Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Interlagos, 2021

Stewards made Verstappen call without his forward-facing video of Hamilton incident

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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The Sao Paulo Grand Prix stewards did not have access to a potentially crucial piece of video footage when they made their hotly-debated decision not to investigate whether Max Verstappen forced Lewis Hamilton off the track at Interlagos.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff called the decision not to examine the incident “laughable”. Verstappen and Hamilton ran wide at Descida do Lago, turn four, while the Red Bull driver was defending his lead on lap 48.

The only footage of the incident from Verstappen’s car shown on the worldwide television feed was from a rearward-facing camera. The perspective from the forward-facing camera above Verstappen’s cockpit, which would have revealed his steering inputs, was not broadcast.

FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi confirmed the stewards also did not have access to this footage when they made their decision.

“It hasn’t been obtained yet,” Masi confirmed. “It’s been requested.”

“It’s only the cameras that are broadcast is basically what we have access to throughout the week,” he added.

Masi admitted the footage could reveal significant information. “It could be, absolutely,” he said. “Potentially, absolutely.

“But no, we didn’t have access to it. Obviously it’s been downloaded and once we do, and once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we’ll have a look.”

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“The forward-facing , the 360[-degree footage], all of the camera angles that we don’t get live will be downloaded and we’ll have a look at them post-race,” he added.

However Masi denied the decision not to investigate the incident was “inconsistent” with past penalties. He pointed out teams had previously agreed to a philosophy of judging incidents referred to as “let them race”, which Red Bull sporting director Jonathan Wheatley alluded to in a conversation with Masi which was broadcast during the race.

“You judge the incident on its merits and you have a look at all of it. And let’s not forget, we have the overall ‘let them race’ principles, and looking at it all, with all of the angles that we had available, it was that philosophy was adopted.”

“They’re, give or take, about side-on-side,” Masi added. “So I think that for the benefit of everyone, it was the ‘let them race’ and [we] let them race.”

However Masi admitted he considered showing Verstappen the black-and-white ‘unsporting conduct’ flag for the incident, before he was shown it for weaving while trying to keep Hamilton behind later in the race.

“It certainly came into my mind, and then had sort of looked at it a few more times and it wasn’t far off a black-and-white flag, to be brutally honest, for Max.”

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2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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236 comments on “Stewards made Verstappen call without his forward-facing video of Hamilton incident”

  1. The stewards are comedians

    1. Spot on! It’ s 2021 and High technology era… FIA and stewards brought the sport into disrepute!

    2. F1 has been lending its comedians to MotoGP in 2021.

      1. That’s very surprising to hear. I was under the impression that the stewards had access to all sorts of data and video that we didnt see. But now we find out that they see the world feed too. So what was the decision based on (other than this ‘let them race’ principle that he refers to)?

        1. I guess it was all an illusion about stewards having access to “data” and additional feed along the Sassy Masi have ruined the sport. In last couple of months even MotoGP has been showing signs of inconsistent stewarding along with favouring certain riders while penalising quite similar to F1.

        2. They see more than the world feed, they see all the available onboards, but each car only broadcasts one camera position at a time. The rest are saved in the cars and downloaded afterwards.

          The stewards have all the driving data — accelerator, brake, steering angle etc — but I think they only look at that if there’s an investigation — which there wasn’t. The incident was merely “noted”.

        3. Most people here (including the authors) forget that the stewards decided ‘not to investigate’.
          It seems more than logical that you make that decision based on only part of the possible information (otherwise they are actually investigating).

          PS doesn’t mean I agree.

          1. jff, what is angering a lot of people is we have the contradiction from Masi claiming during the race that the stewards had looked at the situation thoroughly, but then the admission after the race that footage Masi says could be of significance was not available or considered at the time.

            The earlier comment from Masi during the race gave many the impression that they were looking at all possible video footage and had also looked at other data as well. However, these subsequent comments by Masi suggest the stewards were not being as thorough in their investigations as he claimed they were being at the time.

          2. anon,
            I don’t know what angered a lot of people, but it cannot be Masi’s Inconsistency; he has been consistently inconsistent.
            Also it seems a lot of people are so entrenched in their support, that any apparent (non)decision against their hero will anger them.

            I’m not sure who decided ‘not to investigate’ (I thought it was the race director rather than the stewards), but it was clear from that decision that they did not start an exhaustive evidence gathering (let alone review) process.

    3. Luizzi was a steward? Ummmm, Who did he drive for?

      I can’t quite recall, has anyone looked it up?

    4. This creates a really bad presidence which Verstappen and Horner will take into the coming races. On the plus side the stewards declared Max’s weaving on the track as a Black and white flag, so lets see if he continues to do that.

    5. I don’t understand why a simple ‘investigate after the race’ statement wasn’t issued at the time, if all the details weren’t available, which can be frustrating and opaque in its own right, but at least it ensures all the right considerations are taken into account and the right verdict and associated penalty is administered. We’ve seen this happen so many times but what concerns me most is that the stewards already knew a penalty should be issued but chose to take no further action because of who it would penalise. It’s blatant and obvious to even the most casual fan. It feels, with the rule changes pre-season, like there has been a behind the scenes mandate to have another driver crowned champion this year and the governing body have lost perspective in their pursuit of this goal so far that it questions their fairness and impartiality. Shame on you FIA!

  2. So they thought it was close to a black and white flag, but not close enough to be investigated.

    1. Tommy Scragend
      15th November 2021, 1:02

      Masi thought it was close to a black and white flag.

      The stewards did not think the incident needed to be investigated.

      The race director and the stewards are different people.

    2. Masi admitted the footage could reveal significant information. “It could be, absolutely,”
      “It certainly came into my mind, and then had sort of looked at it a few more times and it wasn’t far off a black-and-white flag, to be brutally honest, for Max.”

      Now, with the footage available to FIA, will they investigate it and give it a B/W flag treatment which would mean DSQ from the race result, as two B/W flags mean DSQ, or tap on the wrist 5 sec penalty?

      FIA and RB burned so many midnight oils to find “significant NEW information” to get an investigation in the past and has been successful in some cases, will this be one of them? I m hoping it is a B/W flag result to get this schmuck who is mocking and disrespecting not his competitors but also race officials too, to learn some hard lesson!

      I hope merc push for an investigation and follow up with it unlike in the past…. Others (cough Red Things cough) have done so many pushes for investigation with even made up information…

      1. I know there is no B/W flag for the second, it would be black and DSQ right away. so if the video reveals b/w flag kind of result (2nd time as he already got one) would he be DSQ from the race result? i hope they do, and not 5sec anymore :)

        1. come to this of this again, that would be absolutely appropriate and most hilarious “hi, max we got your message” response ever to this disrespectful man

          1. come to think* damn no edit

          2. Well, looking at the reactions on your remarks you have at least one supporter :)

        2. It is impossible to apply a second B/W retrospectively since the first one is meant as a warning to prevent further transgressions. There is no change Max would have been swerving with an existing B/W flag.

          Mercedes can probably push for a 5-second penalty though as it would benefit Bottas provided the onboard footage turns up as significant new evidence.

        3. I garantee if anything, it will be 5 second penalty, as it wont effect anything. Max will stay second and punishment will be served, whilst ticking all boxes and having no effect on the standings.
          F1 certainly seem to have been at odds with the paying fans with, everything this year, decission wise.

  3. Strange, it was working absolutely fine and was totally accessible 5 minutes before when Max pitted. We rode onboard with him as he stopped!

    It was weird that it wasn’t accessible to anyone at that moment. Every camera bar the important one was shown live or as replay.

    The cynical side of me thinks it was very convenient not to show it because that benefited ‘the show’ (and the championship) having them fight it out on track.

    1. @mrcento

      Strange, it was working absolutely fine and was totally accessible 5 minutes before

      It was available before as that was the camera that was live at the time but as Lewis got closer the feed was switched to the rear facing camera.

      Since 2016 F1 has been able to pull live feeds from every car but they can’t have every camera on every car active so have to switch around the available angles on each car depending on which the director wants to use at any given time. This is the way it’s always been in F1 & other categories due to the bandwidth limitations of the system.

      They do have the ability to record the footage from every camera on a car to internal storage on the car but that can’t be downloaded until after the car is back in the garage after post race scrutineering.

      1. To add. The current system does have the capacity for upto 26 onboard camera feeds (In-case they get a full grid of 26 cars) to be live so they do have the ability to have 2 (Or more) cameras live on ‘some’ cars but again they can’t do this on every car & which angles are active on each car comes down to not only what the world-feed director wants to show but also what they want to display on the pit lane channel, F1TV onboard feeds or if they want to pull some footage from a particular camera for other reasons.

        The FIA only have access to the cameras that are live at any time. If a camera isn’t live they don’t have the footage until it’s downloaded later on. That is again the way it’s always been & in fact it’s better now than it used to be as when the onboards were analog only 4 cameras could be live & when the system was upgraded to digital in 2005 that only boosted it to 9. It’s only been since 2016 that they have been able to pull live feeds from every car & F1 is still to my knowledge the only series that is able to do that.

