappen might have been feeling the position of any stops that the flap moves to when it opens. Could be that it’s just the ram that controls the limit of the open position though.

  44. Max should get a penalty during his first win then, he clearly touched the Ferrari on his way to the team. I am amazed it didny fall off.

  45. While unlikely Verstappen could have actually affected the wing given the amount of force the wing withstands during high speed, it still presents Mercedes with the out that the car didn’t undergo scrutineering within the rules

    It seems silly because they were almost certainly bang to rights in breech

    1. That’s the exact point which so many people seem to be missing. The whole “rules are rules” saying works both ways. If a car breaks the rules after scrutineering breaks its own rules, is that scrutineering ruling still valid?

      1. Many criminals and employment cases have been dismissed on the basis that due process wasn’t followed, however guilty the suspect was.
        If there same logic applies in F1 (I wonder why it wouldn’t), then Hamilton would get the out of jail free card Keith is referring to. It is also possible that Hamilton would get out of this situation without any penalty and Verstappen would be penalised/reprimanded. Crazy but true. I have been on the receiving end of such a crazy situation – it does happen more often than you imagine. Logic is applied ruthlessly and in the end, sometimes, common sense does not prevail.

  46. Not getting into the complications and consequences, I just want to say that’s such a boneheaded move… I mean the rule is as clear as daylight

  47. This comments section is pure gold.

    I with the faction that says DQ Max (or move him to the back of the grid) for touching Lewis’ car. Simply because I want to read that headline!

    “What a time to be alive” – Jasper Beardsley

    1. Which was deemed to be conform regulations after qualifying.

    2. That is why I throw shade at the stewards, pretty visible, some cars do that a lot, Alpine and RB.
      Want to talk about parc ferme? Everyone touches each others cars, everyone interacts with other people before getting weighed, just now in Mexico Bottas’ caddy made him chug a litre of water before getting to the scales. Then there is the “Max you need to put on more weight” shouts after his very first Austria win. Finally a cacophony of cars that seem to fail scruteneering only after their best results.

  48. Vettel touched rival cars several times. Videos showing this on Youtube.

    1. Not in the same situation, be usually nosed around after a race

  49. Innocent until proven guilty, imho. So if there is no footage of Max actually tampering with the car, he didn’t do it. He barely touched it, if at all

    The illegality of the car remains proven and should therefore be excluded from qualifying.

  50. Its purpose is self-evident: It prevent drivers from interfering with their rivals’ machines before they’re checked for legality.

    What an absurd claim. It’s to prevent mechanics from changing their own car. That’s the entire goal of parc ferme, not to protect a car from competitors.

  51. I think for sprint weekends those who comment on the forums and social media should decide which rules apply or don’t; and to what degree they should be reinterpreted.

  52. petebaldwin (@)
    13th November 2021, 12:47

    This is genuinely hilarious – very much reminds me of the whole Trump had the election stolen argument…..

    1. As entertaining as this situation is, it reflects poorly in FIA and F1 as a whole. Hamilton should have been penalized yesterday and if they had suspisions Verstappen had anything to do with it then investigate and penalize him as well. They cants NOT penalize Hamilton since they need to change the rear wing anyway whether that happened by Verstappen, the wind or it cheating.

      They way its being handled currently is like they are grasping at straws over a completely until now black and white decision for the sake of the champinship fight.

  53. So many unqualified assumptions from Keith Collantine. First, it’s not clear from the footage presented that he actually touches the car. It looks like he’s simply using his hand as a reference for measuring the size of something. Secondly, it’s not at all clear that he was investigating the legality of the DRS. It seems more likely he was simply comparing the amount of wing they were running.

    1. Hey, but 224 comments and counting!
      As long as this site can defend Hamilton/Mercedes and get clicks, all is allowed.

  54. I have read rumors that Newey and some senior RB engineer visited stewards one hour before the start of Q. They reportedly presented there some evidence concerning the rear wing of Mercedes.

    1. The attributed source is AMuS, but I have not found that claim at their site anywhere yet.

  55. Does this mean RB or Max suspected the wing was illegal? I always question to what degree does scruteneering work. Like haas has an illegal wing on their best result, never before, or Renault’s brake bias are only deemed to be illegal on their best result, and not the previous 3 years or the saubers had illegal wings even though they were the same wings they’d race for a while, Ham happened to be behind them in Hockenheim.
    During the mclaren v ferrari days this was a constant. Who scrutineers, the fia or your peers?

  56. We’ve seen Vettel inspect other drivers’ cars many a time in the past and Lewis has fiddled with his own car this year in Styria, so if the stewards want to now stop this behavior, it would be a de facto change in rules. It seems that this rule has so far been applied only to engineers. I believe that a rule change, de jure or de facto, where formerly acceptable behavior is no longer allowed, should be communicated before a penalty can be given. So at most they can then reprimand Max.

    I see many people demanding that this is penalized if Lewis gets penalized the wing violation, which may be emotionally logical, but this is completely nonsense from a rational point of view.

    I do think that there is a significant chance that the rule will be changed now and perhaps Max penalized, because we’ve seen before that the stewards are anti-Max and are prone to make knee-jerk anti-Max rules.

