Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Interlagos, 2021

Verstappen avoids penalty over Hamilton incident as stewards deny request for review

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen will not face a penalty over the incident between him and Lewis Hamilton on lap 48 of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Mercedes requested the stewards review the incident between the two drivers when the pair ran wide at the Descida do Lago corner while fighting for the lead. Their request was denied by the stewards.

Mercedes supplied forward-facing onboard video from Verstappen’s car and 360-degree footage from his car showing the incident. The stewards accepted the evidence was both new, having not been available to the stewards at the time of their decision, and relevant.

However they did not agree the video evidence was significant, and therefore rejected Mercedes’ request for a review. They noted this decision was “not an affirmation or review of the stewards determination made during the race”.

The stewards believe the material they had at the time was sufficient to support their decision not to investigate the incident. “The stewards often must make a decision quickly and on a limited set of information. At the time of the decision, the stewards felt they had sufficient information to make a decision, which subsequently broadly aligned with the immediate post‐race comments of both drivers involved.

“Had they felt that the forward‐facing camera video from car 33 was crucial in order to take a decision, they would simply have placed the incident under investigation – to be investigated after the race – and rendered a decision after this video was available. They saw no need to do so.”

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Before the verdict was issued Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff said “we don’t expect to gain anything, to be honest, from the right of review.”

“It’s more about the principle and the philosophy because if it stays that way, that means overtaking from the outside is pretty much not possible anymore because the inside controls the corner completely.

“Now, that is anyway the case. But as it was before, when a car is next to you, you need to leave a car width, that’s not the case. So we just want to take it to the end, have a judgement on that and then adapt if necessary for the last few races.

“You can see some of the drivers have actually expressed that same opinion. So that’s why we are making the stewards have another look on it.”

However Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Mercedes’ petition “feels a little bit spurious” and predicted the video footage Mercedes supplied would not be considered significant enough to trigger an investigation of the incident.

“There’s been enough camera angles for the stewards to make their decisions. I think we’ve seen numerous incidents, both in the sprint race and during the grand prix – indeed, on the first lap of the grand prix, with Valtteri [Bottas] taking almost an identical line. So I would be surprised, I’d be disappointed if it were to go to another hearing, but it’s just frustrating it’s taken this long.”

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2021 Qatar 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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223 comments on “Verstappen avoids penalty over Hamilton incident as stewards deny request for review”

  1. to be expected.

    no idea why this took so long.

    1. One Steward has been swapped. Could have caused the delay

      1. One Steward has been swapped.

        A steward has been changed for this weekend however the stewards that looked at the right to review & who would have reviewed the case had it gone that far would have been the same set of stewards from Brazil.

    2. Probably took this long to get the back handers sorted…

    3. Let me elaborate based on some comments below:
      1) whilst I disagree with the initial stewards decision in Brazil (not to investigate), and would have expected a penalty had they investigated it, it would be wrong to reopen a case just because some further video becomes available showing the same what we could have seen earlier (not the exact video, but the manoeuvres from the drivers);
      2) I do expect a directive from the Race Director on these kind of moves (braking to late to make a corner, only to block a competitor);
      3) and why all the drama that we will now have mayhem? The stewards refused to review an incident which did not result in contact; even the most inconsistent FIA steward will act different when they do actually touch.

      1. On point 3) So, until HAM is ahead in points, and looking to win, VER will always be able to do this, bc. HAM cannot afford to wait for them to decide against him, because he’d lose the WDC, while VER can just continue on like this. Yeah, no, that is definitely worse than the bla from various parties about oh noes we cannot punish someone after the fact.

        1. then you skipped 2) :P

    4. The right decision. Bring on the weekend, Let’s race!

    5. Exactly…It would take less than 1 hour to decide if there is significant new evidence.

      1. They need time to drink all that champagne and eat the cake that they bought with the money from the fines.

  2. Oh dear. This won’t end well, it’s now legal to run a car off the track thats overtaking on the outside off a corner.

    1. No, it isn’t. It just means that there wasn’t significant enough evidence to prove that was his intent.

      1. Of course it was intent though, even you with your Max hat on can see this. Completely blinkered.

        1. Of course, but it’s not ok to penalize the driver unless he gave out something to make it sure, like opening the steering wheel. He masked it pretty well.

          1. Ask McLaren and Norris about that @cobray

        2. @john-h My Max hat? Must have missed that purchase. All those black-outs are starting to take their toll…

          1. Sorry, I overstepped the mark there @hahostolze but come on, even Max himself has not said he lost control of the car or made a misjudgement, only ‘hard racing’. Let’s be honest here, he knew what he was doing. Maybe I would do the same if I were him, but it doesn’t mean I should expect no penalty for it. Come on now, it’s so obvious he knew what he was doing I can’t believe it’s even a debate.

          2. @john-h I just don’t see why Max knowing what he was doing, as in, hard racing, has to automatically mean intent to run LH off the road. I just wouldn’t be coming to the conclusion that that was his plan all along. As I see it we had two racers changing places three times into the corner and obviously that took them both deep into it. If Max only then found out he was a bit helpless at that point, yes through deep braking, that he had to take the line he did, as he was on the very edge of grip, why can’t it be just as simple as that? Doesn’t this sort of thing happen all the time, especially with late brakers who many times don’t pull their move off as they saw a gap, took their chance, hoped for grip, only to find they had maxed themselves out on that?

            I think the debate about the stewards decision is fair game, but given that they obviously didn’t see some malicious attempt of Max ‘gunning for’ LH, but rather saw Max hard racing against LH, I don’t see the connection to this automatically meaning Max meant all along to run LH off. As Keith opined yesterday, he believes Max’s intent all along was to stay ahead of LH. I agree with that. I don’t think Max thinks it is ideal to have to go that wide and to run an opponent wide as well, but this was the consequence of the two of them racing so hard into that corner. I don’t believe for a second Max wants to win by taking someone out intentionally. But race hard? Yeah we can always count on Max for that. And LH.

            As well, I get the impression from Max saying he was happy the stewards let them keep racing, that he would have understood a penalty, but at the same time he would have argued with the stewards that it wasn’t malicious. Sometimes a late braker doesn’t pull off his move, doesn’t make contact, and it is not even noted.

          3. Hi @robbie. Read through your comment and I understand your point, let’s then assume it wasn’t intentional and he made a mistake with picking his braking point. How is this different to what Bottas did in Hungary, when he knew there were cars around him but made a misjudgement? Of course the penalty for Bottas was justified in that case because he should have had better control of the car, just as Max should have had better control of his car especially with another car on his outside.

            So even assuming Max didn’t do this intentionally (which anyone that has watched F1 for years can see pretty clearly tbh), he’s still gained an unfair advantage in keeping the position by not staying on track forcing a car off wide, regardless of intent or not.

          4. @john-h Yeah for sure hard to argue that and it is a fair point to say that even an unintentional understeer situation for example could still be blamed on the driver for not ensuring no understeer. We do know that LH has claimed understeer on several occasions of running Nico wide and I always claimed he was saying that like he had no control over his own car’s pace or when to brake. Like he was just an innocent bystander to his own understeer. The fact is he went in hot and hoped for the best. Same with Max I think. And many others. I don’t think Max made a mistake with his braking point. I think he just went back and forth with the lead into that corner with LH and let it play out on the edge of grip hoping it would hold. As he said though he was so close on grip that if he had tried to steer left he would have spun. Sure in hindsight he could have braked a bit earlier and he wouldn’t have had the understeer, but that’s irrelevant to the millisecond decisions Max had to make as it was happening.