        1. Amazing insight as always @gt-racer. Don’t they have steering input telemetry though if the camera is not selected at that time?
          That aside, although I understand why from your detail, it does seem a bit odd from a sporting perspective that the stewards base their decisions on random camera availability that isn’t consistent for different incidents. Ultimately for this incident I really don’t know why any on board footage is needed anyway, the live feed was all that was needed.

          1. @john-h

            Don’t they have steering input telemetry though


            If the stewards opt to investigate they will have access to all the telemetry as it all goes through the FOM system now. They can also request additional telemetry & any downloaded onboard footage post race.

            I forget the same of the system but the stewards have some software that give them access to all camera angles including onboards, broadcast cameras & cctv as well as telemetry, Timing, Tracking & team radio as well as analysis tools & ways to compare/analyse the footage they have available.

            Sky did a feature on it a few years back.

          2. Thanks for the link @gt-racer.
            I should state that although I didn’t particularly enjoy Max’s driving, the bit that got to me the most was the ‘no investigation necessary’ part, which to be honest I couldn’t quite believe.
            Much of the systems you describe presumably would be called upon had an investigation been deemed ‘necessary’. Here I guess Masi is at the behest of the stewards themselves, but I have no idea what they were thinking as a collective.

            Anyway, thanks for the Sky link – will watch in the morning.

        2. Excellent info and link. But there is absolutely zero, and i mean ZERO chance that they didn’t have Max’s front camera angle active at that time, with everything on the line and wanting to catch every angle of the 2 title protagonists, catch any contact, any controversial movement defending or any attempt for him having a go back, have a front view available of Max approaching lapped cars in the middle of that battle even, there’s no way they just (effectively) turn off his front facing camera in that battle.

          Lewis had his front and rear ones active. Why would they have Lewis’s rear one active and not Max’s front one when ultimately, what was going on with Max and what he was doing in car was significantly more likely to be more important/more broadcastable than what was going on behind Hamilton when he wasn’t under any threat of attack from anyone?, It seems unthinkable somebody actually made that decision to take away what would be a very important angle in the context of the race and the championship.

        3. @gt-racer thanks for that insight indeed!
          I genuinely thought it was the race engineers that choose the camera angle , for engineering / strategic / monitoring reasons, I was wrong!

          But so then, do each team have access to all angles, independently from broadcast? For example, should a rear wing break, could they have a look at all times with the rear camera?

          1. @spoutnik All the broadcast cameras on the car are produced, owned, supplied & operated by FOM who also handle the TV broadcast’s for every race apart from Monaco (That may be changing next year).

            Teams only have live access to the same footage viewers do although they can request access to footage recorded from other angles on the car & if that footage exists then they will be given it. They can’t however request footage from other teams cars but are of course free to view what is made available publicly.

            There is also an FIA safety camera placed at the top of the halo looking down on the drivers which records to the data recorder at 300fps. This camera isn’t available for broadcast & only the FIA have access to that footage for accident analysis although again teams can request access to it.

        4. But jesus christ what were the producers, camera operators, whoever the hell directs the show, thinking when they decided to show max rear wing and a empty road at when the car had already been overtaken… they must have been sleeping, drunk or high as hell… its not like we are talking about some back markers here, these are the two championship protagonists…. Scandalous!

    2. @mrcento I think they use the ones that F1TV also uses when following a single car. I checked Verstappen’s feed after the race, to see what happened. As Hamilton got close, Verstappens feed changed to the rear view, for obvious reasons… Although it’s annoying they didn’t change it the moment Hamilton passes, but I guess they don’t have a person controlling every feed from every car, so an instant reaction is probably not really going to happen.

      Speaking of F1TV and slow reactions: The displays for the pit lane channel has been uncharacteristically lousy this week. Very slow to change their own displays when the main feed changed to something they were already showing in another display… Maybe the car feed guy has been given control of the PLC feeds as well? ;-)

  4. The standards, explanation, transparency and consistence of Race Direction and the Stewards has been disgraceful an got worse throughout this session.

    Been said before, but its time for a fundamental review and revision of the Public & Private codes and regulations, but the Technical, Safety and Environmental management systems.

    A nice project for the new President. Unfortunately looking at candidates, more continuity.

  5. This is astonishing!
    So what on earth are the regs on what constitutes “Let them race” vs “punish driver for breaking rules”.

    This seems very dodgy indeed. They investigate all sorts of things far less serious than this incident so why did this warrant them to not investigate? Surely the correct thing to do (if they did not have all the data and footage) was to investigate after the race? How can they decide it was a racing incident without at least seeing Max’s steering input? That is the minimum I would expect them to check!

    I think this warrants an appeal or even a legal case by Merc… We have seen this before when Hamilton won his first world title (Still as far as I am aware the only driver to ever have been penalised for simply leaving the track – not only that but it was a 25 second penalty!!!!). It stinks.

    1. It won’t matter – it’s clear F1 and Red Bull are in cahoots here. It was a drive through at minimum…

      1. Tommy Scragend
        15th November 2021, 1:03

        Drive through!!!

        Keep taking the pills. If it had been investigated it would probably have been a 5-second time penalty. Absolutely no chance of a drive through.

        1. @Tommy Scragend
          “It certainly came into my mind, and then had sort of looked at it a few more times and it wasn’t far off a black-and-white flag, to be brutally honest, for Max.”

          if he was given b/w for this, plus the initial one, that would be game over for max, straight DSQ from the race. so this is no joke! 5 sec would really be just a tap on the wrist but it would at least be consistent with everything prior given to others. This should have never been rush “no investigation necessary” but more of slow “will be investigated after the race”. It was serious, as RD himself thought it was worthy of a B/W flag… Dont understand how it was simply brushed off

          1. You are really a “sporting” guy it seems. If Lewis becomes champ it’s because of his stunning drive and not for clowns asking for DsQ.

      2. If that was a drive through, hamilton should’ve probably been taken out of the championship (like schumacher in 1997) for silverstone! Whatever the penalty for verstappen here, hamilton’s in silverstone has to be worse.

        1. @esploratore1 Right, the incident where Verstappen saw Hamilton was on the inside but turned in anyway…

          1. Both the incidents are similar in the sense that the driver on the inside braked optimistically late while not on the racing line. Considering the 10-sec penalty for a full contact, there is no way this can be any more than a 5 sec penalty.

          2. @f1g33k not sure if this logic makes complete sense though. At Silverstone, Max was on the outside and didn’t take any avoiding action (but could have). At Inter Lagos, Lewis was on the outside and did take avoiding action.

            Your implication is the driver more at fault (on the inside) should gain a harsher penalty if there was contact. This suggests that had Max taken avoiding action at Silverstone, despite Lewis’ actions there being completely unchanged, he would receive a more lenient penalty. And had Lewis not taken avoiding action at Inter Lagos, Max would receive a harsher penalty.

            This seems to be a case of the end result altering the penalty, which I don’t agree with. If you go into a corner with intent to ram someone off the road, the penalty should be the same where you succeeded or not. Same applies if you were negligent (but not intentional) in going round the corner.

        2. geoffgroom44 (@)
          15th November 2021, 10:16

          you conveniently omit any reference to Monza.any reason? “Verstappen was penalized after the race for the crash”.

        3. What!!!
          Have you seen the onboard live feed? I can see why yesterdays feed wasn’t released. Max saw that Lewis was next to and made two attempts to turn in thinking that Lewis will back out. In the end he went ahead and turn in, like Alonso said Lewis cannot disappear. Its not even close. Schumacher “deliberately” tried to ram Villeneuve car in attempt to damage it. You are just clutching at straws if you think it’s the same. The FIA said Lewis was more culpable (meaning they were both at fault)

    2. Not at all. I get the Lewis adoration but let it not blur what racing is. skip to around 08:00

  6. So can we finally put to bed the old commentator chestnut of “well the stewards have got access to all the data and all the angles we don’t”?

  7. Masi is a joke.

    1. @herberto they must have something on him – he’s clearly compromised.

    2. The decision not to penalize Max was a joke.

      Masi had nothing to do with that decision. It comes from the race stewards. Please understand the difference.

  8. I know we have a race next week in Qatar, but I wonder the odds in Mercedes launching a protest against this. Just to note that Bottas finished within 5 seconds of Verstappen. If Verstappen is somehow miraculously penalized in the most extreme, because I don’t think Mercedes will launch an appeal, he would lose 3 more points.

    1. Which is absolutely unfair, penalise him immediately and you can bet he’d have still been 2nd; this way he managed the pace since he had no penalty.

      1. Yes, and so any penalty resulting from investigation of the key evidence after the race has finished should apply to the next race IMO.

    2. They certainly need to at least ask for clarification on the rules, specifically exceeding track limits *, crowding another car off track and gaining and advantage by going off track.

      * I’m not sure if track limits applied to T4 here.

  9. This is just appalling from Masi, as usual.

    1. @fer-no65 I don’t think he has a choice in the matter – Masi’s clearly unable to make a decision of his own as there will be consequences from Red Bull. What’s happening isn’t normal at all…

      1. @freelittlebirds Masi doesn’t make the decisions, the stewards do. All he can do is refer an incident to the stewards for them to consider. Just as Hamilton’s rear wing was referred to the stewards by the scrutineers on Friday.