  57. Why was Max checking the rear wing? Lewis’ wing looked the same as Perez’s in the side by side drag race in P1. It’s funny that there were 1000 frames to compare them next to each other and they looked the same.

  58. This is a sterile discussion… one is a sporting infringement, the other a technical infringement, they will (or at least should – given the trust rating for FIA penalty record) be punished separately!

    And all of you blokes saying that DRS systems are too fragile to be “handled” be people, or that they are made to be operated in only one direction because otherwise “they’ll get out of spec”, just give a good look at all 180º or 360º spins at high speed and tell me how many times did the DRS systems opened, and/or how many penalties were awarded for those “infringements” similar to what Mercedes is being charged of now! And don’t give me lame excuses because the FIA may take those spins into account when evaluating the DRS operating ranges.

    Also, and before any of you wan’t to give me that cr*p that Max touching is strong enough to move the flap or force the mechanism, take a good thorough look at Max’s Silverstone crash and check for the DRS system being completely shut when facing the “wrong” direction of operation at 180mph!

    “Fanboyism” is taking precedence over these simple facts… simple truth is stated in my opening lines…

    To all you Max and Hamilton fanboys… get over it and face the reality of things!

  59. What if he not even touched it? Just used the fingers from a close distance to take an approximate measurement?

    Quite silly, as he seems to know the rules well, and applies them quickly, for example the effort of trying to prevent Bottas from getting the fastest lap at last race, was something and so quick that a race engineer could be proud of that if comes up with that so quickly.

    Are there new videos/images from other angles of this inspection? Because at and around the pitlane there are so many cameras, cameras for example recording the pitstops, there is the media, there should be super sharp images of it.

    And by touching, someone can get much more information than by looking? I have doubts about it as the wing or DRS was at a closed state there, naively I think that touching for 1-2 seconds not gives much more information than just looking at it.

    So in short the whole case seems to be dumb, and instead of having a decent Interlagos GP, another favorite of GP mine is likely ruined, after amazing premises, just like Silverstone and Spa and this year. I would like to see Verstappen as a champion, instead of the tendencies (since the Schumacher era – as I watch F1 since then) going on and people seeing less and less champions in their lifespan, because with the current trend it is maybe already about that, with these reliabilty requirements, and more and more buisnessified F1. But still I was very unhappy with the possible penalty for Hamilton. If he goes to the back of the grid, Verstappen has a much likelier championship, and we have a much less exciting race.

    If it goes to the court, imo Daimler has more money to apply the best law specialists, than Red Bull, they are not in the same league when it is about the scale of the whole operation in the background. It would be better to have stronger sporting authorities, and less manufacturer influence. The often referenced road relevancy I do not care. I can abstract away from F1 cars reliability when I look at road going cars. Large rims are not “formula cary”, and a niche with 20 cars like this not necessarily has to be green (to me not at all, despite of I’m quite green hearted), but it should be entertaining and should be highly competitive.

    1. So I think, I’m not an old petrolhead, for loving the older era. Many are much more of that. I like the electric cars as well, both is nice for some reasons. The electric ones, for the achievable balancedness and for maybe being the future. The historic ones, for their roaring brutality. Play real simulators, turn off aids, understand the characteristics, find viable setup alterations, and try them, once someone gets on with them it is amazing even as an amateur (imo much more than the current Codemasters game), and for the best it is safe. Viva the literally thundering downshifts of the Nissan Silvia Turbo, fitting some stove pipes on your rear end was a great idea :)

      To be a bit more nasty towards a current trend, the large wheels are reminding me of the old wooden carts’ wheels :) Not super aesthetical to me. I would have gone with 1 inch less diameter on the tyres, and 1 or 2 inch smaller diameter rims, to have more formula car-ish proportions. The new wheels are not looking bad on the mule cars, probably a bit better than I expected, but I see no beauty there (maybe in the functionality).

  60. Loved Horner’s comment. All racers check out their opponents’ car.

  61. Someone needs to start selling “Modified by Max” decals. I could put it on my pickup truck near the dent on the gate where I backed into a tree.

  62. So he used his hand to measure his and Merc’s wings. And now Merc are claiming he somehow damaged it.

    Talk about a desperate and dirty team. They can’t comprehend that a better driver can beat their two rocketships, that they have to blatantly lie about a fair competitor. Max might be annoying to some but one thing he is not is a cheat.

    I hope Red Bull now walk away with both championships and expose Merc for the clowns they really are.

  63. This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time: parc ferme rules, isolation, and scrutineering checks are not strict enough. After any session where scrutineering is to take place, nobody should be allowed anywhere near the cars except the FIA delegates. In fact, nobody should be allowed anywhere near the drivers until they are weighed. It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that someone could plants a weight on a driver while they are hugging and apparently celebrating. Granted, there are so many cameras on them that it would be difficult, but why allow there chance?

    This is like track limits. Make the rules and procedures tougher and there is less opportunity for anyone to break them, less controversy…

  64. Prove that Max touched Lewis’s wing. A video from across the track shows Max’s hand in close proximity to Lewis’s wing but doesn’t actually show Max touching the wing.

    1. He clearly removed his gloves to feel the nooks and crannies and fiddled for about three seconds the edge of the wing and under the flap. Not sure which video you were watching.

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