            For sure it is fair to say well Max wasn’t in control then if he had understeer, but I just think it happens so often, it’s actually one of the cruxes of racing, no? How much grip at what speed? Being on the edge of traction? I just think Max is only guilty of trying his hardest, and yes that meant understeer, and yes that took himself and LH wide, and I think the stewards simply decided that they both survived it and in this mega dual for the Championship let’s not punish one of these two particular players at this particular point for that kind of hard racing. Perhaps they even had it in mind that an LH pass on Max was inevitable at some point anyway. They immediately called it a let them race moment. This particular one. That doesn’t mean they have thrown away the rule book whatsoever.

          5. The difference with the Hamilton ‘understeer’ moments @robbie is that he then stays on the track. What I don’t particularly like is if Hamilton says that it’s understeer, when it’s clearly not, however this was kind of the case at Silverstone and Hamilton got the penalty.

            Just for reference and to try and remove any unintentional bias, I was supportive of Max when he pushed Leclerc wide at Austria precisely because he was taking the racing line and stayed on track. I really don’t think this is the same, because he ran so wide and off the circuit, this makes it actually more like Bottas and the bowling ball if anything.

            Let’s agree to disagree, but always enjoyable to discuss!

          6. @john-h Yeah no worries and I am enjoying it too. Of course I get that Max didn’t stay on the track. Perhaps if this had happened earlier in the season Max would have had to cede the position to LH. If he had done anything different he would likely have been doing that anyway, but obviously he just wasn’t ready yet to cede the position. Thank goodness for us or what would have had to talk about all week;) I just think Max doesn’t make a habit of running that wide and he usually squeezes the likes of LH out just as LH has done numerous times, on the track, and that’s not a criticism, it is a racing thing. At some point you get to own the real estate and force the other guy’s hand. In this case yeah they both went off but that still doesn’t mean to me Max wanted it that way. I really don’t think he wants to be a bowling ball. He’s been there done that in his earlier years until he learned his hard lessen and corrected his behaviour (for the most part) post Monaco 2018;)

      2. Intent doesn’t matter. Drivers have been penalized for screwing up their braking points in the past.
        Anyway the telemetry did show it was intentional. Even Max loosely admitted it without revealing too much.

        The key thing why it wasn’t reviewed is because the stewards would make themselves look like bigger fools!

      3. @hahostolze sorry man but the move is indefensible – it’s not even up for debate. What’s worse is that this sport where lives are at stake has no governance.

    2. No. It means the FIA rejected the request for review. So they’ve not even reviewed it.

    3. Their request (for review) was denied by the stewards.

      a big difference from what you are claiming.

    4. I don’t hope so. I guess in retrospective everyone (probably even Redbull or Verstappens die-hards) agrees that it was wrong not to investigate the incident.
      But a decision that for legal reasons can’t be revised. No new relevant proves have appeared so they’re not allowed to reopen the investigation. The onboard does only show what we already knew: Verstappen carried way to much speed into the corner and didn’t even intend to make it.
      So we shouldn’t take it as a precedent for any future decision regarding dive-bombing and pushing someone off track.

    5. @emu55 It’s been more or less legal to run someone on the outside off the road for quite some time now. The difference is that now drivers are free to ignore track limits while doing so. What a mess…

  3. What a great track to decide this at. The WDC is going to end in a massive crash now

    1. Max now has the green light to crash he’s way to the WDC…

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        19th November 2021, 13:09

        Funny how it works out though eh? If it wasn’t for cars crashing into him, he’d probably have the title all but wrapped up now….

        1. I didn’t realise someone crashed into at Monza….

        2. Well, I think you’re right, overall luck wise he lost like 45 points in comparison to hamilton, so atm having 59 points would be, although not mathematically enough, almost.

  4. Wow!

    And now up coming are 3 middle eastern tracks with lots of tarmac run-offs!! Expect drivers across the grid to keep crowding out their pursuers and running off track themselves.

    1. This decision will now set a dangerous precedent. We may end up seeing a lot of aggressive defending in the races to come…and if not executed correctly, we may end up seeing a lot of drivers being shunted out of races.
      The stewarding this year has been sub-par to say the least. Not just the decisions per se but the way they have gone about handling investigations and violations etc has been abysmal. There doesn’t seem to exist any rigid stand or view on what can/cannot happen during the race weekend.
      Hurts to say this but I feel sorry for the late and great Charlie Whiting !!!

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        19th November 2021, 13:15

        @webtel – I don’t think it sets a dangerous precedent. The opposite in fact. The stewards are wildly inconsistent so if you push a driver wide, you may get a harsh penalty or you may get completely let off. It’ll change from race to race so you take a risk by driving in that way. The decision not to punish Max doesn’t mean the stewards will view that the same way the next week. That’s a problem but it’s a problem with the stewards – not with the appeals process.

        The decision made today stops a dangerous precedent being set in my opinion – every single decision being appealed without significant new information. I want the stewarding to be sorted out so they make the correct decisions during the race but I don’t want us to have to wait a week after every race for various appeals to go through because that’s no good for the sport.

        1. That’s quite an impressive level of mental contortion.

          This was an opportunity to end the inconsistency you correctly highlight, but instead of that, this set of stewards have endorsed it.

          Of course, did anyone expect the original stewards to admit they were wrong?

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            19th November 2021, 14:43

            @dang – They haven’t endorsed anything. They specifically said the decision “not an affirmation or review of the stewards determination made during the race.”

            The decision was purely about whether to allow a review of a decision made during the race. In their view, there wasn’t any significant new evidence provided which is required as per the rules in order to have a review. if that rule wasn’t in place, every decision would be reviewed.

            I don’t see how a review would have ended any inconsistency. If they said it was a penalty, you’d have a bunch of teams asking to protest decisions where they were pushed off the track but the other driver wasn’t punished. It’s happened loads this year and changing one decision won’t fix the whole process which is all too often getting decisions wrong.

            The way to end inconsistency is to do a review of stewarding in general. Look at why the process isn’t working, whether the rules need to be tightened up to remove any grey areas and any other issues… It looked a penalty to me and basing it on the penalties given out in Austria, how was this not worse than that? It’s not like football where a referee has to make a decision on the spot – they’ve got a chance to look at it from multiple angles and make a decision. If they’re not applying the rules correctly, there are major problems and overturning a single decision isn’t going to fix that.

    2. Given that all three remaining tracks are unlikely to lend themselves to overtaking in corners – only DRS-assisted motorway passes down the straights – I doubt it will be much of an issue, if at all.

      1. Indeed @red-andy, although the run off at T1 in Qatar could get some use I guess.

  5. So they basicly decided that the new evidence is not significant?

    Let’s find out what Toto thinks of this

    1. No they took the easy way out, as predicted and sort of expected @anunaki, they said that since there was not investigation to appeal, there was no right of review either. Ie. because the stewards completely in Brazil dismissed it, now there shouldn’t be a way to challenge that (yeah, that’s pretty corrupt, but that’s the way we got to know the FIA I think).

      1. However they did not agree the video evidence was significant, and therefore rejected Mercedes’ request for a review.

      2. @bosyber no they did actually say the new evidence is not significant

        1. Yeah, it wasn’t significant because the previous stewards decided there was no need to investigate – and since this footage only enhances the view that Verstappen did it on purpose but that the Stewards wanted to allow that, then this doesn’t significantly change the judgement.

          So that’s a very cynical way to just put it like that: We all know what happened, and the other stewards decided not to look at whether it needed punishment, so we, stewards at this meeting are not going to look at it now, period.

          Yeah, in that light it certainly isn’t significant.

      3. They took the easy way out, I agree. As many have pointed before, the new evidence is indeed not significant, since even without the forward-facing video the Verstappen move was blatantly wrong and deserving of a penalty. Now the FIA has just completed tying itself in knots. Is F1 about to become the series with the dirtiest racing, while staying the most heavily policed one ?