        1. @scbriml obviously he does more than that – otherwise, why would Horner contact him? I agree with you but I think there’s more to it than we know. It’s like VAR, you pass on the information but it’s pretty much decided if they want the ref to review it.

    2. Reported in error, apologies.

      1. Not an error. That was clearly intentional, sucker.

  10. The problem is Max could afford a collision, Hamilton not. Stewards, did you not think about that?

    Why not consider this after the race when you have the footage?

    Next race, Max can afford a collision, Hamilton not. Warning!

    1. @davidjwest

      The problem is Max could afford a collision, Hamilton not. Stewards, did you not think about that?
      Why not consider this after the race when you have the footage?

      Irrelevant because applying this reasoning it would make the driver defending helpless in most of close encounters. The question is if Max pushed him off track or gained advantage by going off track. But both went off track by braking late and there wasn’t contact, so why penalise? If Lewis had positioned his car right and not braking so late like Max, he could have had the overtake done in the next corner. It was one of his few mistakes this weekend in what was an amazing display from him overall.

      1. Irrelevent? How? Most drivers know when they have lost a place and need to ceded position, Max clearly doesn’t, he has a major character flaw that means he never gives up or backs down even when his position is hopeless.

        Hamilton doesn’t have the ability to predict the future, he only knew Max was going to brake so late once he tried to turn in and saw he couldn’t as Max was there. Hamilton did well to avoid a collision, if they had crashed do you feel it’s still no penalty needed?

        If this move is deemed legal it sets a dangerous precedent.

        If it’s legal to brake so late that you can’t make a corner, they need to remove the track limits rule and the gaining an advantage by going off track rule, that will cause more problems.

        1. @davidjwest

          Irrelevent? How? Most drivers know when they have lost a place and need to ceded position

          Not when both went off track.

          Hamilton doesn’t have the ability to predict the future, he only knew Max was going to brake so late once he tried to turn in and saw he couldn’t as Max was there.

          He should predict how he would be going to make the corner. If he inisisted in a line where he would be forced to brake late too, then that’s on him. If he had taken another line, he would have had the position afterwards, like Giovinazzi did after Alonso outbraked himself at COTA. Do you rememeber that incident? Alonso gave the position back to the Alfa Romeo driver. Maybe not even that would be needed at Interlagos, given the nature of the run-offs.

          Hamilton did well to avoid a collision, if they had crashed do you feel it’s still no penalty needed?

          Yes, contact may warrant a penalty, depending on how it happens.

          If this move is deemed legal it sets a dangerous precedent.

          No, it’d set a precedent of entitlement over a racing line. Like if a driver couldn’t choose it by himself.

          If it’s legal to brake so late that you can’t make a corner, they need to remove the track limits rule and the gaining an advantage by going off track rule, that will cause more problems.

          At last, I agree. But did Max gain advantage? Even that is questionable, as well as the fact that both went off track make this situation not like other cases that were way more simple.

  11. Why would they need that camera angle though? Hamilton was ahead, Verstappen should leave him space and yet he simply drove off track. Why do you need more camera angles? It was 100% clear from whatever camera footage viewed.

    There have been plenty of penalties for that. Rosberg did it a few times. They even blamed Hamilton for it in Silverstone, but he actually kept his car on track. And he had the racing line. So what gives?

    Is it because Verstappen always opts to crash into people? While other drivers would rather give space if they could and then there is no actual crash. No crash no incident. Is that it? In this case Hamilton was driven off track though even without contact that should be noted as an incident.

    1. @f1osaurus I don’t know how he gets away with it. Pastor Maldonado is fuming – he only wishes he had the same contacts that Max did to muscle race control.

      Again, a very dangerous moment with Lewis avoiding a massive accident.

      1. @freelittlebirds Yeah it’s weird how or rather when this changed. Because I also remember they were coming up with penalties for Verstappen for nonsense. In cases where he didn’t actually do anything wrong other than being in Vettel’s way or something like that. But then perhaps that was it. The nearest title defender against Mercedes gets a free pass.

        ANd people who say this is about hard racing which “we” want to see. It is not. It’s equivalent to below the belt punching in boxing. This “we will crash if you don’t stay behind or let me past” nonsense is killing racing. There is no overtaking Verstappen other than on the straight. And then his fanbase pretends it was only because Hamilton was in a faster car. When it was Verstappen’s own driving error again (besides Portimao and Silverstone etc) that caused him to be slow enough to be overtaken.

        Imaging how they were driving an illegal rear wing for almost a full season and they got no penalty whatsoever. Other than having to spend half a million dollars on designing a new rear wing that was actually legal. And they got several races to get rid of it!!! They were using automated and therefore illegal pit stop technology which Mercedes was told they couldn’t use. Yet Red Bull were using that for ages. And again they got several races to get rid of it!!! Then there was the illegal low running pressures in Baku, but then for that they did get a penalty in the form of a burst tyre.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          15th November 2021, 2:31

          @f1oSaurus Verstappen is impossible to pass without severe risk to your life. Lewis expected the crash and avoided it…

          1. @freelittlebirds

            I don’t think Bottas and Sainz nearly die in the sprint did they? You are making this seem massively over dramatic based on your much loved driver being involved.

          2. geoffgroom44 (@)
            15th November 2021, 10:18


          3. @thegianthogweed yes, Verstappen will let others pass him without incident – he chooses to crash

  12. “They’re, give or take, about side-on-side,” Masi added. “So I think that for the benefit of everyone, it was the ‘let them race’ and [we] let them race.”

    What happened wasn’t racing. It was lunging into a corner with insufficient control of the car to stay on the little ribbon of black stuff where the actual racing happens.

    1. Agreed. At the very least it was unsporting. It looks very much like Max opened his steering too.
      You just don’t put our car on the outside of him as he will run you off track!

    2. It’s so funny that Masi considered the benefit of everyone at this occasion when the stewards penalized HAM with disqualification for a 0.2mm difference due to a broken part of the wing, when that same wing did pass the test just before the qualifying. Tells a lot about RB and the FIA marriage. I just hope MERC lodges a protest and gets away with 3 places drop to MAX for the next race.

  13. someone or something
    14th November 2021, 23:33

    The very same people think Verstappen’s steering angle was all-important are the people who thought Hamilton’s steering angle didn’t matter back at Austin 2015 (when he forced his own team mate off the track in the first corner).
    In other words: Nothing to see here, just more of the “Verstappen touched Hamilton’s wing” type of whataboutisms.

    1. In Austin 2015, Hamilton was more than half way up along the inside of Rosberg (in fact even fully alongside) and therefore had the racing line. Rosberg simply has to make space as long as Hamilton stays on track. Which he did. No incident whatsoever. Rosberg should have yielded (which he knew really, but chose not to to make a point as usual)

      In Brazil, Hamilton is more than alongside and well ahead even on the outside and therefore has the racing line, which means Verstappen needs to leave space. Instead Verstappen blunders straight off the track through Hamilton’s line. Go watch Germany 2016 when the same happened to Verstappen at the hands of Rosberg not making an attempt to make the corner.

      Or watch Silverstone 2021 where Hamilton is halfway alongside, has the racing line, so Verstappen needs to leave him space, but Hamilton gets the penalty for “not hitting the apex”. Did you see Verstappen hitting that Apex in Brazil? No huh? Where is his 10s penalty then?

      1. Max should have gotten 20 seconds penalty as he was miles away from hitting the apex.

        1. yeah the apex argument from some Cristian guy came to mind… what happened to never making the apex on the inside… one wonders

          for his defense, max nobody, should be expected to make this kind of moves and it is acceptable right for max kind of personality :)

          his comments again should read like this for this race
          max stuck a wheel in a corner that you just just know that you never do that :) he was never near making that corner…. unfortunately driver of his “max” caliber is expected to make these kind of moves and driver of his “lewis” caliber is expected to avoid a contact….
          unbelievable hypocrites

      2. Cracking analysis.

    2. Thanks !!
      I’m not the only one to think that !
      What about Lewis pushing Perez in pits entry in Turkey ?
      (It was understeer and completly normal)

      I wonder what they would have say the other way arround.
      And … what did Bottas on first lap ?

      1. Perez should have gotten the penalty for driving off track and gaining an advantage.

    3. Hamilton made the corner in Austin 2015. Yesterday Vestappen didn’t. That’s a significant difference.

  14. Wouldn’t the stewards have had data on his steering angle anyway so wouldn’t need the camera? I’m sure I’ve seen that graphic on screen before (although could be thinking of formula e).

    As a side note, if Verstappen could have turned in a little earlier it would probably have been an illegal overtake for Hamilton so I’m glad it was a definite overtake later instead of another debate.

    1. No need to see any more footage. It was a dirty move by Verstappen. And they didn’t colide cause Hamilton avoided it. Simple as that.

    2. @glynh The stewards didn’t look at any data because they decided the incident didn’t need investigating.

