Could Mercedes use missing Verstappen video to demand review of Hamilton clash?

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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[raceweekendpromotion]Max Verstappen’s robust defensive move against Lewis Hamilton on lap 48 of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix was the latest in a series of controversial flashpoints between the two championship contenders.

Although Verstappen thwarted that initial attack by Hamilton, the Mercedes driver eventually found a way by to win. But Verstappen’s earlier successful resistance against his rival’s attack around the outside of Subida do Lago remained a talking point after the race.

To many it seemed Verstappen had gone too far with his defence. Hamilton had reached the braking zone ahead of him but Verstappen, on the inside, failed to make the corner. It seemed the Red Bull driver had forced his Mercedes rival off and prevented a legitimate overtaking attempt, which other drivers were penalised for doing in Austria.

Whether or not a penalty was warranted surely deserved to be investigated. Yet, surprisingly, the stewards decided not to do so. Race control first confirmed it was “noted” and later deemed not worthy of an investigation (this was contrary to what Mercedes told Hamilton on the radio and posted on social media at the time).

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff remained furious about the incident following the race, despite his team enjoying a win which extended their constructors championship lead and brought Hamilton closer to Verstappen in the drivers’ standings. Wolff called the failure to examine the incident “embarrassing” on television and “laughable” when he spoke to media including RaceFans.

Can the team force the stewards to reconsider their verdict? After all, even the slightest penalty for Verstappen could benefit them: A five-second time penalty would drop him to third place behind Valtteri Bottas, cutting another three points from Hamilton’s deficit, while a grid penalty would play into Mercedes’ hands this weekend.

Comments made by FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi seemed to offer Mercedes a glimmer of hope. Masi confirmed the stewards did not have access to a potentially significant piece of evidence at the time they decided not to investigate the incident. The stewards could only view the same television pictures broadcast on the world feed.

Although multiple onboard camera views are captured from cars, only one is transmitted live at a time. Verstappen’s view switched from forward-facing to rearward-facing just before Hamilton pulled out to overtake him.

Therefore the forward-facing onboard video from Verstappen’s car was not broadcast and was not seen by the stewards at the time they decided against investigating the incident. This is significant because, assuming the video later emerges, it potentially opens the door for Mercedes demand they review the incident.

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Teams have the right to request a review of a decision if “a significant and relevant new element
is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”, according to the International Sporting Code. This has been wielded by F1 teams on several recent occasions.

Red Bull tried to use it after the British Grand Prix to force the stewards to give Hamilton a harsher penalty for his collision with Verstappen. They had reserve driver Alexander Albon reconstruct the incident during a filming day to generate data which they presented as ‘new evidence’. However the stewards disagreed this met the required standard and dismissed Red Bull’s request for a review.

Poll: Stewards made Verstappen call without his forward-facing video of Hamilton incident
Red Bull enjoyed far greater success the previous year in Austria when they persuaded the stewards to overturn their decision to clear Hamilton for failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags during qualifying. The new evidence Red Bull presented was a camera angle which had not been available to the stewards when they made their original decision.

Are Mercedes therefore awaiting the appearances of Verstappen’s forward-facing onboard camera from Interlagos before they launch their own bid for a review? Possibly, but there is a potential snag.

Past petitions for review have targeted formal decision documents handed down by the stewards. At Silverstone Red Bull requested a review of (the appropriately-numbered) decision document 44 which handed a 10-second time penalty to Hamilton. Specific documents were also cited in past reviews: Alfa Romeo at Imola this year, Red Bull at Red Bull Ring last year, Williams at Baku in 2018 and so on.

However there is no corresponding document for yesterday’s incident because it was not investigated in the first place. It is not the case that the stewards investigated Verstappen and decided to take no action; there was no investigation. Therefore, in the eyes of the rule markers, does a formal decision exist which Mercedes can demand a review of?

But with Mercedes so rankled by the frustrations of last weekend, having seen the lengths Red Bull were prepared to go after Silverstone and with the championship at stake, that may not be enough to dissuade them from having a go. “Diplomacy has ended today,” said Wolff after the race, sounding unlike someone who is content to let the matter rest.

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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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214 comments on “Could Mercedes use missing Verstappen video to demand review of Hamilton clash?”

  1. At Silverstone Hamilton stayed on the track and got 10 second penalty. Verstappen was way off track yesterday. Outcomes are not supposed to matter.

    1. I do think it’s strange how the most crucial footage has just disappeared.
      So we’ll probably never see it.

      1. Agree. Max didn’t slide into the corner.

        1. he didn’t even have his wheel turned half way through the corner.

          1. Is there footage now? Because on f1tv’s onboard it was rear faving cam only

    2. You forget Hamilton HIT the backwheel of Verstappen causing a massive crash. Whole different situation to running wide. If Hamilton didn’t avoid contact maybe Mercedes would have had a case… But no win for Lewis.
      Pick your battles wisely applies here. And he did and was rewarded so everyone should control their tiny egos and get back to racing.

      1. but it shouldnt matter if contact was made, to me its pretty clear max didnt try to make the corner, and i bet his on board agrees. if thats the case he should be punished for it…. unless MV has a different set of rules to the rest of the grid??

      2. So your an advocate for punishing for the result of poor driving and not punishing poor driving.
        When 2 drivers end up 5 metres off the track because one driver chose to try and drive the other off the track. Is just not f1

        1. Dont forget the weaving on straights and when flags were shown the arrogant response.

          1. Don’t forget the fact that you got killed by me so many times and you still can’t kill anyone.

      3. @w0o0dy You forget that Verstappen could/should have exactly the same as Hamilton did in Brazil. Hamilton had the racing line and Verstappen should have simply gone wide. Yet he steered in even tighter midway through. Choosing to go for the contact.

      4. Hamilton hit the back wheel because he backed out while Max was still chopping across. In Brazil its the same actors and same actions excepet Max was not alongside before the brazking zone and Lewis was on the inside. This suggests that Max should be doubly punished!

      5. The only reason Max and Lewis didn’t crash yesterday is because Lewis took avoiding action.

    3. The FIA are totally under Red Bulls command. That is clear.

      1. Yeah, they didn’t have a TD about their engine, have their wings endlessly scrutinized, their lightning pitstops taken away and see Mercedes getting a minor slap on the wrist for taking out a car + engine twice. Yeah, RB really has FIA under their command…

      2. Michael Samuel Organ
        16th November 2021, 15:23

        Do you know how many times I have heard that same retort from Red Bull about Mercedes and Mercedes about Ferrari and every possible combination. I am more cynical than that, I think FIA are not above manipulating the rules to suit their own agenda which is clearly this year to stop Mercedes at any costs. Dont worry though as soon as Ferrari have a competitive car they will change sides and Red Bull will start spitting their dummy out, whilst Mercedes stamp their feet in frustration.

        1. But then Red Bull actually had Vitantonio Liuzzi in place as their driver steward

    4. Are results not officially ratified within a certain time peroid after a race?

      1. Michael Samuel Organ
        16th November 2021, 15:34

        Not really but they do like to be notified within 48 hours. However if the data takes longer to become available they can appeal anytime. Red Bulls appeal against Hamilton for the incident at Silverstone was only notified to F1 5 days after the race and the appeal only reviewed a full 7 days later, meaning it was 12 days between race and appeal review. As I understand it Red Bull did let F1 know they were considering an appeal on the Tuesday after the race, however that was just a curtesy. I think that as the next race is only 5 days away they will have to make some kind of representation by First practice on Friday otherwise the stewards might refuse to hear it. It all depends on that footage which Merc should have by now and the telemetry that Red Bull will be required to supply at least to the stewards.

        1. Michael Samuel Organ
          16th November 2021, 16:15

          As I wrote this comment Mercedes have launched an appeal to review having seen the cockpit footage. Stand by for a Verstappen penalty and Horner throwing his dummy out the pram. It could be even worse if they decide to retrospectively disqualify him for dangerous driving.

    5. Are we ALL CRAZY? A picture is worth a 1000 words:
      the picture,above shows,both cars seven cars width away from the track.
      7 cars width guys!!!
      Hamilton,had to drive seven cars width AWAY from the track with Verstapen all along chasing him away to help hamilton crash into him by force.
      If you do not penalize 7 times here you never penali
      A picture,as the one above is without appeal:a disqualification is the only fair penalty for verstapen here.
      they did disqualify hamilton did they not.
      We are all crazy to even discuss such a picture.