    2. They avoided shooting themselves in the foot. That same foot that would be stuck in their mouths!

  6. Well, as least every driver now knows it 100% acceptable to force a driver off track, come nowhere near being able to make the corner and gain a lasting advantage doing so.

    Let the mayhem commence.

    1. I wonder how Bottas and Perez role will change now…mmmmm?

    2. Well it was about time for some recognition of the difficulty of an outside pass. Penalising in the past have led to some kind of illusion that it is completely normal to go outside expecting the one on the inside will leave space while in fact this car should be able to just hold the racing line and not leave a cars width. Not saying Max would have made that racing line in this specific case, but talking about the larger concept of overtaking around the outside.

  7. Good. Time to move on.

    1. Except we won’t move on @sjaakfoo because this kind of bully driving will now be allowed. Not making a decision will allow us _not_ to move on.

    2. Whoa, Max is all clean now. Time to move on.

  8. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    19th November 2021, 12:32

    Looking forward to watching demolition derby these next few races. I vote we give out a bonus point to the driver who can push a rival the furthest from the track.

    1. That sounds like a job for Superalonso, knight of the rules consistency !

    2. Extra bonus points if they crash and you dont!

    3. The stewards over the next 3 races are going to be very confused. Ultimately, they have to note all the incidents but not investigate them. They would have to use this incident as a reference point to be fair to everyone.

      If I were a steward I’d go up to Masi and ask “should we investigate this? Sure, it’s clear he crashed into him but we should check with his team principal and see if his driver was trying to drive safely by crashing into the other driver or just racing in which case it’s perfectly ok. In either case, it doesn’t seem worthy of investigation based on the new Masi edition rulebook post Brazil 2021.”

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th November 2021, 16:54

        @freelittlebirds I still don’t know how or why people are bringing Masi into this. Masi has the power to note an incident, but has no power whatsoever to force it under investigation. The sporting regulations make it very clear that:

        After review it shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide whether or not to proceed with an investigation.

        The reason I think Masi keeps being drawn into these discussions is he is the de facto spokesperson for the FIA at a race weekend. Most of the discussions he has about incidents are not his decisions, they’re the stewards’, but the stewards seem to want to keep a low profile.

        (And for the record Michael, I know we’ve had our differences this season, but I strongly disagree with this decision. Verstappen was definitely predominantly at fault, and probably completely at fault, for the incident, and should have been penalised (I would have said 5 seconds or 3 or 5 places this weekend). I agree with him that we all enjoy hard racing, but Brazil wasn’t hard racing, it was dangerous and it was desperate. However, I’m not surprised at this appeal failing simply because the requirements to earn an appeal are extremely difficult to reach in any scenario.)

  9. You mean the same FIA which changed the rules to suit RedBull, always let them change illegal parts the next race with no punishment and let them change parts which clearly aren’t fit for purpose each race aren’t going to be punished for breaking rules. Why am I not surprised. Empty championship if Max does win. Really wishing luck on Mercedes now.

    1. Ah yes, this is the incident that defines the season. Not Silverstone. This. Makes sense.

      1. How could we forget Silverstone @hahostolze? How many GS was it again, I can’t recall? At least Mercedes haven’t been petty enough to arrange a recreation in the simulator as new evidence.

        1. @john-h You don’t know that they haven’t ;-)

          But yes, let’s compare apples and bowling balls. They both roll, sort of. Verstappen was fairly or unfairly knocked out of the race in Silverstone and Hamilton still won despite a penalty. Here Verstappen pushed him off track, going off track himself, no penalty was given and Hamilton still won the race. Please tell me how those moments are remotely comparable in severity and consequence, and then tell me how the parties have to be similarly aggrieved. Because that’s just horseradish.

          1. Consequences should not be reasons to punish bad driving @hahostolze.
            Are you saying that a penalty should have been applied had Hamilton not avoided a crash?
            No, it’s not in Hamilton’s hands whether Max’s driving was acceptable or not, just as per Silverstone, Max could have in theory gone even wider and avoided a shunt. I’m not saying he should have by the way, and Hamilton was rightly penalised after an investigation.

          2. That is hilarious Hahostolze! You are seeing the consequences instead of the incidents themselves. Let’s go by this. If VER was to get a grid penalty for this race, MERC by theory would have secured the win in Qatar. Looking at the consequences of these decisions? Here you go, the consequence of opting out of this penalty.

          3. Let me also give you an analogy to help….

            A tackle from behind in football is a red card and a match ban. It doesn’t matter if the other player suffers a broken leg or not in terms of the severity of the penalty, it’s foul play and there is a set penalty for that. Does that make sense?

            Not sure how I can put it any clearer to be honest @hahostolze, sorry.

          4. @hahostolze The difference comes down to the car on the outside and their behavior…Max knew Lewis was there and turned in hoping he would clear – he did not, had Lewis made the apex it would have sat squarely 100% on Max as he sat in the barrier. In Brazil Lewis knew Max was there and bailed, Max failed to make the apex, failed to keep it on track, but the driver saw it was worse for them to try. Which from the wording of the stewards is why Max did catch blame in Silverstone.

            End of day we know if Bottas had pulled this same move on Max in Mexico on lap 1, you would likely have a very different view.

          5. @hahostolze please explain to me how Lewis was at fault at Silverstone as Max could have made that corner and been ahead 99 out of 100 times had he not made a steering mistake or assumed that Lewis had given up on the corner.

            Lewis probably would have pushed Max out as they exited the corner but it never got to that point.

            Until the point they collided, Verstappen double moved on the way into the corner (as always), then he cut the corner as if there was no one there. Lewis was pointing towards the apex. Max realized that Lewis was racing him, made an adjustment, and it was not enough. Their wheels touched and Max got the worst of it which was fine as Max misjudged the situation.

            Simple as that. I’m not saying that Lewis would not have fouled Max coming out of the corner by making the car as wide as possible as everyone does but as the incident played out, Max made 2 mistakes, Lewis made none.

            Lewis was penalized because of the fact that Max’s race ended and Horner demanding a penalty but that’s just a sympathy penalty, not the correct decision…

            Max got what he deserved at Silverstone. He collided with another, he crashed out and he’s lucky he survived it. But it wasn’t Lewis’s fault. It’d be generous to consider that a racing incident as Max had messed up everything up until the collision.

            Sure, Lewis is a better driver and can avoid all collisions as he did in Brazil but you can’t ask a racer to always yield cause he’s much better than the other driver who’s trying to collide with you. That’s not racing – that’s babysitting.

          6. @john-h OK but do all tackles from behind get penalized? Do they all result in a red flag and a ban? Or are there degrees of bad behaviour? In terms of Max’s ‘bad driving’ in Brazil, I would say it was so minor an infraction, and understandable when we saw how both drivers were dicing for position going into the corner, that the stewards just decided that was better left at hard racing. I understand though that those who just think it was bad driving would then think it was penalty worthy. I think it was the on the very edge of traction kind of hard racing we want to see for the Championship, as LH seemed to think too.

      2. Didn’t someone get a penalty at Silverstone?

      3. Oh, July 18th at the Racing Incident Grand Prix? Yep, racing incident to this day and always a racing incident 10 years from now.

    2. Did Hamilton got a Penalty to push Perez into Pit’lane in Turkey ?
      There wasnt any investigation either.

      No matter how you see it, he forced him off track.
      Ans Hamilton does it pretty often
      Massa, Maldonado Rosberg, Timo Glock ….
      A lot of them has been pushed off by him.
      So ?

      I donc call him hamilpush.

      But as long as people are supporting one team or one driver, the team and drivers are innocent and superheros and everyone else are cheaters and Fia corrupted wanting to make them loose.