  15. What a joke
    what’s next? Massi saying “Well since Max said he didn’t do anything wrong we believed him”?

    1. Ahah, that’s a good one.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        15th November 2021, 10:21


  16. F1 is a complete joke. They’ve made the sport into a complete joke.

    Masi is clearly unqualified to deliver a pizza, let alone being in control of races.

    1. it’s not Masi’s job to hand out penalties, the stewards do that . clearly the stewards were aware of the case, so I think you’re barking up the wrong tree

  17. Just baffled by the whole process here, and really not understanding at all why it would be relevant what steering angle Max was setting. Intent is not at issue here.

    Just take the issue of forcing another driver off the track off the table for now: Max went all four wheels off at the turn that was specifically being monitored for track limits and gained an advantage. That should settle the matter right there. He was behind (but alongside) Hamilton at the start of the braking zone, and then pulled ahead as a result of braking later, so much so that he was not able to make the corner.

    If Hamilton had been on the inside and stayed on the track, and Max had gone off by braking too late and rejoined ahead of Hamilton, it would be a clear-cut penalty. So how can it not even be worthy of investigation when he did all of that and forced another driver off the track? Just bizarre.

    1. Max went all four wheels off at the turn that was specifically being monitored for track limits and gained an advantage.

      Masi and FIA stewards are now absolutely fine with Max leaving a track at a specifically monitored turn and gaining an advantage. 1997 Jerez collision between Michael and Jacques is the one Masi and FIA stewards must look at to understand what type of driver is Max.

      1. Tommy Scragend
        15th November 2021, 1:06

        How on earth does an incident that happened when Verstappen was one month old tell you anything about what type of driver he is?

    2. @dkor +1.

      He went entirely off the track, forcing another car off as well, and gained a lasting advantage. That’s what matters, not whether he meant to do it or not…

      1. Let’s go Masi!

    3. This exactly. I actually have no problem with Max running Lewis wide since Max was sufficiently alongside and was on the inside. The driver on the inside should always be given the racing line provided he’s not making a suicidal lunge at the end of the braking zone (or is actually on the outside of the previous chicane like Max at Monza). If you watch Alonso and Hamilton, they always run others wide when they’re on the inside and always expect to be run wide when they’re on the outside even if they’re slightly ahead.

      The problem is that Max went completely off the track to maintain his position. Lewis was off the track also but only because he was forced off. Gaining a lasting advantage is the issue for me here, not forcing your opponent off the track. This should have been a slam dunk 5 second penalty.

    4. Yes, quite baffling that they completely ignored all of that, as well as quite a few recent cases of far less obviously “crowding a driver off” where drivers WERE penalised and concluded it was not even worth the bother to investigate @dkor

    5. @dkor

      I agree with you that this is how the rule should be, but in the past they’ve repeatedly allowed the lead driver to exit the track without consequence, so it would be unfair to suddenly change the rule now.

  18. “Ron, having looked at it all completely,” Masi responded, “it was one of those – and obviously we’ve had a good look at it, that’s why we’ve gone with no investigation.”

    Also Masi:

    “But no, we didn’t have access to it. Obviously it’s been downloaded and once we do, and once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we’ll have a look.”

    Masi in a nutshell.

  19. Masi really giving a lot of detail as to why he isn’t fit for the job sadly. I say sadly because he’s a nice guy, and that’s probably his undoing. Amazing really. What happened to this ‘let them race’ attitude at Silverstone?

    1. @john-h When you’ve been left room and you still take a guy out for the day, how is that a ‘let them race’ moment? How was Max left to race? Had LH been able to keep control of his car and use the space given him, or back out when seeing he never owned the corner, and had there been no contact, that would have stood a much better chance of being a let them race moment.

      1. When Hamilton ran wide at Silverstone, Verstappen could have also run wider @robbie.
        When Verstappen ran wide at Brazil, Hamilton chose to avoid contact and run wider @robbie.

        For the record, I don’t agree with either. If you scour back through the comments back at Silverstone I believe the Hamilton penalty was just, and I believe a Max penalty (or at least an investigation) would have been just. If Wheatley wishes to come on the radio to Masi saying “Let them race” then perhaps don’t act the way you did back at Silverstone with all the comments made by the Red Bull team.

        1. @john-h But I think this is where it comes down to the subtleties of each incident, of all incidents, and is why sometimes there is an investigation, and ensuing penalties, and sometimes no investigation at all.

          Imho in Silverstone Max owned the corner at all times and LH never had enough of his car alongside for any sustained amount of time such that Max needed to go wider than he already was. When Max needed to leave room, which is generally on entry to a corner when someone has even a bit of their car beside, he indeed left room as noted by the stewards. As the action ensued Max had left room, LH didn’t take advantage of it, and hit Max. LH (et al) has shown us many times, particularly against Nico, that at some point after one has left room, one can then close the door when one is in the stronger position in terms of real estate and racing line.

          Yesterday both drivers where pretty much alongside each other the whole time for all intents and purposes. Max ran wide sure, and I think LH would have done the same in his shoes, as he has himself shown countless times.

          As I say, I think once there is contact and particularly a driver taken out for the day, can they (the stewards) really just say ‘let them race?’ One driver has been taken out of his chance to race by someone who has stuck his nose in where he couldn’t make it work and therefore where it really didn’t belong. Yesterday both drivers belonged side by side going into that corner.

          I would add too that there were numerous times that Nico was derided not just by LH fans but even by the Sky commentators for expecting to go on the outside of LH and make that stick. Different story I’m sure yesterday if LH was further ahead of Max while on the outside, but they were pretty evenly alongside such that that is why I think the stewards only took note of the incident. Nobody really owned the corner so they let them race it out.

  20. Irrelevant. They are both off, who cares whether Max opens his steering wheel or not.

    1. Look on Hamilton onboard camera. He was safely making the corner, it was the Red Bull car he had to avoid.

    2. You would prefer a collision @peartree? Seriously I thought you’d become a little more reasonable these days.

    3. I wonder why Hamilton went off the track. By your reasoning, it’s OK for a driver to force another off the track, so long as the victim swerves to avoid a collision.

    4. @john-h

      Irrelevant. They are both off, who cares whether Max opens his steering wheel or not.

      This is important for the question. Both outbraked themselves and as such are responsible for this situation.

      You would prefer a collision @peartree? Seriously I thought you’d become a little more reasonable these days.

      Commiting to brake late and collision were not the only options, you’re stating a false dilemma here. Had Hamilton positioned himself better going into the corner as Verstappen braked too late instead of joining him in the outbraking feast, he would have the overtake nailed and only his rival outside the track. As it happened, it was similar to Alonso’s overtake on Giovinazzi at COTA which didn’t stick, with the difference that in this Interlagos incident both Hamilton and Verstappen went off track and the driver outside was defending, not attacking. That’s why the stewards didn’t actually need this “opens his steering wheel” distraction, which is very arbitrary and subjective, btw.

      1. Yep I’m with you @rodewulf with the last bit, all that faff about the steering is a little irrelevant. It’s clear from Hamilton’s onboard however that he braked significantly earlier than Max to make the corner and would have stayed on track, but the Max divebomb which was always going to lead him into the runoff meant he had to take avoiding action. It’s clear as day on Hamilton’s onboard to me at least, it wasn’t that Hamilton had much choice other than to hold his ground and have another collision with Max, which would have no doubt been penalised. What is important for me is that Hamilton is significantly in front of Max before they brake, and you can see how much earlier Hamilton brakes to actually attempt to make the corner.

        1. @john-h

          It’s clear from Hamilton’s onboard however that he braked significantly earlier than Max to make the corner and would have stayed on track, but the Max divebomb which was always going to lead him into the runoff meant he had to take avoiding action.

          Yeah, one important point is if Max did it intentionally or it was due the fact that he was on worn tyres. How did Giovinazzi make the corner despite that “Fernando divebomb” (to maintain the nomenclature) at COTA? Probably because he was not so far ahead alongside his rival entering the corner. So you always assume a risk when you overlap the racing lines with your opponent on track. Of course it there was contact the responsible would be penalised, but in this instance it would set a complicated precedent of previous entitlement over an ideal racing line. If blocking is forbidden in all circumstances even in the absence of contact, how could one properly mount a defensive line? When Norris did something similar in Sochi nobody complained, as it could be argued that he blocked Hamilton quite a few times, and it had been this way specially because the track was in intermediate conditions. So if Verstappen was in worn tyres, the reasoning should be the same.

          1. The thing is even if he had worn tyres, he should brake earlier to compensate @rodewulf, he’s an extremely talented driver he knows exactly what he’s doing there, I don’t think worn tyres is any excuse at all. Besides the Fernando incident, didn’t he stay on the track? Again I have no problem if the driver on the inside takes the racing line if he is alongside, but Max had to effectively not brake to drive Hamilton off track, and then also didn’t even make the corner himself, so at very least he’s gaining an advantage. I find the comparison to COTA completely different I have to be honest.

            And the absence of contact you mention at the end, it’s all down to Hamilton taking evasive action. The penalty shouldn’t have anything to do with whether contact is made. For the record I was totally fine with Max doing a similar thing to Alonso when nudging Leclerc off at Austria, but this really isn’t the same. I think most Max supporters can see that, but fair enough you’re arguing your case!! I just don’t personally see it.