    6. Outcomes meaning the severity of the accident. But if you mean outcomes referring to whether they touch or not… well, that makes all the difference. It would take a very blatant attempt to hit someone to trigger a penalty when no contact happened.

      The keyboard warriors are hard at work talking up all sorts of stupid conspiracy theories about the missing footage. My guess is that stewards didn’t feel it was necessary to dismiss this as a race incident. However, in the unlikely event that the footage reveals something nefarious, they will look very silly and so will F1. Because the reality is that all footage should be immediately available and making the wrong call because of lack of footage would be unnaceptable.

    7. I think it is a difference whether there is contact or not — and whether their fight can go on for the rest of the race

  2. Max has gone to the Schumacher school of desperate moves.
    Max is a good driver, but his attitude, and demeanor are despicable.
    He would be a poor representative for F1 as a champion if he wins.

    1. I feel the same about Hamilton. He bumped off Albon twice and then Max at Silverstone. Moreover he does not come across as genuine or sincere and plays mind games all the time, indicating he needs that to stay on top, rather than being the bigger man. On top of that his records do not come from being better than 4x or 5x or 7x WDCs of the past but from having an unprecedented, never ever seen in history before, car dominance streak of 9(!) years. And not once has he reflected on that, or tried some perspective.. no he just claims whatever he can get.

      1. Strange then that several drivers say they treat Max differently than any
        other driver when they are passing or being passed by him.

  3. Mercedes will have enough data from Hamilton’s car to determine if a protest is worthwhile.

    Opportunity to take the moral high ground and not appear petty as RBR did after Silverstone though.

    1. That is not new information to base a protest on.

      1. @w0o0dy It is seeing how the stewards considered barely anything.

        1. @f1osaurus My understanding is the stewards didn’t get the opportunity to review anything to do with the incident, Massi made sure of that. As for the missing in car footage from Verstappens car, yeah well…

    2. Opportunity to take the moral high ground

      Good point, Dan. I think Hamilton already took this approach on interviews after the race.

      1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
        15th November 2021, 23:25

        Red Bull – even the sound of Christian’s voice is annoying me now. He is always whinging about this offer that.

    3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      15th November 2021, 15:10

      to take the moral high ground and not appear petty

      How ironic, as it’s Mercedes that’s been crying like a little baby for months now.

      1. I think you mean Red Bull.

        1. Yes, Red Bull are the wingers!

      2. Barry is back lol.

      3. Do you mean whingy spice and helmut have been moaning for months.

    4. @dang Why take moral high ground when you can literally take 3 points away from your direct rival and put them into your team?

      Max’s front axle was roughly level with Lewis’ rear axle when Lewis braked, Max seemed to just leave his braking point at ‘until after Lewis brakes, whenever that may be’. If Mercedes, with the new onboard footage as evidence, can persuade the stewards to open an investigation, they could ask Red Bull to provide throttle and brake telemetry data from Max’s car in that corner over various laps of the race.
      That would be the tell-all imo. If the telemetry shows that Max braked, say 10-20m later than usual at that corner it would prove that he had no intent to make the corner, but rather prevent Lewis from getting past. In which case it would be a slam dunk penalty. It’s a bit far fetched but crazier things have happened in F1.

      1. I don’t think breaking 20m later and leaving the track counts as leaving the track to gain an advantage. If Lewis didn’t brake late himself, he could probably stay inside the track and overtake Verstappen anyway because the ‘line’ Verstappen took was much slower.

        1. You don’t think so? I can argue with you that leaving the track with the goal of staying ahead and failing to let a competitor overtake is, IS in fact the advantage you are looking for.

          Lewis braked earlier and on the ideal, grippier line but had to bail to avoid the crash and therefore failed to make the corner, he was likely to make it if you assess the video. A trajectory simulation of both of them as ghosts would have been nice, based on telemetry. I think you are going to find that Max was going to overshoot the corner quite horribly, while Hamilton was likely to make it if Max had been a ghost (implying he wouldn’t have had to correct if Max wasn’t there to bodyblock him)

          Also: braking*

    5. RBR have always be louder and chatty with the media. That’s their MO and it surprises nobody. But Mercedes… it just looks funny on Toto suddenly becoming this hot-heated angry and vindictive character. I think it’s all about actually being under pressure. Everyone can be stoic and dignified when winning 75% of races over a 7 year period without any real competition

    6. Throw all the data at it you want. It is still an attempt around the outside. Find Peter Windsor on YT to hear view on this around 8:00

  4. Think you said it yourself Keith: there was no investigation, therefore no decision, and therefore nothing to appeal. I didn’t like the move, but it would become really strange if they would start an investigation for it. I think there will be a lot of teams appealing a lot of moves every week then.

    1. I guess Redbull would have some protesting of their own to do them with Bottas bowling 2 of their cars off and Hamilton causing a massive accident and ruining Albons race twice ..

      A protest would not lead to anything

      1. Hamilton got a 5 second penalty for both of those, Bottas a 5 place penalty at the following race.

        1. And a 10 second penalty for HAM at Silverstone!

      2. You just got owned

    2. not to sure, although they said no investigation, but it is bringing the sport into disrepute at a time it is trying to to gain more fans.. by not punishing a driver that even the commentators on live feed was shocked he got away with it just shows me its fixed… thy cant wait to punish Hamilton for every tiny thing he does while max gets way with every thing.. its disgusting

    3. Spot on: you can’t appeal a non-decision. That said: Verstappen deserved a penalty tbh. In Mexico at the start Ricciardo didn’t get a penalty, because he would have made the corner. Verstappen never did and forced Hamilton to take evasive action.

      1. I felt the same way. This was too much. But as you said it’s done. Imagine if every team could appeal after the race if they feel an opponent got the elbows out too far. You’d need a full time court to handle all the cases.

      2. They can’t appeal, but it’s in their right to issue a protest, and rightfully so.

    4. Was it not an official decision to not investigate the incident? It is not like they did nothing at all they noted the incident and then issued a later response that a full investigation was not warranted. I would say that Merc have a case there and if the rules do not allow it due to the stewards refusing to do anything at the time then I am sure the Court Of Sporting Arbitration may have something to say about how open that scenario is to corruption…

      1. Fergus sings the blues
        15th November 2021, 15:58

        Spot on. Not investigating an incident as a means to not having to explain / defend / correct a decision is open to abuse from stewards. There needs to be full transparency. If new footage or evidence has come to light then this needs to be reviewed.

        Merc need to push this otherwise there is nothing to stop Verstappen doing this again. 14 points is a handy enough lead at this point. Add in a DNF for both drivers in Qatar and the championship is in Verstappen’s hands with two rounds left.

      2. Exactly. If a decision not to investigate vanity be appealed, then any stewards can decide not to investigate any incident they like and, in so doing, manipulate the result of a race. It is wide open to potential corruption.

      3. geoffgroom44 (@)
        15th November 2021, 17:24


    5. There are plenty of penalties dealt out after the race. Doubt it would help anything, but no decisicon made during the race does not mean none can be taken after.

    6. “Could be, absolutely. Possibly. But no, we didn’t have access to it. And obviously, it’s being downloaded. And once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we’ll have a look.”

      So yeah it could still open a can of worms. RED BULL are no stranger to “significant new information” developments and post penalties, in fact they re really the devil’s advocate about it. So let’s hope what happens when they eat the same medicine themselves, and how will they stomach if indeed results is changed.

    7. It’s silly, especially since Hamilton won anyway. But again, we’re in petty times. Toto didn’t like being called out again over something illegal in the car and he will, by his own admission, be very petty in the future, reviewing every piece of tape in the RBR car.

      1. @ajpennypacker It’s not silly because a retrospective five second penalty for Verstappen would promote Bottas to P2 helping Hamilton in the WDC and increasing Mercedes lead in the WCC.

  5. Can somebody (who knows) answer this doubt I have: Who decides after an incident is ‘noted’ to formally ‘investigate’ it (or not).
    Is it the race director (and his team) or is it the stewards themselves?

    1. From F1 Sporting regulations:

      38.1 The Race Director may report any on-track incident or suspected breach of these Sporting Regulations or the Code (an “Incident”) to the stewards. After review it shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide whether or not to proceed with an investigation.

      The stewards may also investigate an Incident noted by themselves.