      I’m sorry, but i doubt this kind of vision being very constructive and based on the facts

      Alonso saying is not completly wrong …
      Would have been the same if Verstappen was British and Hamilton From Neerlands ?

  10. The worst possible outcome. They should have reviewed the incident and then stated that no penalty was due, explaining why. This decision to remain in their huddle, saying nothing, just green lights drivers forcing others wide however they want if there’s tarmac run-off.

    Except it won’t be like that, will it? Inconsistency is a FIA mantra. Expect penalties to come for doing exactly the same as MV. When convenient for the right parties involved.

    1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      19th November 2021, 12:44

      @david-br Exactly, it won’t be like that. The stewards change every race and the rules change with them. Farcical.

  11. The whole thing stinks of corruption and subterfuge, thought the days of calling the FIA Ferrari International Assistance were behind us, but no, its now Red Bull International Assistance…

    Remember folks, ‘New F1, New Champion, New TV Deals available now’

    1. everybody but you want Redbull to win, deal with it

      1. Not everyone wants Redbull to cheat.. or be helped to cheat.

        Not everyone wants another Shumacher crashing out his rival to win the championship.

        Remember the weekend started with the same stewards penalising Hamilton for that apparently 0.2mm infringement on his rear wing, after it was first ‘tested’ by that magician Verstappen for its regidity. They then keep the offending part so no one is able to further scrutinise the part or their decission. It makes you wonder doesn’t it. How fair is fair.

        0.2 mm less than the thickness of the human hair, could a person do that, physically manhandle that part, remember Verstappen before the world press, had 2 goes to get it right.

        1. Bit suspicious that the wing fails a test for the first time after Max is seen playing with it…

      2. “deal with it”

        “get over it”

        The fantastic debating culture of the 2020s @anunaki. What a world we live in now.

        1. It was a joke John

          1. Ah ok @anunaki, sorry I missed that! My sacarsm filter must be off today :)

      3. You mean by refusing to look at ALL the evidence, this is what you people want from the FIA?

        Well done you.

    2. Remember, just this year they changed the following mid-season:
      -Rear Wing change, this gave a benefit to Mercedes
      -Tire change from Silverstone onwards, this gave a benefit to Mercedes
      -Pit-stop changes, this gave a benefit to Mercedes.

      But sure, they’re totally corrupt for Red Bull this year, it’s pretty evident who they want to win.

      1. Well were find out for sure if Lewis does the same and gets a penalty… Come to think of it, its now open season for driving people of the track, lets wait and see..

        1. You can wait and see, I’m just gonna enjoy this title fight.

        2. Like Lewis to Perez in Mexico?

          1. My bad, it was in Turkey.

          2. @omarr-pepper Unless the car shunted off track picks up damage, and the inside car stays on track and is level/ahead (easy to do by braking late) then that seems to be the new normal. As set by MV versus Leclerc in 2019. What isn’t normal is driving several metres off track to block, effectively extending the width of the track where those acres of tarmac permit. But we’ll see soon enough I’m sure.

  12. You guys are overreacting. I dont believe everybody is going to use the max maneuver to blast their rivals off track from now on. This decision also doesnt mean, that max’s move was legal. It just says, that the onboard video is not significant enough to reopen (or in fact open) the/an investigation.

    1. Then you’re extremely naive. I wonder if McLaren will themselves open a review into previous penalties.

      This will cause chaos. F1 drivers always push the limits and we’ve officially just seen the end of overtaking in F1. Just weave, defend the inside line and force everyone off track. RIP actual racing :(

      1. McLaren had a right to do that, it expired a long time ago.

      2. If i am being naive, then you are extremely pessimistic. We will see whats going to happen and i hope you are wrong.

    2. Exactly. The Stewards don’t want to contradict themselves by reviewing the incident. The safest thing to do is to dismiss it. If they reviewed it, then it will be obvious that they erred. They want to leave open the option to be able to punish such moves when they wish.
      The next time someone does it there will be video evidence and they will punish immediately.

      1. The next time someone does it there will be video evidence and they will punish immediately.

        I don’t follow this logic. THIS time there was [sufficient] video evidence and they didn’t “punish it immediately”. Maybe drivers get a free one before they start penalizing, or more likely it just doesn’t apply to VER since we all know that’s just the way he drives.

  13. The stewards are comedians

  14. F1 is a farce.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      19th November 2021, 12:38

      You misspelled your own name there bud

  15. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    19th November 2021, 12:38

    I didn’t even have to be quiet and I could hear Toto Wolff and Lewis Hamilton cry all the way from the other side of the planet.

    Can’t imagine the seethign going on there now, which will naturally be done off as ‘we werent expecting much anyway’.

    1. You have quite the vivid imagination. Oh, and you misspelled seething there bud.

    2. It seems you enjoy other people’s anguish more than harmony

    3. Is it true? Is there sunshine shine out of that hole you got your head up?

    4. Another comment about Mercedes from our friend @barryfromdownunder and nothing on this site about F1, any other drivers, progression of the sport, etc. No other contribution but skating Mercedes. Nothing.

  16. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    19th November 2021, 12:39

    As I said in another article, the stewards were already aware that Verstappen had crowded Hamilton off track and decided not to enforce the rules (despite claiming only one race before that such action was ‘strictly prohibited’). So a new camera angle isn’t revelatory. Yes, it shows just how cynical Verstappen was (there was no attempt to make the corner), but then crowding someone off track isn’t something defined by intent: you can’t say yes I’m guilty but it was accidental. So the new evidence adds nothing.

    All this highlights is that the stewards are either massively biased or massively incompetent. I’m not really bothered which, but they have brought the sport into disrepute and should be sacked.

    Verstappen’s tactics all season has been: “either get out of the way or we crash”. That’s a rubbish way to win a WDC.

    1. You call Senna and Schumancer rubbish? they all did that…….

      1. Yes, they were both rubbish ways to win a WDC. Dramatic, iconic, but also anticlimactic, controversial and divisive.

  17. FIA Step 1-Deny review-Nothing to see here. Completed.
    FIA Step 2-Masi will remind everyone in the drivers meeting that forcing another driver off the track is totally unacceptable and will result in a penalty for those who transgress.

  18. Redbull leaves a bad taste…

    1. What about Merc ?
      Toto said « we dont expect any gain from the review »
      So what the point of making one if you dont expect any gain ?
      They said they didnt make appeal for the disqualification because they were sure there was close of 0% chance to win.
      Here, they ask for review being sure they will lose ?
      In logical point of view, there ‘s no coherence.

      And i’m sorry but i’ve watched by curioosity all the erros Hamilton made through his career.
      He often made erros himself, with another driver or alone in this turn 4.
      And he pushed people off trach often.
      Ask Timo Glock in Monza
      Ask Massa in 2011, especially in Monaco where Hamilton forced him with is own wheel at the Loews,
      Perez in turkey, was forced to take pit lane.
      No inverstigation either.
      So i’m kind of tired of hypocrisy of merc and Ham’s fans.
      Ham is not better than ver on this.
      On the errors he made, he was older ans had several seasons of experience
      He’s not worde but not better.
      Both of them have their s…. Behind them.

  19. Well it’s clear Michael Masi is no Charlie Whiting. Charlie would never have let things get so out of control and create such ambiguity. I can’t help but think he’s seen as out of his depth and easy to influence, like a supply teacher in a class of delinquents. Anyway, interesting decision and it’s now done and dusted – looking forward to an exciting end to this season. Whichever driver becomes WDC, he’s earned it.