          2. Just to add, have a look at Jolyon Palmer’s analysis on YouTube just posted @rodewulf, he explains it much better than I can.

          3. @john-h

            I don’t think worn tyres is any excuse at all. Besides the Fernando incident, didn’t he stay on the track?

            One time he overshoot the corner, leaving the track and rejoining ahead of Giovinazzi, and later he had to give the position back. In another incident Fernando banged wheels with Gio and the latter left the track, then rejoining with an advantage and being ordered to give the position back. It was a race full of action for Fernando in Austin, indeed!
            So the comparision I made is that when Fernando missed the braking point trying to overtake Gio, I don’t think the Italian driver was in the equivalent position of Lewis alongside Max, and for that reason he could make the corner after Fernando crossed the line in front of him. Maybe if he was further ahead, he would have to brake later too or else they’d collide. He didn’t assume that risk of overlapping the racing lines as I explained. So the argument is that not only Max but Lewis himself had contributed to that deadlock situation of having to brake later like Max, and it was no longer a choice for Lew on that moment when the was about to make the corner but Max was blocking him, however it had been a choice prior to that.
            Now I understand why Masi said that this incident “almost warranted a black-and-white flag” for Max. He left his rival without choice between causing a collision or leaving the track, but it was something avoidable by his own opponent in the building of the scene. Something like that, if repeated more than once, probably should be a case for penalty, like weaving on track in front of other car.
            About the race director, most people who say he has been doing a terrible job are partisans, actually. Or better, the stewards (whose decisions people mistakenly attribute to Masi, as a matter of fact) have been consistent with the rules but in the end those rules, which are too convoluted, are the major problem. And they may have failed to apply penalties in one or more cases when they should, but most of the decisions they actually made have been correct, at least given the rulebook that Formula 1 have. Maybe some were correct but not entirely fair, but this is another story.

    5. @peartree I fully agree, although I’m not sure if we’re reaching the same conclusion. Max overshot the corner by probably more than 5 meters:

      I guess the penalty would be different if they considered Max purposedly pushed Hamilton off (opened his steering wheel), or if they considered Max just couldn’t make the corner safely (full steering lock), but that to me is a penalty nonetheless. Otherwise the precedent is that you can just force a rival to take the outside line when overtaking, then divebomb without any possibility of actually making the corner and either push your rival wide, or crash into him.

      1. It’s funny that Verstappen only had a problem with that corner on the one lap where Hamilton got ahead. The other other 94 times, he got round it just fine.

        1. geoffgroom44 (@)
          15th November 2021, 10:24

          +1. precisely. That is what drivers at this level do, precision.

  21. All Masi needs is a Red Bull shirt and trousers and he’d be a full team member.

    1. Let’s go Masi!

    2. While I agree on this occasion, Max was wrong, it is a nice counterbalance vs FIA having done ALL they can to support Mercedes this year. Flexiwings, tyre change (in-season!!!!), pitstop change, bowling Bottas, Silverstone). Tainted, hollow championship year should Mercedes get away with all this.

      1. “Tainted, hollow championship”

        The thing is you could easily argue it the other way, with Red Bull getting all kinds of compensations, flexi rear wings but testing legal, non-penalties after bully-like driving, touching rear wings, etc. Ultimately Merecedes are doing the same thing as Red Bull, they are both as good or bad as each other, and *some of us* can see this. Note – You also can’t lump the Bottas incident into that category, it doesn’t make anyone take you very seriously unfortunately.

        1. Neither does ‘non-penalties after bully-like driving, touching rear wings, etc’

          1. MB and RB often push technical boundaries as teams, but Max himself is a dirty driver that cheats. That’s the difference.

  22. How is this “let them race”? It’s exactly the opposite. This despicable “we crash or you let me stay/get ahead” bullying is the opposite of “racing”. It makes it completely impossible to overtake someone. Unless it’s a DRS assisted drive by on the straight. Granted it needs the following driver to be clever to force the lead driver into a big driving error, but hardly anyone sees that since they only replay the drive by part of the overtake. Not the clever dummy thrown the before to male the lead driver lose the exit speed.

    Besides it shouldn’t be just about that. “Racing” is two cars going side by side through a corner together fighting for position. This is never going to be possible with Verstappen and his ugly bullying way of blocking and/or crashing.

    They should crack down hard on this kind of behavior. If a driver has the racing line he should be given the space to make it through the corner on his own terms. Otherwise how are they ever going to be able to overtake? In a corner.

    1. @f1osaurus and yet, it’s how championships have been won by legends of the sport in the past.

      You’ll get over it.

  23. So the 1st and 2nd cars for the race and championship are battling and F1 doesn’t have their cameras on. I can buy that. NOT.
    Let’s go Masi

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th November 2021, 2:40

      @jimfromus clearly that footage has been deleted :-) As well as all footage of Verstappen touching Lewis’s which we need to see on Twitter… This weekend will go down in the history of F1 as “Winggate”. There are so many strange things about this weekend.

      All we need is for a whistleblower to come out and a new racing series will probably may need to be created.

  24. Verstappens has been a dirty driver defending since he entered F1, it is his worse element and that makes him unlikeable to many fans.

    1. It has got to a point where Max’ s dirty driving spoils all the joy from watching F1 races. It is impossible to rate a race, too. How can you rate a race where blatant cheating goes unpunished?!

      1. I feel the same about Mercedes

  25. If Max wins this championship it will be the least deserved championship winner since Michael Schumacher. Both get get away with far too much and it’s plainly wrong.

  26. “However Masi admitted he considered showing Verstappen the black-and-white ‘unsporting conduct’ flag for the incident, before he was shown it for weaving while trying to keep Hamilton behind later in the race.“

    What? They didn’t want to hurt his feelings with a second black and white flag? That comment is bizarre.

  27. Not leaping to any conclusions but the driver steward this weekend was Viantonio Liuzzi.

    He was a Red Bull man for a long time. Might be meaningless?

  28. The B&W is a warning. If the turn 4 incident had taken place after Max was shown the B&W in the race, then it would be legitimate to retroactively DSQ him for a 2nd offense, after being warned.

    However, that incident took place before he was warned. So it wouldn’t count as a 2nd offense after a 1st warning.

    That said, it was still a violation of the rules, and IMO (which may be biased, since I don’t like MV or RB) deserves a time penalty. Just not a DSQ.

    1. A retroactive time penalty is unfair, he’d drop behind bottas while he could’ve easily been ahead even with a 5 sec penalty had he been warned DURING the race.

  29. The stewarding system has fallen fowl of making inconstant decisions multiple times over the last several seasons, this allows the obfuscation of dodgy calls. For every decision called out by a team or driver Massi can point to a counter decision that supports his argument.

  30. They’re, give or take, about side-on-side. So I think that for the benefit of everyone, it was the ‘let them race’ and [we] let them race.


    It certainly came into my mind, and then had sort of looked at it a few more times and it wasn’t far off a black-and-white flag, to be brutally honest, for Max.

    So maybe if Masi sort of did his job a bit more he might have insisted there was an incident to be investigated?
    It seems blatantly clear that they didn’t want to decide the outcome of the race via a stewarding decision. But Masi’s comments suggest a penalty was, in fact, in order and therefore they may well have affected the outcome of championship by allowing Verstappen second place in the race instead of a probable third. What is more riling is the clear disparity between how Hamilton was disqualified on a technical issue over a part damaged in qualifying while Verstappen was given two passes on his deliberately wild racing. Hence I’m simply not confident we’ll see fair treatment from Masi and the stewards in the run-in to the championship.

    1. @david-br what is more blatantly worse is that RB cars has been replacing their wing flaps (or entire rear wing) three times in a row and nobody questioned their validity! Merc one had one fail by 0.2mm from 10-85mm one and at the 85mm (open state) and this is cause for concern, yet RB wing was flexing by an arms length not by less than a mm, noone saw problem on this….

      they re def trying to get max the wdc under table games. max has been given so many passes on his already (established among all other drivers) controversial moves.

      1. @mysticus Exactly. I mean, FIA contrive to simultaneously come down heavy on wings, DSQing Hamilton from qualifying for a millimetric infringement that made no performance difference whatsoever, while becoming totally relaxed about ignoring corner limits and driving another driver off the road by taking the corner two metres out wide yourself, both favouring Red Bull and Verstappen. Masi’s nonsensical comments (being polite here) about ‘almost a black-and-white flag’ but ‘let them race’ only add to the sense of ‘whatever works for Red Bull and Max, fine by us.’

  31. This thing isn’t going to be very fun if Hamilton can just pass everyone like they are standing still. What the hell is going on. He might as well take a new ICE every race and just take the penalty if it is going to be this easy!!!

    1. And he will. Next race he is scheduled for a new power unit again. This is the beast mode from the past. Its maths. You take the penalty, but the rocket makes up for it. Its all legal too.