    2. Martin Elliott
      15th November 2021, 15:08

      It’s the Stewards. Race Direction puts forward an incident to the Stewards, but the Stewards can also decide for themselves on whether to look at an incident.

      There has always been an organisational problem over who has organisational functions and who actually investigate and hand down penalties.
      The written Stewards Decision should be the formal report with explanation.
      Increasingly, Race/Technical/Safety Director Masi is going beyond his already complex and overlapping duties as the Regulator & Management. He even issues Press Releases on what the Stewards decision and explanation is !!

      That should already be in the SD, but a lot of the time they just state what the offence was (collision) not how it happened though they had been getting better under Charlie’s coaching.

  6. Could the FIA start an investigation to determine if penalty points should be assessed to Max without Mercedes initiating the process?

    1. @velocityboy Imho I’d be very surprised at that. To me, when the incident happened they were so quick to decide it was only noteworthy, that I think there simply was not enough there other than hard racing to investigate. They could have easily said ‘incident under investigation’ and awaited more info post-race, ie. waited for Max’s onboard. They obviously didn’t feel they needed it.

      1. Despite Massi himself saying he was close to giving Max a Black and White flag for it…

        In my opinion all incidents should be investigated unless it is clearly obvious there was no infringement. In this case both cars broke one of F1s rules by leaving the track and Max broke another rule that states a cars width should be left! So surely that should therefore be investigated automatically?

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

          Masi if you like is using the excuse that Hamilton was clever enough to avoid a collision as reason enough to not think an investigation is necessary.

          This seems to go against taking consequences into account.

          1. Broadsword to Danny Boy
            16th November 2021, 8:46

            Why do people keep blaming Masi?

            He flagged up the incident to the stewards and THEY decided it didn’t warrant investigation.

      2. @robbie So you don’t think it was immediately and blatantly obvious that Verstappen drove Hamilton off the track on purpose? And had to compromise his own corner – go off track himself – to do so? He braked late and less than required to make the corner, allowing himself to get slightly ahead of Hamilton but on a trajectory that ensured he went off track, ‘collecting’ Hamilton with him. On a corner where track limits are monitored. That’s not legitimate racing, ever, and has been penalized already this year. So why let it go? Two options: so the race order would be decided on track (‘for the show’ or to avoid the kind of controversy seen with Vettel v. Hamilton in Canada) or to favour Red Bull and Verstappen in the championship. There are no other explicable reasons for not even investigating the incident. Verstappen confirmed he went off track deliberately (alleging it was ‘safer’) and Masi confirmed he thought it might have been a black-and-white flag incident. Nothing FIA have said so far makes sense. It needs clarifying.

        1. @david-br I think it was hard side by side racing, and if Max did anything ‘on purpose’ it was to race LH hard. LH seemed to understand that. LH has moved people off the track himself. I think it is the first of your two options as Masi explained. Let them race.

          1. @robbie So was Hamilton ‘just racing hard’ when he went into Copse? Or do different rules apply when Max comes out worse? Personally I don’t think it is racing when you leave the race track to ensure you’re not passed. It’s a basic point: look at the photo above. Max is three car widths off the circuit. Hard racing would be Max forcing Hamilton off but more or less staying on track himself.

            Also Masi/the FIA stewards clearly factored in the fact that Hamilton was still able to race – which was why Red Bull appealed to the ‘let them race’ meme: i.e. don’t give Max a penalty, the fans want to see a race! Yet Masi stated at various points this season that the outcome of an incident shouldn’t be a factor. Zero consistency from FIA (obviously I don’t expect any from Red Bull).

          2. @david-br No the blatant difference with Copse was that LH was never alongside enough to really take ownership of the real estate. Yesterday both drivers were for all intents and purposes side by side the whole time.

            Wrt the ‘outcome of the incident’ Masi intended that in Silverstone for example the fact that Max’s car and pu were written off and it was very costly was not to affect the punishment LH received. Actually this site did an article where Dieter considered that perhaps there needs to be a discussion about this considering budget caps they are now under. It was still contact and the penalty would have been the same if all he had done was spun Max around.

          3. @robbie Hamilton didn’t need to ‘own’ the corner, he was sufficiently alongside to challenge for it. That point was conceded by the stewards. However, they considered that he gained understeer from misjudged braking and therefore was mostly at fault. But that wasn’t my point: the point was that Hamilton was engaging in hard but fair (if perhaps slightly misjudged) racing, which is what Max, Red Bull and his fans should be allowed – or allowed just for Max? That’s my question.

            I think there’s a broader point at stake about just how far cars on the inside can go and pushing their rivals wide. This issue has recurred time and again. I feel in this case, with Max going well beyond the track limit, any ‘fuzzy’ area has been completely superseded and it was – or should have been – judged clearly outside the bounds of acceptable racing, irrespective of the consequences. I don’t really want a penalty, only clarification that you can’t simply bundle another driver off track by going off yourself. Because that was the rule so far this season until Interlagos.

          4. David you can’t argue with people wearing blinkers, and expect them to widen their views. They only look at what they want to see and they see only that. Logic common sense and fair racing apply to only the views they approve. That’s why I m sick of fanatics or better say lunatics. Because you can’t understand how someone with a straight face watch the race and say it was hard racing and nothing to look for despite two consecutive disgusting moves. Not even mentioning seeing the disrespectful petulant child attitude towards everyone (other drivers and race officials) except himself

          5. @david-br But it’s not a matter of ‘allowed just for Max?’ because LH actually hit Max in Silverstone. That’s how much he wasn’t in control of his car. LH had the option of backing out as he didn’t have much of his car beside Max for the majority of their interaction at Copse. As to your broader point, I do hear you and of course what happened is not the norm, and I don’t think the even lack of investigation would inspire other drivers to think this is the way to drive now. In this case, and I’m assuming here with the Championship coming down to it with Max and LH, well, having been between those two realistically for the whole season, I think the judgement became that let’s let them race in this instance and not take it to a boardroom, this time. I don’t think Max has been looked upon as having made some dirty, intentional move, but rather was just racing hard, side by side with LH. I don’t see the need to be any more concerned than LH seems to be about the incident.

          6. Mystic, considering how biased you are, you can hardly say anything about verstappen fans, it’s extremely easy to see who a person roots from judging by the comments, it’s 2 verstappen vs 2 ham\merc fans here.

          7. @robbie I respect your opinion but it’s almost certainly a minority in this case. The FIA stewards have given Max more leeway in the final 3 races to do the same kind of move and undoubtedly, if the situation arises, he will. So I expect this debate to continue.

          8. @david-br I really don’t think Max will take this lack of investigation as permission to do more of the same for the last three races. I don’t think Max thinks of this as one of his better moments, nor races, but just hard racing against an obviously faster LH yesterday (all weekend) and that is what happened at that particular snapshot in time. LH has understood it as hard racing too. To Max I would think this was just him doing everything he possibly could but LH was just too strong. I’m sure overwhelmingly Max would prefer not to go off track. I don’t expect a repeat of the incident but I also don’t expect Max to change his approach of trying to stamp his authority on corners and on races whenever possible.

          9. No the blatant difference with Copse was that LH was never alongside enough to really take ownership of the real estate. Yesterday both drivers were for all intents and purposes side by side the whole time.

            @robbie Max is a great driver, but he knew what he was doing. The only reason he was side by side and not front tyre to rear tyre was because he decided to brake so late that he was never going to make the corner. Lewis was ahead on corner entry, and if Max had chosen his braking point correctly, then Lewis would have remained ahead.

            In Silverstone Lewis lifted of earlier in copse because of the tight line and that’s the only real reason they were front tyre to rear tyre at the apex, they were side by side at entry. I still think Max could have made it around Lewis if he’d given a tiny bit more margin. Lewis wasn’t even that far from the apex, the contact occurred on the inside 1/3 of the track. Lewis was completely forced off track yesterday by a driver that wasn’t going to stay on track. Sometimes you have to concede, Max needed to do that then.

          10. @esploratore1

            Favoring someone and and being lunaticly fanatic about someone’s wrong doing is not the same. I have provided many videos in another post as evidenced from the decisions that many people have got penalty for much less obvious and sometimes outright ridiculous reasons. Yet we have this disrespectful driver who crash or drive people off the circuit left and right front and back. If you think with a strait face what max did didn’t deserve penalty, than u r no different to hypocrite horner, who once said, u just don’t put a wheel to a corner if you don’t make the apex… Max has done this move gazillion times and people take avoiding action yet avoiding the crash they get punished rather than max, of you crash max you get double punished. How is this not flawed decision making and not favoritism.