    1. @shakey66 remember the “message to Charlie” in Mexico by Vettel? It’s because even from his time penalties are inconsistent.
      As a fan of Max I’m relieved, but he was in the wrong. But LH fans should keep quiet, as he has received lenient penalties before as well. It seems to me that the decision to DSQ in Brazil was stretched longer than for a y other team / driver. Probably Masi was looking for a way not to penalize that. Probably.

      1. Yes, driver’s were, and are, always using radio to try and get a message to Race Control that advantages them, even in Charlies day. It’s like a footballer diving or faking an injury. In both cases, the referee/race director dictates how the game plays out. Doe’s he lose control and they kick the hell out of each other, or do you set clear rules and expectations, create respect and discipline (think Ruby Union).
        My point is, i don’t recall Charlie openly inviting regular debate and challenges to his authority. I’m not saying i haven’t got it wrong, maybe it did happen but it wasn’t broadcast as much as it is now. The fact remains, it feels like this entire thing is out of control and it’s been happening on Masi’s watch. I’ve been watching F1 for 35 years (and BTW, i don’t have any driver or team preference, i just love the technical innovations, strategy, and driver’s talents) I have rarely missed a live session (i have an understanding wife). This weekend is the first time I’ve decided I’m going to do something else with my time and maybe catch the highlights during the week. For me the sport is being ruined on many level’s, but i totally get that they want to attract new fan’s and maybe this is the sort of thing that new fan’s want.

        1. 100% with you, except it has been a lot more than 35 years and I have to admit to watching a sailboat race during the US GP ( my home GP) and highlights only ever since. Going back to the Transat Jacque Vabre now!
          Good day all.

    2. I thinks you’re dead right but overall the situation might actually be advantageous to Hamilton as every driver knows that move was unacceptable, attitudes towards Max will potentially be more hostile when he’s behind, knowing they have less to lose with a DNF.

  20. Ffs it was racing. It them speeds you don’t have time to plan owt. Let em race and less of this PC crap

    1. But there should be a consequence for getting it wrong. If what Max did was simply a driver error, he should not get a benefit from going off the track.

  21. Well, if Max wins the title this year, it will be totally illegitimate…just like Rosberg in 2016.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      19th November 2021, 12:48

      >seething this hard

      Good that Hamiltons titles are also illegitimate because there was never any proper opposition.

      1. And the same applies this year if he wins?

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          19th November 2021, 13:35

          Depends if he beats Verstappen by enough points to cancel out Bottas crashing into Max….

          Either way, it’s an utterly stupid argument. Rosberg’s title win was entirely legitimate and whoever wins this year will deserve to have won as well.

          1. petebaldwin

            There are plenty of people on this site who will disagree with you.

    2. Hahhahahaahaa

  22. Unacceptable. Very clear the incident at least needs investigation, even if no penalty results.

    1. that’s not what this is about

      1. They’ve refused a review, so refused an investigation. It’s exactly what it’s about.

        1. they don’t find the evidence significant, it has nothing to do with the incident itself

          1. They are refusing a review. Thats what I said, and you argued with. A new camera angle is new evidence, and they just don’t want to review. For what reason, I have my opinion that I won’t share here – mainly because I’m too busy cancelling my sky F1 subscription.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            19th November 2021, 13:38

            If you are allowed to appeal a decision without significant new evidence, every single decision will be appealed. We’ll never know the result of a race until week’s after it takes place.

            I think Max should have been given a penalty in the race but I don’t think the on-board is significant new information so a review shouldn’t happen.

            Where a review should happen is regarding the stewards and how they came to that decision. Why didn’t they investigate after the race? Are they competent? Does the whole process work?

      2. @anunaki No, it’s about Masi saying he thought about waving a b+w flag for the incident, then saying that fresh evidence (Max’s onboard) could well be grounds for a review. So why the continued reluctance to actually review the incident and specify why no penalty was due?
        The answer is probably simple. They know that explaining why no penalty was due is unsustainable in terms of their own regulations. Hence the continued smoke screen.

        1. @david-br I think we got their explanation during the race right after the incident. Masi said they looked at it and decided it was a let them race moment. No ‘smoke screen.’ Yes they are taking some license with that decision. Yes others may or may not have gotten away with this. But then ‘others’ aren’t Max and LH in a season long battle duking it out with only a few races left during which Masi (et al) hopes that they can settle it on the track and not have it be settled in a court. Yes it means shades of grey to the rules sometimes. In this case both drivers were unscathed. This has been going on for decades. Think Villeneuve/Arnoux. You can’t deny that, as Masi has pointed out, the teams also want a relaxation of the rules sometimes when it feels too restrictive. There is something to the concept of let them race, and settle it on the track, and the teams have been vocal about that too.

          Imho in the MS/Ferrari era the rules were actually shaped to favour MS/Ferrari. Imho they didn’t need their veto because they got a say in the shaping of the rules such that the veto wasn’t necessary. What happened (the non-call) in Brazil pales in comparison to that. What penalty did MS actually get for Jerez 97? Exclusion from the Championship which he couldn’t have cared less since he wasn’t going to win anyway, and he got to keep all his wins and poles for the record books even though he was excluded from the Championship. So…no real meaningful penalty for what he did to JV. I have cited in recent days that there were times when the stewards simply let the teams decide their drivers’ fates after inter-team collisions, e.g. LH and Nico, Max and DR. Leave it as a racing incident and let the team manage their own drivers. It’s really not at all unprecedented for F1 to just let them race.

          1. @robbie I buy all that up to a point – but the point is that no recognition was made that Max had exceeded the normal limits. Had Masi issued his b+w flag warning, it would have been a minimal signal at least. But nothing at all gives an OK to what Max did. End result? The other drivers are asking for clarification. If you’re going to blur the boundaries of the permissible because of a championship fight as you’re suggesting, fine, but you have to do the blurring. Instead Masi and FIA’s ‘nothing to see here, let them race’ has apparently approved sweeping across and well off the track to block a rival.

            Or have they? I imagine not, it’s simply not viable to allow this kind of defensive maneouvre. But it will take another incident for this to become apparent and the new ‘clarification’ of the racing regulations made. We’ll find out soon enough when the next similar incident arises.

          2. @david-br Yeah fair point about the flag, but otherwise if I’m Masi and the drivers have questions I’m just going to answer with things such as they allow leeway for many first lap incidents too, and this is/was for the Championship etc etc and yeah they just don’t want the titles settled by judge and jury if they can help it. Drivers with concerns over inconsistencies may also one day benefit from the let them race notion. Letting Max and LH see that corner through does not have to mean a re-writing of the rule book.

  23. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    19th November 2021, 12:53

    the stewards felt they had sufficient information to make a decision, which subsequently broadly aligned with the immediate post‐race comments of both drivers involved.

    Love that part. So Lewis being diplomatic is now part of the supporting evidence. These people have no shame.

    1. What was hamiltons repsons when he pushed Perez off track into the pitlane, I don’t remember. Probably he found that to be hard racing

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        19th November 2021, 13:02

        Hamilton didn’t push Perez off. He was on his normal line and ahead through a very tight corner, the gap was always going to close.

  24. Pretty frustrating that they won’t review it. Even if they agree beforehand not to give a penalty, please just clarify the issue. Review the entire incident. All the data. The camera angles. The consequences. And tell us, next time: this is or isn’t allowed.
    This result helps nobody.

    1. Indeed @hahostolze. Definitely some sort of decision was required, whether some of us agree with it or not. Innaction is worse than action in this case, even opening it and deciding it was ok would be better.

  25. Bad bad bad precedent. Turmoil coming soon…

  26. Pffff, Lewis makes a half overtake again…a couple of laps later he showed how it’s done……finaly…Make a move or don’t (cry).

    1. @tony667 Sure. Only next time paint the circuit boundary in São Paulo out where Verstappen wandered so everyone is entitled to use the same amount of extra track.