      1. What is the value of the ICE? Seems like all of these new units would put them over the cap.

  32. Although Max deserved something stronger than “no investigation”, I think they would have spoiled the race and stolen a true victory from Hamilton.
    They did the right thing, and adopted to the situation. For example, if that happened on lap 68, that would be different I believe.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 9:15

      It is being inconsistent. Remember penalties are applied regardless of the following consequences. So without regard that a car has crashed or not as a result of the incident. And it should be without regard for what it means to the championship.

  33. I think the penalty was inconsistent with past precedent, but I would seriously hate to be a steward in this situation, knowing that you will make a call that may swing the championship completely. It reminded me of Vettel in 2019, where he technically broke the rules, but given the circumstance, fighting in the heat of the moment, wasn’t given the benefit of the doubt -as Leclerc was in Monza the same year – and it therefore felt like a harsh penalty.

    1. A five sec penalty would have hardly swung the championship imho

    2. Making a decision influences the championship, true; but not making a decision also influences the championship. This is why making the right decision is always better. I hope the right decision will now be made.

    3. Roly, but does that not then apply to every decision that the stewards make, because that could impact on the finishing position of any team in the WCC and thus influence their championship performance? Why would it be acceptable to make a decision that might influence the finishing position of a team or driver further down the order, but to then refuse to take action for a driver or team at the front of the field when they are subject to the same rules?

      The same standards should be applied across all teams equally, and the stewards should not be shying away from making a decision because it might impact on the championship when the fundamental purpose of their role is to make decisions on the enforcement of the rules.

  34. They should have had the telemetry and thus steering amgle input, brake presure etc

    1. Exactly, this stinks.

    2. At this point I question whether they would sctually be able to interpret such data correctly…

  35. Now we can truly appreciate what a great figure Charlie Whiting really was… :-(

    1. Indeed @nordmann. Still miss him.

    2. Totally. If only he was in excellent condition up until he decides to retire, Baku 2021 wouldn’t have happened.

  36. Missing a piece of information is not the same as adding proof of bad intentions.
    It’s well possible and even likely the outcome would be the same.
    They noted the situation and decided not to take action.

    I get it hamfan are a bit dissatisfied but that’s life.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 9:18

      Without the crash that followed just cast your mind back to Silverstone on the racing line that Hamilton took.
      All the angst was because of the crash. Hamilton on this occasion showed Verstappen what he should of done that day and avoid the collision.

  37. Stuff & nonsense.
    This horrendously flawed decision was 100% based on what the viewers could see.
    I.E. What these biased, scrupulously unfair decisions; can be got away with.
    The whole let’s get LH debacle is an ignominy & brings their office into disgraceful disrepute.
    Their Race Director has become beyond a joke. He’s brought that position into the same disrepute.
    Whole nonsense driven by the “spectacle” demanded by LibFlix.
    As for the final nail in their coffin of the now blatant persecution of LH.
    His fine for undoing his seatbelt on his in lap?
    He undid his seatbelt so that he could raise the Brazilian Flag high enough out of the cockpit.
    His gesture of respect to Brazil, the Brazilian crowd & his hero Ayrton Senna.
    Did more for decency, honest open emotion & true fan base adoration, than anything LibFlix have managed all season.

    1. He undid his seatbelt so that he could raise the Brazilian Flag high enough out of the cockpit.

      If I undo my seat belt to wave a flag outside my car, the cops would also be justified to fine me. The seat belt rules are for safety, while the desire to wave a flag about is far less important.

      1. “while the desire to wave a flag about is far less important.”

        @aapje I’m sorry but I can’t take our earlier conversation very seriously when I read this. Hamilton got his fine, just like Max did with the rear wing episode. You’re really showing your bias here sadly.

        1. @john-h

          I’m not sure what you are on about. I’m not disputing the fine, but Andy’s assertion that he should not have been punished.

          1. Indeed, my bad @aapje. Apologies, I over stepped the mark here.

  38. No wonder, but even if Max’s forward-facing T-cam view provided new evidence, I’m not sure if penalizing him afterwards would be necessary anymore since he eventually lost the lead anyway, although since Bottas finished 3.080 sec behind on the chequered flag, Merc might push for a five-second penalty, which would be unsurprising.

  39. The article itself and most of the comments truly show that this site is really Lewisfans, being utterly biased. Basic facts get ignored in favor of a narrative that paints the stewards as conspiring against Lewis.

    Fact is that for technical reasons, only one feed from the car can be sent. They chose to send the feed pointing at Lewis, which is the camera that would see any contact. This seems completely reasonable, as they can’t reliably see contact (or the extent of it) from telemetry.

    Fact is that they can see the steering angles from the telemetry, so they didn’t need the feed to see if Max opened up his steering or such.

    Fact is that they’ve allowed the lead driver to go off track to defend, but not for the chasing driver to go off track to overtake, as we’ve discussed a lot in the past. So for better or worse, this is consistent with previous decisions.

    1. Ummm no, that’s not how it works.

      1. Yes it is. And this decision shows it.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          15th November 2021, 9:21

          This implies then that the events at Silverstone did take the consequences i.e. the fact the crash into consideration.

    2. The basic facts are that what you see as Lewisfans is in fact just people being more knowledgeable about the sport than you. Being less biased than you. And knowing better than you what is just.

      Max deserved a penalty. Argue with that and you show only ignorance and bias.

    3. Wow, how could I guess that you would spin it that Max didn’t do anything wrong @aapje?! Of course, Max would never do anything wrong.

      How do you feel about Silverstone now? Still letting them race?

      1. @john-h

        I didn’t say that he didn’t do anything wrong, but that precedent is that a defending driver can break too late and leave the track, without being penalized.

        Silverstone was very different, so you are just showing your bias again (as you continually do, while claiming to be unbiased).

        1. What precedent exactly @aapje? Could you elaborate please.

          All the ones I can think off, the driver pushing the other off has actually stayed on track themselves, including Max on Leclerc for which I completely supported Max on this website, so I’m not actually biased like you clearly are. How can you possibly defend this driving and be a fan of F1? I really don’t understand.

          I know it’s terribly hard for you, but don’t you think this time Max might have just overstepped the mark slightly? Maybe just maybe?

          1. Also, some Max fans clearly don’t agree with your assessment @aapje, you can also see me arguing for Max not to be punished for the rear wing touching right here:

          2. @john-h

            There are plenty of precedents where the defending driver went off the track, yet didn’t have to yield because they were deemed to not have a lasting advantage.

            How can you possibly defend this driving and be a fan of F1?

            I’m not defending his driving, but arguing against your reasoning. That you can’t tell the difference is abundantly clear by now, though.

          3. So you haven’t given a single example, and also I presume think that Max didn’t gain a lasting advantage then.
            You try and take the moral high ground @aapje, claiming you’re always right, whilst some of us admit our mistakes and have contrition. My reasoning is that you shouldn’t gain a lasting advantage off track, and you can’t bully or crowd people off track like that, it’s pretty obvious what my reasoning is.

            There are many comments on here from people that are not Lewis fans, and yet you continue on with your nonsensical comments instead of maybe once admitting you might actually be wrong.


          4. @john-h

            Yes, that’s your little spiel, claiming to be impartial and to change your mind easily…

            My reasoning is that you shouldn’t gain a lasting advantage off track

            Yet this is not how the rules have been interpreted so far by Masi & the stewards…

          5. @aapje

            “Yet this is not how the rules have been interpreted so far by Masi & the stewards…

            Ok, I’ve been very reasonable and I’m giving you a chance to cite a single example of what Max Verstappen did on Saturday and how that was permissible in the past. Please can you enlighten me below of when this was acceptable. For the record I have always supported what Max did to Leclerc in Austria precisely because he stayed on track when taking the racing line. Can you please give me an example, I am asking you very kindly. Thank you.

          6. RandomMallard (@)
            16th November 2021, 8:47

            @john-h There are other occasions of drivers pushing other drives off and going off the track themselves. The most recent one I can vividly remember is Stroll on Ricciardo towards the end of the Styrian GP in 202p. On that occasion, the stewards investigated, but decided not to punish Stroll.

            For the record, I think Max should have been penalised btw. I’m just pointing out that this isn’t the first time the FIA have let this behaviour slip, and not just from Verstappen.

          7. Yes I remember that @randommallard, also another one that looks like it should have been punished but you’re right it is quite similar – I think it was 2019. At least this was investigated, perhaps they saw something on Stroll’s onboard!

        2. Explain how Silverstone was “very different”

    4. @aapje unfortunately, there are several untruths in your post – for example, whilst you say that “they can see the steering angles from the telemetry”, in that same interview, Masi also explicitly stated that, because the stewards only noted and did not formally investigate the incident, the stewards did not look at any telemetry data from Max’s car.

      The only things that were looked at are the long range camera tracking shots – there was no examination of Hamilton’s onboard cameras and no examination of any of Verstappen’s steering, throttle or brake inputs, either based on telemetry or on onboard footage.

      If anything, therefore, the article is incorrect for omitting information that undermines your arguments and confirms the stewards have not looked at anywhere near as much data as you claim they did. Do you still think that is a satisfactory performance from the stewards when they are consciously choosing to omit quite a lot of data?