  7. petebaldwin (@)
    15th November 2021, 14:48

    I think they’ll just move on – appealing results from previous races won’t do anyone any favours now. Hamilton won and as it stands, if he wins the next 3, he’s Champion so the last thing they need is for all the focus to go onto this now.

    The stewards made their decision and whilst I think they got it wrong in multiple ways, it’s done now. If they’re missing fairly vital footage, they should have said they’d investigate after the race but they didn’t. If we want to allow this to be appealed, we have to allow every decision to be appealed and it’s going to result is us never knowing the race results until days after a race.

    The FIA need to do a thorough overhaul of their stewarding process now because there are way too many problems. They aren’t consistent (at all), they make the wrong decision too often and now, it appears the whole process is wrong as well and they are failing to investigate incidents because the footage they need won’t be available until after the race.

    1. didnt know the result of fridays quili till the next day.. what is the difference.. if he did wrong he should be punished according to the rules like most of the grid does but MV it seems ….. No punishment means he is held to differnt standards than the rest of the grid who would have been punished for such driving………

      Here is the F1 championship. here is rules for all you drivers but one

      And here is a set of rules just for you max.. enjoy doing what ever it is you want to do with no consequenses to your actions……

    2. I think the main reason I want it appealed is purely that this should never happen again. The FIA need to get there stewards consistent within a realistic degree. The fact that many drivers have been penalised for very similar or even less severe moves this year, it is odd not to investigate this at all. Also does that now mean the rule that says a cars width should be left open is now redundant?

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        15th November 2021, 15:45

        But who does what? Is there a higher power to bang heads together and insist on true consistency for all transgressions?

    3. I agree with Lee, it should be investigated to stop this non sense behaviour of max, also a good response to his disrespectful attitude towards everyone, esp his hi back message. So that he can understand people do pay attention and respond accordingly.

      1. HAM almost killed VER at Silverstone!!! Stop wining about it as little girl.. No investigation needed means NO investigation needed.

        1. First he walked away and later they decided to goto the hospital for a checkup, so there wasn’t an almost killed, you’ve been trained quite well from Horner how to be overly dramatic.

          But theatrics and drama aside – as has been pointed out ad-nauseum…MV was far less in control at Brazil T4 than LH at Copse (or if he was in control he was acting maliciously)….and that’s the point that warrants further investigation.

  8. That was the dirtiest block I have seen in a long time in F1. Maybe he tried to do the same block he did on Hamilton in Silverstone at start? But onboard footage will show him straightening steering wheel instead of turning. Verstappen blatantly drove Hamilton off track, imagine him doing this in Monaco hairpin. Either complete driver fault or on purpose, both required a penalty at it did not appear strangely.

    1. Nothing new as far as Max’s driving is concerned, at least since starting in F1. He’s not the type to have a clean battle; if he can’t win he’ll try to take you out (ex. the Monza incident.) Even in the Silverstone incident Max did not leave enough space for Lewis as Lewis did for Max in Brazil. Any time there is a car on the inside you can expect that it may run wide, however anytime Max is on the inside you can expect that he will run you off the track. Not to exclude Lewis (or most drivers on the grid) for any criticism on this, he’s pushed cars wide in the past as well, difference being Max does it as a rule whereas Lewis does it as an exception.

    2. Verstappen confirmed he went off-track on purpose. The video footage is strictly speaking irrelevant, but it could provide Mercedes with the pretext for an appeal.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        15th November 2021, 17:31

        yep.Max considered it the ‘safest’ thing to do.
        Of course the ‘safest’ thing to do was to let the faster car pass, huh?
        So, which was the faster car?
        According to Max,Horner,Marko…it was Lewis’s car.
        I am all in favour of hard ‘racing’. I am not in favour of stock car racing on an F1 track !
        I really hope, for the sake of the sport, that this decision – or should I say non-decision – by the stewards will be challenged.

        1. @geoffgroom44 Yep, I think the integrity of Formula 1 racing is at stake in this decision. For Max fans who cited Driver 61 this season over the Silverstone incident, check out his take on this one. I back his point that the onboard of Verstappen’s steering is actually irrelevant, though he emphasizes the point – really important – that braking (and acceleration) inputs can control direction just as much as steering, which is probably the case here.

    3. Everyone is watching him now. He can’t stop himself from driving like that. It will happen again.

    4. It’s really hard to tell as an armchair analyst what’s happening without feeling the car itself. Maybe Max was losing grip in the rear and decided to straighten out the wheel to avoid spinning out.
      Look up the 1979 French GP battle between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux if you want to see two drivers doing much worse moves and it was just called hard racing back then.

  9. I reckon they would try & use that footage to their advantage.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      15th November 2021, 17:33

      It could only be used to advantage if it showed a deliberate action by Max to force another car off track.

  10. FIA’ s awful stewarding is falling apart. Utter rubbish by them and Mercedes must do something to stop that mess.

  11. Personally I think Mercedes should protest if and when the video evidence becomes available. Masi has more or less green-lighted it. Red Bull have taken a gloves-off approach all season. Mercedes should do the same now. In fact it’s ideal, the result was decided on track – we got the show – but FIA need to explain themselves better and maybe revise their decision because deliberately driving off track to block a pass, at a monitored corner, is simply ridiculous. And note that Verstappen himself confirmed it was deliberate (‘safer’ in his words).

    1. I very much doubt the FIA will release the footage. They would have done so by now if they had any intention of doing so. However if they do not then it is very suspicious.

      1. It’s not up to the FIA, but to the F1 rights owners (FOM) to release the footage. Even the FIA have to ask the FOM for any footage that wasn’t broadcast, As Masi himself stated

    2. The critical part seems to be Hamilton’s defensive driving. Had Lewis stayed on track and permitted Max to drive into the side of him then I can’t imagine it not being a penalty (as we saw with Yuki’s penalty for colliding with Lance.) The problem is Max’s driving style because he will go to any lengths to win a corner: be it driving completely off the track to push an opponent wide, weaving across the track to block, or outright crashing into an opponent to take them out of the race (a la Monza) because he knows he has the championship points advantage and nothing to lose. This was a character trait I disliked of Senna, Michael Schumacher, and now Max. Don’t be surprised if in the last round of the championship Max deliberately crashes into Lewis if Max is even slightly ahead in the championship. I really don’t want the championship to be decided by penalties but I don’t want it to be decided by dirty driving either.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        15th November 2021, 17:37

        I really don’t want the championship to be decided by penalties
        I would totally agree were it not for the fact that penalties are given where a driver or team have not followed the rules that everyone else is supposed to follow.

  12. They should use the footage and appeal. Hamilton’s onboard clearly shows he had to straighten his wheel. Verstappen’s will either show an opening of the steering wheel, or simply a very delayed steering input.
    A 5 second penalty is a 3 point swing in WDC and 6 point in WCC.

    And Red Bull are already querying about Merc rear wing.

    What is more important? Moral high ground or higher position in the championship? Answer seems clear to me

  13. Honestly i’d just let it go as I don’t think protest’s or continued controversy that drags it on really does anybody or the sport any favours. End of the day they didn’t touch, No damage was done & it ultimately didn’t really effect the outcome of the race or championship fight so just move on.

    If however they do download the footage from Max’s car & it does show something that the FIA don’t like i’d just deal with it in the next drivers briefing by showing the footage, Highlighting the bit they don’t like & just telling drivers they don’t want to see a repeat of it. That is basically how things like this used to be dealt with.

    1. Damage is done if people think f1 is corrupt……

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 15:50

      Had they touched it would of probably resulted in the Merc being put out of the race but that goes against the rules that state the consequences or what happens after the incident is not considered.

      To say it is okay because they didn’t touch is taking the consequences into account.

      1. @andyfromsandy When they say “consequences” they mean the consequences if they were to touch. So if the touch just damaged Hamilton’s car slightly, or if he was slammed into the wall at 200 mph.

        But there were no consequences at all, because there was no touch.

        You can’t penalise someone for assault if they didn’t actually commit the assault; but just almost did.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          16th November 2021, 9:19

          The offense is being pushed wide off the track. The regulation is you cannot crowd another car off track or you must leave a cars width. As that happened there was something to be looked at.