      1. That is not how this works. ;) Let Max have this corner. Lewis already has it’s own track limit in turn 4 in Bahrain.

        1. @tony667 OK, partisanship aside, I still think this non-decision has generated confusion among drivers, yet alone everyone else, about what is permissible. So it’s guaranteed to have repercussions down the line – almost certainly this weekend in fact. So be it. Let’s see what happens. Should be interesting anyhow.

        2. Max abandoned the corner. Left the track so far you could have fit another corner in the space.

  27. Lol
    The ruling was no investigation necessary which means the incident wasn’t investigated.
    So the fact they had the evidence they need at the time to investigate is immaterial as they chose not to look at any evidence.
    Max will win by crashing Hamilton.

    1. @jimfromus Well, TBH, if he does go down that route, he was going to do it anyway. A penalty in SP isn’t going to stop him.

  28. The FIA has been able to check telemetry during previous races now they don’t bother.
    The new way not to penalise is to pretend the information is not there or unavailable.
    This isn’t about favouring Redbull, it is about hiding incompetence.
    We don’t want to see Verstappen punished, we want to see a clear line set on boundaries between what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour on track.

  29. They probably should have reviewed it and if their choice is it isn’t penalty worthy it would be nice to have a definitive and firm reasoning why to stop this exhausting debate. I’m sure Mercedes will martyr themselves further now anyway – they do love to pretend they’re an underdog.

    1. That’s true @rocketpanda, they do like to play the victim card a bit too much for my liking. Underplaying things is probably how they’ve managed to keep motivation over the years, for example talking up Ferrari in 2017 and 2018 seemed to motivate them somewhat to come strong in the second part of those seasons.

  30. Ok, so the chances of another Schumacher-Hill kind of encounter are now stronger than ever.

    1. yeah, but afaik Schumacher was penalized severely for some of those, wasn’t he? Verstappen has the backing of the entire F1 organization and this is a clear indication that F1 can no longer govern this sport. There are lives at stake here and only one driver has the right to get away with all kinds of things.

      I think the teams and drivers should ask for new governance this weekend. Sorry, we don’t trust you, we’ve decided that you need to leave the sport and we need a new interim panel until we decide who will govern this sport moving forward.

  31. Ah well, I think it’s a very poor decision not to investigate but this is where we are now in F1.
    On top of the useless sprint races and a trophy for the most passers rubbish, Liberty are turning F1 into the wild west for the sake of US ratings. What’s the next amazing spectacle to be wheeled out..towing caravans?

  32. And it proves that the outcome of a maneuver is all that matters with regard to penalties. Masi is a giant _______!

  33. Fun scenario:
    Mercedes and Lewis start the remaining three races, but retire after a couple laps with “car trouble”.
    So Max wins the championship with no competition in the last three races.

    Wonder what the reactions would be? Hollow championship?

    Yes I know its not going to happen, Lewis won’t give up till it is mathematically over.

  34. What a surprise.
    A precedent got set, so other drivers will use this opportunity moving on, which may have unintended consequences.

    1. That would end dull racing for sure hahaha.

  35. Toto Wolff found the right word on race day, this is laughable. And I should indeed laugh it off, except I can’t, because I care, because I am a F1 fan. There is about one solution to that dilemma, which is not to be a fan anymore. There is a billiards tournament to watch near my place on Sunday, that presently sounds like a great idea.

    1. @palindnilap the sport clearly needs new governance. It’s not enough to fire Masi today. This is such a dangerous sport and it’s the wild west for Max Verstappen. He’s the only one allowed to carry and fire a gun.

      1. guys, this has nothing to do with Masi, Masi doesn’t decide what gets reviewed and who gets penalized, that’s the stewards’ job

        1. @nickthegreek Masi is the race director he runs the show and decided not to pass the incident on to the stewards for investigation in the first place. Listen to the conversation between him and the RB team straight after the incident. He would also be involved in the decision not to allow Merc to appeal.

  36. So essentially that once the stewards choose not to investigate an incident, they essentially make the incident 100% legal since it can never be reviewed again.

    I feel the sport needs new governance. They were given a chance to correct it and they decided to make a wrong 10 times worse.

    1. They are also enabling this kid to crash into anyone and everyone. If Max ends up killing anyone, I think the stewards should be taken to court and face legal consequences including jail time.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        19th November 2021, 13:42


    2. It’s annoying, but yes. That’s pretty much how it goes in football (soccer) as well.
      If a player does some unsportsmanlike stuff on the field, the referee notes it and decides even if it’s the wrong decision) it’s not worth a penalty or rather a yellow card than a red one the case is closed an cannot be reopened.
      If, on the other hand he just missed the incident completely a penalty is likely to be inflicted after a review.

  37. So all good to push a rival off the track then? Guess they should review every other penalty for drivers doing the same thing this season.

    What a shambles.

  38. I am happy with the outcome. In any sport the referees ‘must make a decision quickly and on a limited set of information’, that is part of the game. It is also part of the game that the referee is always right (even when he is wrong). When you change this basic principle, you open a can of worms.

    I think that a penalty for Verstappen would have been fair, but the marshalls chose otherwise. Compare it with a football match, nobody wants to see a yellow card being handed out to a player 5 days after the match, it makes no sense.

    1. I can definitely get on board with this @matthijs had they investigated the incident during the race. The fact they decided that ‘no investigation was necesaary’ was the real issue here.

    2. @matthijs there are lives at stake here beyond championships. This should never have happened during the race and the fact that it’s not even open to appeal but cannot even be reviewed means the sport needs new governance, starting today.

      You can’t have a single practice under the existing leadership. It’s too dangerous for the drivers and for the sport.

      1. @freelittlebirds Lives at stake? You can take it too far with your emotion. I thought Verstappen’s move was wrong but at least it was in a slow corner, unlike say Copse corner? Perhaps Verstappen is dirty enough to take the same approach in fast full throttle corners but we don’t know. What I do know is that Hamilton’s live was never at stake last Sunday.

        1. @matthijs we have no clue how this incident would have played out had Lewis not avoided a collision. The collision at Monza was slow speed but Verstappen’s wheel knocked Lewis’ head. Usually a collision with a F1 wheel leads to death. We’re lucky Lewis was okay.

          Slow and fast doesn’t matter (you can die from 10 kilometer and survive 300 kilometer accidents) but I agree Copse was dangerous and Max’s mistakes could have cost him his life there.

    3. RandomMallard (@)
      19th November 2021, 18:03

      @matthijs Similar to @john-h, I would have at least hoped they’d investigate it. And I agree partially with @freelittlebirds in that you have to assume that every time there is an incident that could have resulted in an incident, you have to assume a bad scenario. As he says, you can survive 300 kmh but die at 10kmh if it plays out in the wrong way. Although I would also argue that it shouldn’t affect the penalty, as you should penalise the mistake not the outcome.

      Compare it with a football match, nobody wants to see a yellow card being handed out to a player 5 days after the match, it makes no sense.

      While I generally agree, I would rather rules were enforced than a few days passing meaning they can go unpunished. A footballer may not get a yellow card 5 days later, but they can definitely still get a suspension for serious foul play. And similarly, ask any Exeter City fan, after they’ve been ordered to re-play their FA Cup first round replay tie having fielded an extra substitute by mistake.

  39. I hope over the next 3 races that roles are reversed and LH gets a chance to run MV off the track and keep his position. I want to see who has the balls to investigate.

    To not investigate was just wrong and it gives the appearance that the FIA is trying to tip the championship in Max’s favor. Doesn’t mean I think they are, but it is the appearance they are giving by their inaction.

    1. @blueruck every time Lewis has held his ground, they’ve collided. Lewis cannot hold his ground without putting himself at huge risk. Max is the only driver running around with a loaded gun in F1 and somehow he has the support of the sport which makes no sense as they never tolerated drivers like him.