      1. @anon

        Yet if they had, the lack of footage from that specific camera wouldn’t have precluded them from figuring out how Max was steering. So the premise of the article is wrong. It’s just red meat for the Lewisfans.

    5. @aapje I’ve learned not to argue with people who are consistently wrong as it’s impossible to argue with them. There’s good reason why you’re always wrong 😑.

      1. @freelittlebirds

        Go play outside, child.

        1. Just trying to shut down people @aapje is pretty immature. The irony isn’t lost on us.

          1. @john-h

            The guy attacked me, but of course you go after me. How typical. I’m done with you for now.

          2. It’s kind of like listening the Trump administration, the guy didn’t ‘attack’ you at all and then I read the patronising response. Been on this site since 2008, never come across such immaturity, I think I’m also done. Please see my comment above and respond. Thank you.

          3. But what about the namecallers? They ARE the primary target, you know?

    6. @aapje We’ve had disagreements in the past, but I agree with you 100% here.

      Not to mention that by letting it slide we weren’t in a situation where the race winner finished the race in second place and Hamilton was forced to make the move on track (where it should be).

      Ultimately this is just another case of track limits. If they didn’t want this to happen ever, put in a gravel trap. They’ll both take much more caution into the corner.

      For me, for once, I was actually glad the run-off was there because it allowed several attempts and we got a few more laps of great racing which had me on the edge of my seat.

      1. @justrhysism

        Ultimately this is just another case of track limits.

        Exactly. A big reason for the mess is because off-track excursions are not punished naturally.

        A way to overtake a car that brakes extremely late is for the chasing car to brake earlier and take the corner as slow in, fast out. Yet that is harder to do with these big and heavy cars, as well as with the lack of punishment for off-track excursions (where quite often, the fastest line is off track).

  40. People are going tunnel vision on Hamilton so hard. Have you watched Austin this year?

    The drivers were running each other off track all race at t1 similar to what Hamilton did at the start of that race with Verstappen and even punished those who were run wide by giving the place back if they overtook out of the track.

    It was bad but hardly the most ridiculous thing we’ve seen from the stewards. Besides the arguably hard-done one – Hamilton in the end won, this wasn’t even remotely a Silverstone case.

    1. You are right that there are plenty of examples of pushing a car wide and that being allowed.
      The case here is that VER was not able to take the corner himself, so was clearly not in control of his car. He also has no valid excuses, he was not forced to make any move, he chose to defend, he chose to brake late and him leaving the track was a consequence of those actions. So he chose to not use the race track and gained a lasting advantage.
      HAM (in my opinion) did not chose to leave the track, but had to in order to avoid a collision with VER’s out of control car. That VER was not in control of his car to stay within the track is the key point to all of this.

      1. HAM almost killed VER at Silverstone! Forgotten?

        1. @ronald-1972 Apply the rules to Silverstone, as applied to this incident and no, Max almost got himself killed in that one…

        2. According to Masi, the outcome of an incident doesn’t dictate the penalty.

          Also Hamilton, would also have come off worst yesterday – if he’d followed the Max mission statement ‘you, me or both – as I never yield’.

          Max’s defence at Silverstone remains the daftest thing he’s done this season. It’s cost him as much as 33 points. He let’s Hamilton go, remembering that it’s Lewis who’s behind in the WDC, then gets him later in the race. Or he ends up second and loses 7 points to him – instead of 25.

          If he loses the WDC. Silverstone will have cost him, but not for what Lewis did, but for his inability to think he always has the right to defend.

          It’s a weaknees. Lot’s of us have pointed out that it something that often comes back to bite him.

      2. In most cases where the inside car pushes the other car wide, that inside car remains on the track. Verstappen seems to have been going for the collison. Go figure. As he said, he did everything. The stewards should have enough experiance to recognise his motives and penalise him accordingly.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 9:25

      It was perhaps the saving grace of the stewards. In other races a driver may only get one chance. How about when Charles pushed Hamilton onto the grass wherever that was now. His only good chance came and went?

      1. It was Italy 2019 and yes Charles was a bit extra aggressive since he factored Hamilton would chicken since he was in the title fight. Both drivers basically admitted that much then. But that’s part of the game IMHO.

    3. You’re right, it’s nothing like Silverstone. Silverstone was a 50:50 where no penalty would have been just. Here 100% of the blame goes to Max, and no penalty is an absolute mockery.

      1. I’m having a particularly amusing morning seeing some people defending that bully-style driving by Max @lordlambert, I hope you are too :)

        Personally, I still think Lewis was more to blame at Silverstone, but Max could have avoided it just like Lewis did here so the comparison is pretty just.

        1. They’re bending over backwards and showing just how biased they are trying to defend that. I can accept a difference of opinion in Silverstone. I stand by 50:50 and no penalty but if someone wants to go 60:40 on Lewis then whatever.
          But even attempting to justify Maxs defence in Brazil as “hard racing” is lunacy.

          1. Spot on.

            Masi, who I’ve defended on here – just looks idiotic.

  41. The problem I have with this incident is how the stewards deal with key data that’s missing…

    At the time of the incident, the critical camera angle wasn’t available, and they knew it would only be available some time after the race finished. It therefore would have made sense for the stewards to explicitly state, during the race, something to the effect of…

    “Key evidence is not currently available and it will therefore be looked at after the race. If any penalty needs applying as a result, it will apply to the following race event.”

    This seems to be exactly what they are doing, based on what Masi said afterwards. But if they had a standard process in place for dealing with investigations after the race, due to missing evidence, they could have made the situation much clearer for everyone.

  42. “He was travelling at such a speed that he was never going to make the apex of the corner and his trajectory through Copse meant he was never going to miss Max, even with braking he ran very wide after the accident.

  43. I hope Mercedes appeal, and Max gets the penalty he so objectively deserves.

  44. Is it only me, who wondered why on earth Hamilton got a drive through penalty at Silverstone, for actually doing less than what Max did yesterday. Let’s remember this wasn’t a lenient penalty, i.e. 5s added. It actually cost Lewis in excess of 30s.

    I’ve protected Masi before but he is all over the place. He’s tried to be too smart for his own good

    Consider this;-

    1) He states that there’s a ‘late em race’ policy. But clearly if one is taken out of the race, that can’t apply
    2) That means the ‘outcome’, i.e. severity of an incident has to be getting considered
    3) But after Silverstone he stated that outcome’s weren’t considered

    We all know that they have to be take into account the result of an incident (i.e. outcome) as otherwise it has no relativity. If you’ve messed up and taken four cars out as opposed to getting one car to run wide – naturally you are going to give them a bigger penalty

    I’d have no problem with yesterday, if Hamilton’s Silverstone incident had been treated the same way – because of Masi’s ‘no outcome’ comment.

    1. @banbrorace At Silverstone the fact is that Max did his job of leaving LH space when he needed to. It was deemed LH hit Max in spite of Max doing his part. When Masi spoke of not taking into account the severity of the outcome he means that whether it was a slight nudge that might have just spun Max, or the slight nudge that sent Max into a wall at very high speed, it was still contact, and thus LH’s penalty.

      I believe yesterday was only noteworthy because in that case both drivers were quite alongside each other the whole time, nobody owning the corner, so they were allowed to race it out. Shoes on the other foot I think LH would have done exactly what Max did. Run him wide. LH has done it many times before to his fans and the Sky commentators delight.

      1. @robbie Leaving space is not the same as only leaving the tiniest amount of space for a car on the standard ideal line. Deep, deep, deeeeeeeeep down, even you must understand this.

  45. It is interesting that DiResta, a Max fan, on the Sky analysis thought incident should have been penalised as it sets a precedent for drivers that if they are over aggressive then it will be ignored as a ‘let them race’ decision.

    I have thought for some time that the Verstappen style of ‘move out of my way or crash’ was a recipe for disaster at the speed and G levels these cars achieve. If it becomes a common approach it is ever more likely that it will result in serious injury or a death.

    1. Sadly I think you might be right. The problem is Max seems to think he’s doing nothing wrong with this style of driving, which makes it all the more dangerous. He is super fast, an amazing driver, and I love his no-nonesense attitude sometimes, but some of the very agressive bully driving has been over the line this year. The problem is he doesn’t have any contrition whatsoever and neither do a large part of his fan base either. This is where the stewards must step in, but they don’t seem to be doing so. Not great.

      1. Amazing driver. Close to the worst racer on the grid.

      2. geoffgroom44 (@)
        15th November 2021, 10:42


      3. @john-h

        Max seems to think he’s doing nothing wrong with this style of driving

        I doubt that is true. He’s infuriated if others do even remotely the same to him.

        The problem is he knows he will never get a penalty when people around him don’t have the determination to go for the crash.

        So there are two outcomes in his mind.:
        1) The attacker yields. Job done
        2) The attacker turns in and they both go off. Still job mostly done.

        This kind of abhorrent driving is constantly rewarded by the stewards. I think it started in Austria 2019 when the stewards didn’t have the guts to take the win away and penalize Verstappen for ramming Leclerc off on purpose (showing first how he could follow the rules and the second time just rammed him off)

        It even got so ridiculous that when drivers try to brake out of being turned into, they actually get the penalty because then they suddenly they seem “behind”.