          Now quite a few are saying that as the cars then didn’t touch it doesn’t matter what went on before.

          The assault was being forced off track.

    3. Agreed. It would be a different matter though if we go down to the wire and Max performed a similar move but on the last lap and won the title as a result. The sport doesn’t need that kind of drama but if Max isn’t told off at the very least then it really could come down to that.

      1. @davidhunter13 the sport has many precedences of this already throughout history. It’s not particularly unusual.

    4. geoffgroom44 (@)
      15th November 2021, 17:43

      “….really does anybody or the sport any favours”
      What has historically been bad for F1 is where drivers have not paid any price for behaviour on track which has brought the sport into disrepute. This is F1, a sport of excellence, it is not WWE a sport of ‘entertainment’
      It seems to my old eyes that this is exactly what is happening here, except it is not simply a driver….but inaction by the stewards.

    5. I don’t think an appeal would be controversial. I think the initial decision not to investigate a massive off-road excursion which saved a competitor from losing a place was controversial, and that controversy will continue without an adequate review. This incident was worse than many which have resulted in penalties, if you look only at what Verstappen did and not the consequences, so to not even investigate goes against all precedent.

        1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          16th November 2021, 9:20

          It is worse because similar incidents have resulted in penalties.

  14. I hope so. Max deserves a penalty if for no other reason than to show him that his style of defending is not acceptable. He has been like this for years… its time for it to stop.

  15. The FIA don’t want Lewis to win the championship again so will do all in their power to help Max . Don’t therefore expect to see the in car video unless Mercedes push it which I hope they will. I find it sad when sportsmen can only win by cheating but this happens in all sports unfortunately.

  16. I think now the time has passed, I don’t think they should appeal. It has already served it’s purpose by showing how Max’s driving has been, we don’t need another penalty. It reminds me of Schumacher in 1994 to be honest. Hamilton probably took the right approach after the race not talking about it much, I don’t think Mercedes should say anything about it now. We’ve all seen what kind of driving happened. I couldn’t believe it wasn’t investigated during the race (not even investigated, I mean seriously), but I also think Mercedes shouldn’t get dragged into a tit for tat situation with Horner.

    1. I agree with

      It reminds me of Schumacher in 1994 to be honest.

      — this season has a lot of parallels with the 1994 World Championship: close points battle, technical infringements/disqualifications, dirty/dangerous driving. Michael got away with it in 1994 and tried again in 1997 but got disqualified, rightfully so. F1 should do well to remember the mistake of not penalizing Michael in 1994.

      1. No proof his suspension was damaged, he didn’t give an inch to hill, rightly so. He wasn’t able to have a decent straight after the first impact to see if the car was working.

  17. I love Toto’s reaction to all this. “Diplomacy ended”. Diplomacy was never on. Never.

    I don’t know what he’s furious about. It’s racing. There’s always controversy. He acts like he’s above others, like they do everything so well, and never complain, but they do, just like all the others. It’s not a gentlemen sport this, you complain while trying to come up with ideas that would generate complains from others.

    1. @fer-no65

      I don’t know what he’s furious about

      He is a megalomaniac, period.
      He loves being in control of everything. This year, things seems to be out of his control which is clearly causing him problems with his temper. Horner, Marko and Verstappen have been giving him the hardest challenge he has ever had on and off the track. While I’m far from being a RBR fan, in fact it’s the exact opposite, I don’t really like them as a team. Though It’s funny to see how they have exposed him as the hypocrite he is.

      At least, for me this was clear for me from the moment Ferrari started to mount a challenge in 2017/2018 and upset Mercedes. This year, RBR took it to the next level and now he is behaving like a child. Imagine if this man got the top job of F1 CEO instead of Domenicali. Glad Ferrari have vetoed his application.

      1. That’s a lot of psycho-analysis there Tifoso!

      2. @tifoso1989

        You’re absolutely spot on.

        I dont like Red Bull either (neither do I like Mercedes), but at least with Horner, Marko and Max, you know what you’re going to get, they’re quite brazen and unapologetic in their conduct, and they dont really care what people think about them, so in that respect, you can say that they’re honest. Toto on the other hand, has been having various “hissy fits” this year, which I find really odd coming from an F1 team principal who portrays himself as a saintly leader. Horner has basically trolled him into outbursts, which appears to have amused him on various occasion. haha.

        As @fer-no65 says, there never was any diplomacy, this is F1. We’ve had drivers come to blows in the past, drivers crashing into one another amongst other things, I really dont know why everyone thinks everything is nice and dandy. It isnt.

        I was under the impression that everybody was pining for close and tough fight for the championship? Now we have it, every time we have a close run thing, people just cant handle it! When you have two drivers operating at such a level, under immense pressure to win, these things happen, its part and parcel of the competition. I dont know if Max meant to force Lewis off the track, let alone crash into on purpose, like the article says…NO ONE HAS SEEN THE FOOTAGE! If it transpires that was deliberate, penalties or some sort of reprimand should follow.

        I’m loving this battle. Dont really care who wins, because it will go down to the wire. Best of luck to both drivers.

    2. @fer-no65 Funny, I took the “diplomacy has ended today” comment as a declaration of all out war.

      I think Toto will explore any potential opportunity to stick it to RBR and Max, including protesting the non-decision by the stewards.. even if he thinks it’s a futile exercise and go nowhere. It would be great to see Toto giving Horner a taste of his own medicine too.

  18. Where is the footage? Can anyone think of any other situation when an onboard footage was desired but not provided? Back in Silverstone or Monza you had all the angles of their clashes available on that day – I am pretty sure in Silverstone it was uploaded on YouTube channel before the race ended, similar in Monza. Now almost 24 hours have passed and still nothing. Will Palmer do his analysis? Will atleast him have the footage? So weird.

    1. In Silverstone & Monza the footage was available as it had been shown during the live broadcast.

      The issue here is that Max’s forward facing camera wasn’t live as they had switched to the rear facing camera so that is the only footage from Max’s car which is currently available.

      They do apparently record footage from the other cameras to storage on the cars but have to download that after the race which is something they may not have had time to do due to having to quickly pack up all the equipment ready to be flown out to Qatar this weekend.

      1. I have read about the logistical aspect of the situation, but do we really believe that the footage is still in the camera on Verstappen car only? That is strangle. So FOM did not want to download content from a car that fought to the lead & led most of the race? Not to speak of the battle for title, and they are battle to wait a week to release any such footage later?

        1. sorry,

          * happy to wait a week

    2. Can anyone think of any other situation when an onboard footage was desired but not provided?

      Yes, It used to be common issue as up until fairly recently they only had a limited amount of the onboard cameras active so even though every car would carry an OnBoard camera they could only have 4 & later 9 OnBoard feeds available at any given time.

      Back then if the camera on a car wasn’t one of the 4-9 in use at the time footage from that car/camera never existed. At least now they are able to have a live camera on every car with the apparent ability to record & download footage from other cameras on the car later on.

      1. Yes, It used to be common issue

        @stefmeister The Ayrton Senna accident sprints to mind.

        The thing that led to many conspiracy theories was that whoever was controlling the onboard cameras back then decided to switch from Senna’s camera to the one on Ukyo Katayama’s car seconds before Senna went off track. The call was made, Button pushed (Or however they switched between cameras) & the result is that Senna’s camera cuts off as the feed is switched & no footage of the actual impact exists as a result.

        1. There was some ridiculous theory that Senna was smoked by a sniper. That theory is Pants on Fire-worthy.

      2. But what do you mean by fairly recently? Surely some 15 years ago, no? There have been several premium services like Sky Red button or Canal+ content, where you could choose camera of any running car I believe. And they are both around for quite some years.

        1. 2016 is apparently when they started been able to have a camera on every car active.

          F1TV is the only service that lets you watch a camera from every car & that launched in 2018.

          Sky do have a few OnBoard camera feeds & have since 2012 although it’s always been a limited number. Currently on the app Sky have 3 (Sometimes 4) OnBoard feeds available & only 2 on the red button TV service.

          1. I see, thank you for the comparison below. I have been misinformed. :)

        2. But what do you mean by fairly recently? Surely some 15 years ago, no?

          With the old analog system we only had 4 onboard feeds available at any time up until the end of 2005.

          From Suzuka 2005 when we switched to a digital system we upped that to having 9 onboard feeds available at any time.