      Look what happened to Maldonado. They even gave Senna a ban for a single collision, we’re talking about Ayrton Senna! The stewards of yesteryear would have not allowed Max to race for the next 5 years. They couldn’t care one bit about his speed, commercialism, or any of that stuff.

      The sport is out of control… NO ONE is joining F1 after watching this, unless they own the stewards like Red Bull.

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      19th November 2021, 18:06

      @blueruck I very much agree with the second half of your comment. While I don’t personally believe that the stewards are trying to influence the championship, I can 100% understand why people could see it that way. I think their problem is more that their woefully inconsistent

  40. Will be expecting a lot of driving style changes. Great job to the stewards…

  41. I would like to defend formula 1 and say they are as honest as other top world sport organizations such as the Olympic committee and the World Cup organization.

    1. @jimfromus I agree but this is way worse. None of those people risk their lives like they do in F1.

    2. The same Olympic and World Cup organizations that face corruption charges about who gets to host the games? :)

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th November 2021, 18:06

        Beat me to it

  42. Had they felt that the forward‐facing camera video from car 33 was crucial in order to take a decision, they would simply have placed the incident under investigation – to be investigated after the race – and rendered a decision after this video was available. They saw no need to do so

    This is very, very weird. How can a camera showing Verstappen inputs NOT be crucial???? This sets a very bad precedent.

    1. @fer-no65
      They have his telemetry, not that it really matters because the only change he needed to make was to brake 20m too late. Given how quickly the decision was made it’s pretty clear they didn’t look too closely at the evidence anyway.

      1. Except they didn’t look at that either – because they chose not to investigate the incident, they did not look at any telemetry data either.

  43. all over again, making no attempt to make corner and driving someone off the track!?100% FIA corruption,

    this is 2008 all over again
    stripped of a win at spa
    drive thru’ for locking his brakes at Fuji

  44. The release of the decision during the team principle press conference again shows that liberty are more interested in headlines and ratings than enforcing rules.

    1. Nah. They would have had Masi do a Vince McMahon strut down the stage to deliver the news lol. Then make some metal folding chairs available to the team principals. Maybe next time.

  45. How do you tell me you were wrong, without telling me you were wrong.

    (For the avoidance of doubt, this is regarding the stewards!)

  46. You can watch sports car races with side by side battles corner after corner. But in f1 the rule is, car in the outside goes off the road or crashes. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    But now Hamilton knows that if he’s in front (or behind) he can just drive the other guy 20 meters off the road to defend.

    We need to get rid of this rule. It’s bad for racing. It’s confusing. It’s like the silly “catch” rules in the NFL.

    1. he can’t do it if he’s behind in the standings. no way

  47. Pretty much exactly as I said, Verstappen was already found innocent, the video didn’t provide any grounds to change that decision. Doesn’t mean the original decision wasn’t wrong, but once it’s made you can’t go back and change it because the stewards made a whoopsie.

    I don’t think this means the drivers have carte blanche or that this verdict sets a precedent, what I do think it means is that the stewards aren’t good enough and their decisions need to be better. Obviously when it comes to racing there’s a lot of subjectivity involved, but this incident particularly was clear as day and somehow they got it wrong.

    1. I think you are missing an important point. Max wasn’t found innocent at all.
      The stewarts decided that based on the rear view camera, no investigation was required. Then, today, they decided that having the front view camera wasn’t significant new evidence.
      The incident wasn’t investigated therefore we will never have a decision. Not being investigated doesn’t mean you are innocent.

      1. You could be right, I cant remember what exactly the steward messages were. Was there not a ‘no further action required’ statement? If so that effectively puts the matter to a close as far as I can tell, otherwise they could have left it open to investigation after the race.

  48. Say I’m on the board member at Porsche deciding to join F1. This sort of incident makes it a slam dunk for any member against it to belittle the sport and make it impossible to spend billions to participate when there’s clearly no governance in F1.

    Ditto for Renault, Mercedes, and Honda. They do not see this kindly. They are investing billions in this.

  49. Thanks to God Sir Hamilton got his seven F1 titles during Charle Withing’s time. May he rest in peace. With this Masi guy in charge, Lewis would never have even even two titles.

    1. With Masy, Schumacher would be an 8 times WDC.

  50. I´m watching FP2 and Red Bull´s rear wing is flapping like crazy. Red Bull are trying to emulate whatever Mercedes are doing with their rear wing.

    And to be honest, I love the way 2021 F1 fight are spreading through all territories and threshold. Thats the way it should be.

    Great season.

    1. I can’t understand why the fia has not asked rbr to either prove that this is not a dangerous defect or to fix it. A wing flying off the car at 320 kph would be not good.

  51. The question of whether it was a penalty or not is open to much debate and there’s an argument on both sides that can be legitimately argued.

    The decision to not even investigate the move in the first place is inexplicable, irrational, inconsistent, indefensible.

    1. True, that is the main issue.

  52. Because Hamilton overtook him and won the race. That’s it.

    1. Whether Hamilton won or not is irrelevant. What is Leclerc going to do next time Perez overtakes him? What is Ocon going to do next time Verstappen overtakes him? Etc, etc. That is the issue.

      1. You’re mentioning these two things? Come on, I have no comments about the Leclerc/Perez thing, and Ocon has now become a Grand Prix winner.

        Still, Max got no penalty because he didn’t win. That’s what I think and that’s enough. One last word – Silverstone was a racing incident and Monza was a bizarre crash.

        1. i’m sorry but how is Ocon winning a race years after the incident relevant? does that redeem him or something?

          1. It was the most brilliant thing to ever happen after Brazil 2018. You know it.
            And Learon, if you’re reading this – Leclerc would remind Perez of Monaco 2013 and Belgium 2017, while Ocon would just stay behind Verstappen and wait until a mechanical failure happens. Look at how Kimi cursed George.

  53. Nothing related to this story, but for the love of God Keith, sort the bloody adverts out! I understand the need for ad revenue, but the website is LITERALLY UNUSABLE on mobile with these scrolling ones taking up have the screen and the popout videos covering the other half.

    I’d rather you lock content behind a pay wall than soft force people into paying to get Through adverts. Maybe it’s time to just blacklist Race fans…

    1. You’ve said this before.

    2. Keith says there is no investigation necessary into the adverts.

      1. @jimfromus @joeypropane ha-ha, it was noted though! :-)

    3. RandomMallard (@)
      19th November 2021, 19:01

      @joeypropane I don’t know if you’re aware of this, so I’m sorry if you are, but I think this may be the page you’re looking for

  54. I told you guys it was a waste of time. There was no reasonable grounds for a penalty on that move, which by the book was barely deserving of a black-and-white flag. Yes, Masi was correct, despite the outburst from the “neutrals” of British media. Of course if their decision was the opposite later it wouldn’t make facts change, it’d only prove the power of Mercedes lobby and Wolff’s double standards. Fortunately, they didn’t fall for that. It all was again this team of crybabies making a mountain out of a molehill.

  55. To summarize
    The stewards have all the evidence necessary to not investigate an incident.

  56. What a joke

  57. RandomMallard (@)
    19th November 2021, 17:43

    Right I’ll start by saying I disagree with this decision, but am equally not surprised, for reasons I’ll deal with in a moment. I’ll also declare my biases at the start by saying that I’ve supported Verstappen for most of this season mainly just because it’s nice to see someone new up at the very top, and an actual championship battle between two very competitive drivers and two teams (and it’s not like I haven’t supported Mercedes beforehand, I was definitely on their and Hamilton’s side against Ferrari in 2017 and 2018). I agreed with the stewards decision in Silverstone (although I thought 10 seconds was maybe a bit harsh), and agreed with Verstappen’s penalty after Monza. However, as the season’s progressed, I’ve found it harder and harder to support either driver or team (both team principals in particular drive me through the roof). I’m going to try and go into the last 3 rounds this season as a neutral (well, at least from a title battle perspective, I’ll still be supporting McLaren throughout the rest of the field), because I feel like I’m in a position where I can no longer support either team.