        1. Yep, but I have to say personally I didn’t mind the Austria one too much @f1osaurus as he was slightly in front, had the inside line and also stayed on track when nudging Leclerc over the kerb. This recent one was much worse, essentially carrying too much speed knowing he wouldn’t make the corner and running off track when crowding Lewis out, essentially gaining a lasting advantage which is what many commenters on here take issue with.

    2. geoffgroom44 (@)
      15th November 2021, 10:42


    3. And it cost him anything from 18 to 33 points at Silverstone. That’s what happens when you decide to defend, no matter what.

      Note, Hamilton now knows when to yield – so yesterday despite his need for the lead been more desperate than Max was at Silverstone, he realised that he’d be out of the race if he didn’t.

      Always amazes me how some Max fans, never saw it this way.

  46. geoffgroom44 (@)
    15th November 2021, 10:39

    It must be,despite the bravado, very discouraging for Max and RB to observe that all their efforts,on track, behind the scenes with FIA spurious complaints, in Parc Ferme and through the media to win this title by any means possible…get totally destroyed by a man whose excellence is just ‘out of this world’.
    Before this weekend I was ready to cancel my F1 TV subscription as I have just got so tired of all this ‘bitchiness’ being reported in the media.
    Once again it is Lewis Hamilton that has risen above it all and given us a weekend to talk about for decades to come.

    FIA need to thoroughly investigate this incident and apply rules consistently if Formula 1 is not to become a WWE spectacle.

  47. geoffgroom44 (@)
    15th November 2021, 10:40

    It must be,despite the bravado, very discouraging for Max and RB to observe that all their efforts,on track, behind the scenes with FIA spurious complaints, in Parc Ferme and through the media to win this title by any means possible…get totally destroyed by a man whose excellence is just ‘out of this world’.
    Before this weekend I was ready to cancel my F1 TV subscription as I have just got so tired of all this ‘bitchiness’ being reported in the media.

    Once again it is Lewis Hamilton that has risen above it all and given us a weekend to talk about for decades to come.

    FIA need to thoroughly investigate this incident and apply rules consistently if Formula 1 is not to become a WWE spectacle.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      15th November 2021, 10:41

      sorry, tried to correct the link reference but it didn’t function

  48. I don’t really understand you lot. Why the need for an investigation/penalty at all?! There was no contact, both drivers went off, both drivers continued, Hamilton at no point completed the move, both lived to fight another day and the racing continued.

    Yes it was a bit rude, but this need to micro analyse everything is really getting tiresome. I am pleased that the stewards ‘let them race’ and a very exciting race it was too.

    If there were contact or one of the cars suffered race affecting damage then sure, investigate away but as it was, nothing really changed and the battle continued…and we all got to watch a great race.

    1. I think had Red Bull not kicked up such a fuss about Hamilton’s driving at Silverstone @asanator I would kind of agree with you here. I remember at the time Horner telling me about Hamilton’s “dirty driving”, the Albon in the simulator, celebrating with the guy in hospital (actually for just a check up), etc. I believe the animosity from Silverstone still lingers on on both sides, and unfortunately it isn’t just this race as precedents have been set again yesterday. I do see where you are coming from, but there is a bigger picture at play that can’t really be ignored. Anyway, I must get back to work, too much racefans typing today for me!

    2. What a rational response! I fully agree with you. Although I am a Max fan, I enjoyed Lewis’ race immensely, he was supreme! A well deserved win. I hope the fight goes on until the last race.
      About the incident; two topdrivers fighting, they avoided a crash, drove on, was it ‘over the line’? Perhaps, I would have accepted a penalty, but letting them fight on was the better way.

      1. If Silverstone resulted in Masi / the stewards saying ‘driving incident’, half of us wouldn’t be protesting.

        Max’s was easily more obvious – yet for some reason there is no penalty.

    3. Totally agree with you on this. Let them race, or do we want F1 to analyse every move and the end result is based on time penalty’s rather than fighting on track.

    4. Contact vs no contact shouldn’t be a consideration though. If I deliberately tried to ram you off track (not saying Max did btw, just using this to make a point), but you avoided it, I still deliberately tried to ram you off track. Masi said after Silverstone that the outcome is not considered, which should apply to “no contact” just as much as “contact”.

      Given the above, the question is fairly simple. Did Max gain a lasting advantage by failing to make the corner and pushing Hamilton off track in the process?

      There have to be limits to “let them race”, otherwise I can dive-bomb down the inside of any corner and force the other driver to either take avoiding action by going off the track with me, or crash. The same logic that was used at Silverstone (that Hamilton was going too fast and could never have made the corner without hitting Max) must be applied here IMO.

    5. @asanator Go watch Hockenheim 2016 where Rosberg does the same to Verstappen and .. gets a penalty with no contact. Rosberg actually stays on track!

      Or try Fuji 2008. Almost all cars outbrake themselves for turn one. Apart from Raikkonen. Hamilton flies past on the inside of Raikkonen, doesn’t hit him, but .. gets a drive through penalty

      Hamilton had the racing line, Verstappen should have left space. He didn’t. He didn’t even stay on track. There cannot be any clearer case of crowding another driver off track.

      Sure when a driver is ahead he can take the racing line and when that means there is no space for the other car on track he needs to take evasive action. That’s a completely other situation which only applies to the lead car and only when defending the actual racing line.

      Just like Alonso was talking to deaf ears in the previous race when he ran Raikkonen off the track on purpose and well away from the racing line.

  49. Did the stewards actually need all the technical details and camera videos. Hamilton was in front before the corner and then Verstappen failed to make a corner which was being monitored for track limits. So Verstappen was guilty of failing to stay on track and in doing so forced his competitor off track and overtook him. And therefore guilty of second offence and should have been told to give the position back to Hamilton.

  50. I think they should have defered the decission until after the race if needs be, kept it as ‘pending all available information’, and applied that in the next race. eg an extra stopgo penality if needs be.

    its not the first time Max as done the maths on those situations, and chosen to risk a collision which takes them both out, rather than let Hamilton through. Horner’s ‘let them race’ is hollow.

    Also the camera angle on the live feed was very off, and didn’t really show the full extent of how bad Max was into that corner. We had that foreshorten shot into the corner, and then the wide shot showing them driving off the circuit. There must have been other camera angles to actully show them navigating the entry into, and beyond that corner, especially as its a corner to pass on..

    Someone said the in-car videos are recorded for later download, when the bandwidth does’t allow it to be streamed live. Which means that ‘evidence’ is out there and should surface. Those corners, 1 and 4 which are the few overtaking spots should have better tech to captuure the in-car data. Its like no one thinks ahead.

  51. Since Verstappen was in front at that moment, he was allowed to let his car run wide. It is what Hamilton does often as well, to prevent someone passing him (as he did in Monza) so that is not the problem imho.

    The problem is that he ran of track and he should at least have gotten a warning for that.

    1. Incorrect. Max was well behind and off the racing line when they entered the braking zone. He was not in front but dive bombed out of control into the corner, braking so late he had no hope of staying on the track never mind getting anywhere near the apex. He had lost the corner and the only reason he got around at all was because Lewis took avoiding action to prevent the crash.

    2. Why then was Hamilton given a penalty for his accident with Albon when he was ahead, committed to a line and didnt drift or leave the track.

  52. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    15th November 2021, 12:50

    You don’t need a forward facing camera to judge steering inputs when the telemetry gives much more detail. I can’t see the point of having rules if you aren’t prepared to enforce them, it was obvious that Verstappen deliberately drove off track to force Hamilton even wider. It’s not racing, it’s cheating.

    And how long did it take for the stewards to reprimand Verstappen for weaving? That was a slam dunk, why the delay? And did you hear the contemptible response it elicited?

    Do we want to see the two best drivers go head-to-head and fight fairly for the championship, or do we want to see them crashing and cheating all the way to the last race? I say ‘they’ but it has been overwhelmingly one-sided, with Verstappen leaving it up to Hamilton to decide whether they collide. This isn’t good enough, the stewards need to step up.

  53. An other interesting on board.

    1. Can you elaborate on what you mean? I see Lewis entering turn one with no other driver visible, downshifting from 8th to 4th gear.
      Was the practice or race footage?

  54. Perhaps someone can clear this up for me. When the stewards are deciding whether or not to investigate, is that not, in itself, an investigation? Are they looking at the same evidence in this “pre-investigation” as they would during the actual investigation? If not, how can they be sure it doesn’t warrant investigation? 🤔

  55. The stewards didn’t review it. It only went as far as Michael Masi. So the article is wrong. Masi is the “Judge of fact” and can refer it to the stewards, which he didn’t do.

  56. Masi will always say they don’t look at the consequence in evaluating the value of a penalty which is a contradiction.
    If a driver set out to cause an accident and another driver takes avoiding action, the net result is there was no accident.
    If Hamilton had crashed as a result of any contact, then there would have been an investigation.

    This is like saying you are allowed to shoot at people but will only get arrested if someone gets hit, which is lunacy.

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