          It wasn’t until 2016 that they were able to start taking a live feed from every car & F1 is currently the only category which is able to do this.

          1. Thanks, that is interesting.

            I seem to have underestimated the technical difficulties that are tied to this.

    3. It this was redbull, they would go all csi, and find the heli footage, zoom and enhance on the glass in front of ham, get a reflection of his helmet, and another zoom and enhance get his steering angle and his dashboard conditions and his pedal positions from the dash reflections on the seat belts with extra zoom and enhancement by now.

  19. Perhaps we should just give Hamilton & Mercedes the championships and be done with it.

  20. The thing that puzzles me is we often hear people like Martin Brundle tell us that the stewards have access to a lot more views and then when this happens we randomly don’t have any footage of a main competitor. It doesn’t make any sense. We often get onboard footage from back markers. Minutes later which wasn’t broadcast live.

    It is odd.

    With regards to the incident itself, I am glad that Verstappen didn’t get a penalty and rather that Hamilton beat him decisively on track. Saying that he probably should have gotten a penalty, it was a very obvious and cynical running off the track which is fortunate didn’t end up with them tangling up yet again. I like seeing them race, elbows out style and don’t want every racing incident to be penalised taking away from the drama, but yeah Verstappen really performed a pretty dirty move.

    1. @davidhunter13 The stewards do have access to all available footage from every camera that is live at the time. This includes the OnBoard cameras from every car (Although not every camera on every car), CCTV, Trackside & all telemetry & team radio data.

      Since 2016 F1 has been able to pull a live onboard camera feed from all 20 cars (And these are all available to fans via F1TV as well as teams, Stewards & broadcasters). However due to bandwidth limitations they aren’t able to pull a live feed from every camera on every car so while there may be upto 4 cameras installed on a car they only have live access to 1 of them.

      In this instance the live feed from Max’s car was switched to the rear facing camera shortly before this incident (As Lewis was getting closer) & that rear facing angle was therefore all that was available.

      They do however record footage from other cameras on the car & are able to download that after the race so that footage should become available this week once they have been able to access the car to download it which they currently don’t due to how quickly everything needed to be packed up to be sent to Qatar this weekend. If it wasn’t the middle of a triple header with a race next weekend they may have been able to download the footage sooner to get it available last night, But there simply wasn’t time given how tight the schedule is in this instance.

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        15th November 2021, 17:31

        Conspiracy theory… They saw the move coming and made sure we didn’t get to see it!

  21. That same season, in the Austrian GP, ​​Lando Norris and Sergio Perez were punished for a situation identical to that which occurred between Hamilton and Verstappen in the Brazilian GP. Isn’t this lack of FIA criteria worrying?

  22. Wolff showed complete disregard for the rules this weekend, prostesting a slam-dunk DSQ in a ridiculous way like that, creating excuses. If it failed a technical directive, nothing else matters. They acted just like Aston Martin about Vettel’s Hungary race disqualification, grasping at straws and comparing the situation with others in which no technical rule was broken. This difference is important.
    And he cannot accept the stewards ruling on that Verstappen/Hamilton incident. Notice how he uses very few arguments but instead thrust a rage attack. If both drivers went off track, why did they choose that line in first place? No contact whatsoever, so he’s trying to twist the rules for a favorable outcome once again, putting logic aside. Pushing for overregulation to thwart defending and kill the show is his brand new political obsession, the current lobbying mission.

    1. @rodewulf you and @balue are the only sensible people that comment on a regular basis.

      Very clear by the outcry over this nothing burger versus Silverstone where the bias lies. So many fans that simply can’t see past it. Are these people real f1 fans, or just Hamilton’s or Verstappen’s?

    2. @rodewulf The stewards make allowences for broken parts all the time. They don;t disqualify a car with 3 wheels even though it will be underweight or driving with 3 wheels is generally not allowed.

      In this case something broke on Hamilton’s DRS. It’s not like it was designed to be like that. So there is clear ground for a dispute. But then just like with Aston Martin the stewards rejected it. Although parts braking and then disqualifying just for that seems even more daft than if the actual requirement is to bring a certain amount of fuel across the line. They didn’t penalize Perez for a DRS infringement when he destroyed his rear wing in Mexico. It clearly failed the DRS tolerances!

      1. @f1osaurus

        They didn’t penalize Perez for a DRS infringement when he destroyed his rear wing in Mexico. It clearly failed the DRS tolerances!

        Which test did it fail? The reason for those tests are to prevent any advantage that could have been achieved with an irregular component. Did Mercedes at least provide some proof it was damaged during quali? But even if it was, failing any of the required tests implies DSQ (if not many tricky precedents could be opened, like which type of damage to tolerate), as this is the more logical approach and there’s no way around it. Just like Aston Martin, they appealed in the lines of the flow system having some damage and the fuel was somewhere in the car, they just couldn’t extract it. So it gets clear how it’s generally a weak argument to override any disqualification, no matter who loses or who benefits from it.

        1. @rodewulf It failed the same test that Hamilton’s wing failed.

          Yes Mercedes said the part was clearly broken. They were not allowed to repair it.

          When the requirement is to have something with you at the end of the race then that is not something you can’t repair no. However, when a part is broken it’s also clear that you cannot test it’s tolerances. They don’t DSQ for broken or missing parts on the car.

          Verstappen has had several times that he was allowed to repair his rear wing. Without those repairs it would have failed deflection tests and he would be disqualified too.

          Stop being so purposefully obtuse.

        2. @f1osaurus

          It failed the same test that Hamilton’s wing failed.

          So why aren’t Mercedes protesting on those lines? Did Perez rear wing open by more than the required limit or not? If not, it didn’t fail the test. You are intentionally complicating things, as usual, because everything you take as a personal threat against your idol.

          When the requirement is to have something with you at the end of the race then that is not something you can’t repair no.

          No, it’s not. Had one of Mercedes drivers utterly destroyed their rear wing with nothing left, they wouldn’t be penalised. Hamilton was penalised because it was damaged in a way that could give an advantage. Is it still hard to understand and we need to draw it for you? Always getting blind by paranoia.

          Verstappen has had several times that he was allowed to repair his rear wing. Without those repairs it would have failed deflection tests and he would be disqualified too.

          The test Mercedes had failed was how much a rear wing can open. Will an accident make a rear wing open wider without breaking? Hardly possible. Should it happen, doesn’t matter, an advantage could have been gained. But most of the accidents cannot possibly offer a performance advantage, like a crack in the rear wing. If it is so, they might not eligible for the test. It’s logical, as if in an accident the rear wing is completely torn apart, how will they perform any tests whatsoever? But Mercedes couldn’t possibly use that excuse, as the rear wing was there, fixed, and ready for use so possibly had gained an advantage. As such it should take the tests, and then failed.
          So, the last thing that should be said to you is:

          Stop being so purposefully obtuse.

  23. The most it would be is a 3-place grid penalty for VER for Qatar, don’t think it’ll affect the Brazil race results as RB would say Max was cruising/saving his engine when HAM overtook him and hence the 10+ seconds gap in the end.

    Also, Max was more than 5 seconds ahead of Bottas anyway before most likely his engine was turned down. So grid penalty for next race if new, significant evidence showing Max purposely missed the apex comes into play.

  24. If Verstappen drives dangerously like that again he should be given a one race ban. His “back off or crash” tactics must be stopped.

    1. +1 I’m glad more fans are picking up on the fact that his wheel to wheel racing skills are actually very poor.

      1. I wouldnt call them “very poor” – they are some of the best especially considering his age. I would even say they are frustratingly good for Lewis fans. I am always amazed how well he adapts and just can go a little deeper, the kid is just on it. That said this time he was so blatantly bad that even the rational fanboys are questioning themselves…and in all honesty he looked a bit embarassed and meek after the race. If this had decided a championship ala Schumacher, he would have earned a season dsq.

        The problem with his style is he has incredible skill, but a lack respect for the competition landing him in the “hard and unfair” category – he doesn’t seem to be able to recognize what’s a video game and what is real life…which I feel is the root for why he got himself into the wall in Silverstone, the other racer always needs to avoid him.

        Being presumptive here, but when he has 5-10 years on him and a few championships under his belt we all will greatly respect his racing and his pace, as even Schumacher had these traits in his late 20s.

        1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
          16th November 2021, 0:03

          Schumacher went to the grey area when he needed to: Adelaide 94, Jerez 97, arguably Monte-Carlo 2021.

          Verstappen has real estate in the grey area, he’s ensconced there even before he was a WDC contender.

          1. He acted like a bull in a china shop. No regard, just bull the way through. Took out many drivers on his way up.

  25. For the purpose of the race it was a good thing no penalty was given – it was a thrililng race and for it to be settled by a 5 second penalty would have been an anti-climax.

    However, by not even investgating let alone giving a penalty the stewards are opening the door for contact and questionable driving to continue. Max and Lewis are in a class of their own this season, very rarely can you say one is out of control. For me, Max knew that he was running Lewis wide and was inviting either contact or Lewis to back off. The difference being, compared to other times this has happened, he was nowhere near making the corner this time. Lewis was sufficiently ahead, he was making the corner clearly, but then had to run wide to avoid contact with Max. Max wasn’t and didn’t make the corner.

    The strange thing about the incident was no investigation. Presumably therefore, it was felt that as they both went off track it was a clear “racing incident”. But as Lewis only went off track to avoid being crashed into I don’t see how it didn’t at least warrant an investigation.

    It’s a tough one, “let them race” is how it should be. But I’ve also always been a fan of drivers who keep it clean. And that includes knowing when you’re beat. If you can defend hard but keep it on the track, fair enough. If the only way you can save the place is to force both of you off track then that’s not fair driving.

    As much as I’d rather there not be steward interference, if they don’t put a stop to it, it will only carry on. And the championship will potentially end in a similar way to 89, 90, 94 and 97. After all the great racing there’s been so far, for it to end that way would be a massive shame.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 17:34

      We have seen many thrilling overtakes with wheel to wheel racing through many corners. The first approach on Max and he runs Lewis off track. That is not good driving and is not actually good for the show.

      1. I agree. Which is why ultimately I think action should have been taken, and as it wasn’t, a proper look at it should happen once all footage is released.

        I’d just rather it was kept clean in the first place!

      2. @andyfromsandy It’s strange that in 95 laps of racing, Verstappen only failed to make that corner once.

  26. It all depends on the footage when it’s available, then building up other evidence to support it. For example the line max was on and his braking point the same as another car which made the corner? Can they prove that the red bull should have made the corner without needing to go wide. I can’t see anything else but Mercedes going all in to get max a 5 seconds penalty, it would radically change both championships with 3 races to go.

    1. I think stewards are using max’s penalty money on the dinner first, then gonna use Lewis’s post race penalty money on desert, when finally full, they may have a look at the footage to extract and some good wine or whisky money from it from redbull I don’t think red bull would mind. But hope something appropriate and not a joke comes out of it.

  27. As others have said I really hope they do look into this further. Yes, we all want to see great racing, but honestly that wasn’t racing.

    Perez and Hamilton showed perfectly how to do it firm but fair. I loved seeing close respectful racing. Hamilton didn’t want to give the place back to Perez but knew he was on the outside and played it extremely fair.

    Max actually isn’t doing himself any favours here. I honestly don’t think he’s a good racing driver in wheel to wheel racing. His “win it or bin it” attitude relies on other drivers simply getting out of the way. When they don’t he just crashes. That’s not skill, it’s just forceful driving. He’s extremely quick, but he’s not even top5 in actual racing skill.

    My main gripe with yesterday was Masi saying Max was going to get a driving standards flag for the move, but by the time it had been looked at he’d already been given one for dangerous weaving. Why not give him two? He either does or doesn’t deserve one for the move. If he’s that bad/dangerous that he picks up two warnings within 10 racing laps then black flag him. The problem with not doing so is that he thinks that’s racing. RedBull pat him on the back and call him excellent and the next race he’s even worse.

    Monza is another prime example. He just doesn’t back out of things soon enough, even when he’s beaten. It’s like he’s always trying to prove himself as being the best, but in doing so he looks like a rookie.

    With Bottas being less than 5 seconds behind I can see Mercedes wanting to push on this, especially with the lengths RedBull went to after Silverstone.

    1. Yes, he should’ve let him past, I’d have liked to see how the race rating dropped then, we only had a real race cause verstappen tried all that was possible to keep hamilton behind.

    2. And obviously verstappen didn’t manage the gap in the end, knowing no penalty was coming…

    3. It’s just obvious double standards, Hamilton has had penalties for weaving and crowding another driver off the track, Max does both in the same race, no penalty for either!

  28. Funny how the DRS Gimmick choir are silent……………………..

  29. I want to see the video but it doesn’t matter. With Mercedes new rocket veratappen knows he needs to crash Hamilton to win the championship.

  30. I’m not sure why the video of the steering matters that much. You need your left foot to make the corner as well. Also turning the wheel more doesn’t necessarily make the car turn more when understeering (actually possibly the opposite). Verstapppen is basically saying I had to go off to avoid a spin and thus hitting Hamilton because I braked too late and could not make the corner. That seems it should be enough. He was no where close to making that corner.

    1. Yeah, have to agree @dmw, though in needing a new bit of info according to the rules to appeal the decision (to not investigate, I’d say, bc. that’s the main issue), the video might help; but really, clearly Verstappen either didn’t intend, or wasn’t capable of, defending position while keeping to the track.

  31. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    15th November 2021, 17:02

    Massi said he didn’t want to interfere because he “just wants to let them race”, but Verstappen’s idea of racing is to flout the rules and expect the FIA to cave in: at Imola he crowded Hamilton off the track, in Spain he flung it up the inside and left it to Hamilton to take avoiding action. At Silverstone he momentarily turned into the corner as he saw Hamilton in in his mirrors, only to immediately ‘correct’ his steering to deny Hamilton his line. At Monza he seems to have harpooned Hamilton, only to get the most derisory penalty. And in Interlagos he repeated the Spain trick.

    This isn’t hard racing, it’s cheating. And the FIA is allowing it.

    1. +1

      And it’s setting a dangerous precedent, Max will do this again and there could well be a collision.

      1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
        16th November 2021, 0:00

        And the formula for him acquiring and retaining fans is simple: race hard like you’re playing Playstation, and be not the dominant Mercedes and Hamilton combination.

  32. One wonders if Vitantonio Liuzzi would sway the stewards opinions to support his old team or perhaps that he still held a grudge after being dumped. Why do they even put people in a position like that?

    It feels a bit like appointing a Ferrari consultant as the sole steward overseeing all stewarding decisions in 2008.

  33. The comparison with the Norris – Perez incident is not valid imho, as Perez was completely alongside Norris, while Verstappen was in front again at the apex. So he had the right to let his car run to the edge of the track (as Hamilton often does when he is on the inside). The only problem for Verstappen was that he couldn’t quite make the corner, so should have been given a warning imho.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      15th November 2021, 17:38

      Verstappen got in front by not braking which in turn meant there was absolutely no way he was going make the corner. I think he even admitted that. This is an admission perhaps that he was not in full control of his car which itself would normally receive a penalty.

    2. The only problem for Verstappen was that he couldn’t quite make the corner

      That’s gotta be the biggest understatement I’ve heard on this. He didn’t just put 4 wheels over the line by a couple of inches, his car went way off track by several meters. Braking that late was never going to let him make the corner, and I rate him enough as a driver to believe he wouldn’t make such a big mistake. He didn’t even have dirty air to contend with, I saw no lock up… I just can’t see another explanation, given the available evidence, than that he intentionally braked so late that he would run wide and stop Hamilton overtaking (or else Verstappen just isn’t as good a driver as people think…)

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        16th November 2021, 12:53

        it is fascinating though, isn’t it, that he managed to make the corner on all the other laps,huh?

    3. He probably couldn’t make the corner since he took a very acute angle to overtake Lewis mid-corner. If you ask me he probably could make the corner but feigned understeer to force Lewis either yield or try to go the other way around and lose rear grip you’ll his car twitch plus pick up dirt. They never penalize forcing off the track when there is a run-off area for some reason.

      Lewis did the exact same thing in Austin 2015 and 2021 and potentially Bahrain 2021 too. Lewis is the last guy to complain about this to be fair and he didn’t really, his fans only do.

      1. In your examples Hamilton didn’t miss the apex by a car width and then go off on the exit at a 45 degree angle. If verstappen made the corner or colorable tried to I would agree this would be in the general category of car on the outside is there at his peril and no foul.

        1. Yep (again) @dmw; now, I personally wouldn’t mind if those Hamilton moves would also be looked at as crowding, but they and similar moves haven’t been for years. But VER went a lot further (or less subtle/smart? Regardless, he missed the apex by more then a cars width).

    4. No, at the braking point Hamilton is clearly ahead, almost a full cars length, it’s his corner, he is on the racing line.

      You can’t outbrake yourself to do a dive bomb and then claim the corner as at the apex (which Verstappen missed) you are ahead again as you are not in full control of the car.

      He’s broken 3 regulations potentially, yet no investigation required!

      They should have said we’ll investigate after the race if they couldn’t get the footage they need.

  34. Leclerc did way worse at the 2019 Italian GP and they even let him win from Hamilton without an Investigation..

    This was nothing in comparison..

    Just let them race..

    1. Nowhere near as bad TBF, did derserve a penalty but it’s a Ferrari at Monza, the stewards probably wanted to get home in once piece.

  35. To give a penalty now would be very unfair to Max. In the end he cruised to the finish and that is why Bottas was within 5 seconds at the finish. If you give a 5 second penalty in retrospect it will cost him a 2nd place. A grid penalty for the coming race is even worse of a penalty for Max. Also didn’t Toto said he wanted the WDC to be decided on the tarmac and not the steward office? Btw this is very hypocritical thing to say by Toto because he boycotted the rearwing of RBR by protesting to the FIA and he made sure new rules were applied through the FIA to slow down RBR pitstops.

    1. @kavu
      My thoughts too, frankly it was obvious it deserved a penalty during the race, but as it wasn’t given it would be unfair to apply one retroactively. If they couldn’t make a decision because of the missing video then leave it under investigation, then at least RB know they might need to extend the gap to 3rd place.

      1. LOL that is nonsense, just like he either couldn’t or chose not to make the corner properly, it’s also racing if he had to back of after that to such an extent that Bottas (had he been as fast as HAM, maybe with a similar fresh ICE) could have overtaken him. And maybe if he had raced cleanly at the time of the incident he’d have had more tyre and engine cooling etc. left to not have to cruise. That was his/the teams decision to do too. If it turns out that an actual investigation shows he should indeed be penalised, it’s due to his own decision (and Merc./Bottas being on the ball in that one respect) that he’d maybe fall behind Bottas. A grid penalty would also be a possible solution.

        If a bad act can only be punished in the moment, and not when evidence of it surfaces, that’s just really bad policy in general, even though it has to be the case for some things during races bc. too much happens afterwards to make it clear what would be an appropriate penalty. Still, that doesn’t really apply in this case.

  36. #WeOnlyBroadcastOne

  37. Where is the footage? Release the video, FIA!

    1. I think you mean F1. FIA doesn’t release videos. The commercial rights holder is the Formula One World Championship Limited (FOWC) or in short F1 as we like to name them :)

      1. NeverElectric
        16th November 2021, 2:58

        F1 are not interested in releasing the video (if they were, it’d be out by now), so maybe FIA can make them.

  38. since its 3 points and every single point is crucial, (case in point, RBR had SP take the fastest lap) if im merc, i will go all out to get a review and DEMAND the footage.

    this is business, i will take the moral high ground take a hike. if MV did not turn in the steering, then why should he be not punished?

    when the best defense from RBR, was this is all about letting them race hard, its pretty obvious to me..

    and i love MV, he is the next great champion, absolutely no doubt… but that does not mean he can run others down the road..

    1. Even as a verstappen fan I agree a 5 sec penalty could’ve been ok if done DURING the race, it would’ve ruined the racing (hint about why the footage disappeared), but would’ve probably been fair. NOT after he cruised and bottas came within 4 sec, bottas had no business fighting with verstappen even with an in race penalty.

      1. agreed. !

      2. So you are OK for Verstappen to get a penalty as long as it doesn’t affect him?

      3. Also, nobody stopped Verstappen from ensuring he was 5 seconds ahead of Bottas’ by the end of the race. He had the car and the skills to do it easily. It seems that the quick thinking he had in Mexico with Bottas’ fastest lap attempt eluded him this weekend.

    2. geoffgroom44 (@)
      16th November 2021, 12:49

      “…he is the next great champion…”
      He is still too volatile to deserve that epithet and you may find Russell will have something to say about that.

  39. Fuji, 2008, Hamilton penalised for forcing Raikonnen off-track, no contact.

    1. @davidjwest great of you bringing that up.
      That time Raikkonen was not going wide himself yet most people didn’t think it is a penalty, just racing.

      1. Hamilton wasn’t going wide at T4 either and “most people” aren’t the stewards. The rule is pretty clear it’s up to the FIA to enforce it consistently.

  40. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th November 2021, 21:17

    I watch the Sky feed in the US but my understanding is that if you subscribe to F1, you have access to the feed from any car. Is that not the case?

    1. @freelittlebirds It is, but you still only get to see one view broadcast from each car. The TV director decides which view is being broadcast from each car at any given time. The TV director decided to switch Verstappen’s camera from forward-view to rear-view camera as Hamilton was rapidly approaching. That is the only view that was available to the stewards during the race.

      All the other camera views are recorded on the car, but they can’t be accessed until after the race. With the teams having to leave Sao Paulo in a rush to get to Qatar for the next race, those views probably haven’t been retrieved yet.

      1. So, in the meantime, the potentially damaging evidence against Red Bull is locked up in the Red Bull car, to be delivered to Red Bull on arrival in Qatar? Pardon my cynicism, but I don’t expect ever to see that footage surface undamaged!

        1. geoffgroom44 (@)
          16th November 2021, 12:45

          RB will probably supply it…but it will be covered with tape :-)

  41. Max turned into Hamilton at Silverstone and almost got himself killed, if not for the strength of the car.

    Max turned into Hamilton at Monza and almost killed Hamilton, if not for the strength of the halo.

    Max again this weekend drove dangerously enough to warrant all this discussion and a black/white flag.

    This is supposed to be the top flight of motorsport. Something needs to be done before he goes too far.

  42. Lots of strong opinions on here, as always. Hamilton himself said he thought the battle was “fun”. For all the Hamilton fans, a quote from the man himself after the race in response to a question about the incident (available on BBC’s ‘F1: Chequered Flag’ podcast):

    I didn’t think too much of it, I obviously have to watch the replay, but it’s hard battling and I wouldn’t expect anything less—we didn’t touch wheels which was good.

    Sure he complained on the radio at the time, but drivers always complain on the radio about anything at the time.

    Y’all need to calm down.

    1. Hamilton’s opinion? But 50% of this forum have spent the last decade telling me he is a liar, I shouldn’t trust him, he has his own agenda, he’s playing mind games, he’s a cheat.
      Now those very same posters are holding him up as the voice of reason. What happened?

      Its the overhead cameraman I feel sorry for. Even he couldn’t keep track of where Max was off to.

    2. I suspect Hamilton’s opinion might be somewhat different if they’d collided or Hamilton ended up finishing behind Verstappen.

      Max broke three rules in the race that Hamilton has had penalties for in the past, FIA are inconsistent once again.

      1. Weaving on straights brought about a rule called Hamilton rule due to ham doing this move on straights to break the tow. If this move was penalised earlier, max would either get a black flag and dsq or 5-10 sec penalty for this.

        Alot of people were punished for much less obvious and ridiculous reasons, but max for whatever the reason, always gets a pass and man how many times he was let go scot free is unbelievable that one can’t think anything other than someone(s) on the stewards team is max fan or paid by max family. There is just no other explanation.

    3. geoffgroom44 (@)
      16th November 2021, 12:42

      and,of course, there’s always the point of view that says Lewis downplayed the incident as one would downplay the incident of a child having a tantrum in a supermarket :-).In other words, Lewis is saying…keep trying the funny stuff,Max, it don’t bother me,I can still beat you :-)

  43. This is the biggest “nothing burger” I can ever recall in 25 years of watching f1. Where is journalism going. media has no principles.

  44. Wait, how can footage disapear?

    But Verstappen explained what happened, he was drifting on dirty part of the track, decreased his steering input, to regain grip and went wide.. The safest option.

    Hamilton himself was quick to avoid flying verstappen and the race went on.

    If Hamilton didnt take evasive action, we would have a Silverstone repeat.

  45. I say it was a foul and that they were right to decide for a sporting outcome.
    So, I call their verdict as a
    AAA Solomonic Judgement — yes I do.

  46. Yes, yes they can :)

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