    But I’d like to start by saying referencing the ever-increasing hostile and toxic nature of the whole F1 community. The amount of name-calling, bitter arguments with little relevance, and just unnecessarily provocative comments is through the roof. I won’t lie, I have been guilty of this myself this season, particularly after Silverstone, where I was just getting into unnecessary arguments that didn’t really have much point other than trying to boost my ego. I’d like to think I’ve grown up in the weeks and months since then, although that is not for me to judge. But the amount of toxicity over the last few days has been unbearable. And I have nothing against proper, civilised debate, even if the person/people don’t share my viewpoint, but things like Fraudmilton, Crashtappen, Hamilpush, Mad Max (looking at you British tabloids as well), The Boy Who Cried Wolff, Whinger Spice are just unnecessary, toxic, and not useful to anybody (this applies to anybody on all sides of the fanbases). If we’re going to debate and disagree, can we please, please do so in a civilised and useful manner?

    Secondly, Verstappen fans, and I speak I suppose as a former fan myself, this is not a reason to celebrate. Max has gotten away on a technicality more than anything else. The stewards have not ruled if this video makes him any more or less guilty than before, in fact they haven’t ruled anything at all. And Hamilton fans, you have a right to be annoyed or angry at this. But I repeat my above request: please keep it civil and sensible.

    Thirdly, can we stop blaming Masi for everything the FIA does? The dude is far from perfect and has made some extremely questionable decisions during his time as Race Director, but he has not power to force something to be investigated. That’s at the discretion of the stewards, and the stewards only. The sporting regs make this very clear:

    After review it shall be at the discretion of the stewards to decide whether or not to proceed with an investigation.

    Anyway, as I say, I disagree with this series of decisions. Firstly, Verstappen was, in my opinion, clearly at fault here. He went in far too hot, left the track, and kept/gained (depending on how you see it) a place as a result. I would technically argue there are two offences there: crowding another driver off the track, and going off track and gaining an advantage. Then in an ideal world one of two things would have happened: either, the stewards put the incident under investigation for after the race, when they can access the onboards (but also leaves the race running and still gives Hamilton an incentive to make an on track overtake), or they order Verstappen to give up the place as he’s gained an advantage off track, ala Bahrain. If he doesn’t follow through with this order, he’s disobeying an instruction from race control and could quite rightly be penalised much more severely.

    However, this didn’t happen, and we end up with this review. So my understanding from reading this article and reading around is that Mercedes were able to prove they had something to appeal against (it was an open question as to whether the lack of an official decision document would mean Merc would struggle to have any standing to appeal at all, kind of like trying to sue a over a verbal contract; not impossible, but very difficult), however the video was not deemed sufficient new evidence. I struggle to see, if the onboard isn’t, what new evidence could be classed as sufficient. As a result, Max gets away on a technicality. This is because historically getting a right to review has been a very, very high standard to reach, and ‘substantial new evidence’ is also quite vague (I suppose the closest analogy would be to that of impeachment in the USA: ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ is a very high but very vague standard).

    So where do we go from here? I believe this has highlighted some key issues with the FIA stewarding process. I’m far from an expert, but just want to give some suggestions as to how I think this process could be improved. The first proposal I have is that every time an incident is noted, even if it isn’t investigated, it generates an automatic decision document. This gives teams something to appeal if they believe they can meet the requirements. Secondly, they need to clarify and simplify the standards required for a review, so it is less vague but also means that something like this could be appealed and have a somewhat realistic chance. In my opinion, the standard needs to be somewhere where credible appeals (like this) stand a chance, but the outlandish (such as Red Bull after Silverstone) still fail. Thirdly, find a way so that some pieces of evidence that could be critical to an investigation don’t go unused. I’m not saying I want to wait for every piece of data and video from the cars to be downloaded before they start an investigation, because no one wants to wait for hours before the race results can be somewhat confirmed, but surely it wouldn’t require that much investment to make sure that at the very least every driver’s front facing T-Cam onboard is always being broadcast, at least to the stewards, as well as the ones to the TV feed. And finally, the stewards should have to explain their decisions in more detail themselves if asked, rather than Masi. Not only is Masi getting some pretty unfair criticism, but it also means the stewards have a bit of a blanket to hide behind knowing they themselves won’t be questioned as much for their decisions.

    So that’s my thoughts. Sorry for the essay, but I had quite a lot I wanted to get off my chest. As I say, you can agree or disagree with me as much as you want, but I once again repeat the request to keep it sensible and civil.

    1. @randommallard
      I agree with most of what you say, but I’d warn that you need to be careful what you wish for. There are already silly amounts of grid penalties in F1 and if the right to appeal becomes the norm you can bet every team will be going through every incident with a fine tooth comb looking for an advantage.

      This situation reminds me of what is happening in football right now with VAR. There was a significant portion of fans, egged on by managers in post-match interviews where a decision went against them, who wanted the introduction of VAR (video assistant referees in case you dont watch) in order to cut the mistakes from refereeing. The problem is, much like I’m almost certain a post-race appeals process would work out in F1, you end up with them taking far too many subjective calls and putting them under a microscope, and it destroys the flow of the game.

      I think in sport sometimes you just have to accept the decision of the referee or steward, even if that decision is clearly wrong, and just get on with it. You can argue your point afterwards and hopefully next time they will get it right, or if they keep getting it wrong then they obviously need better training or to be replaced. It’s not as if they needed to pore through the data to come to the right decision here, frankly I don’t know how they came to the wrong one.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        20th November 2021, 13:14

        @george I do agree with the need to not have too many appeals like this. My first thought would be to implement some kind of cricket-style system where you can apply for a certain number of reviews per match/season, although that itself may come with its own problems towards the end of the season.

        But I feel there has to a way where sensible appeals, like this one, can at least be heard, while ridiculous ones, like RB’s post Silverstone, won’t make it passed the stewards’ doorframe

  58. Both Kyle Rittenhouse and Max Verstappen got away with murder today.

  59. There are a lot of very angry and blinkered ‘fans’ out there who I suspect won’t be pleased with this verdict but it’s time to move on and draw a line under this whole affair. Lewis won the race, Verstappen didn’t.

    Let’s look forward to the final three races and relish what will hopefully be a close battle to the end.

  60. Verstappen avoids penalty over Hamilton incident as stewards deny request for review
    2021 Qatar Grand Prix Posted on

    19th November 2021, 12:25 | Written by Keith Collantine

    Max Verstappen will not face a penalty over the incident between him and Lewis Hamilton on lap 48 of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

    Click-baity, misleading and downright wrong story headline and introduction. It was a request for a review of the incident which, if granted, may or may not have applied a penalty to either driver.
    A more honest headline would have been “Mercedes fail to get incident reviewed”, but not as many clicks, what, old boy.

  61. Ironically, the next non-Max driver that tries this same move will be punished. I think it will be this weekend, too. Masi and his band of merry men know they’ve disgraced themselves, so they’ll be out to show some grit…just so long as it doesn’t involve punishing Max.
    Imagine if Lewis qualified on pole, got a poor start, Max catches up at Turn One, Lewis forces him wife, Horner runs crying to the stewards and Lewis gets a drive-through penalty….the paddock would melt, SkyF1 would mutiny and sponsor an insurrection – PdR would not participate – and Toto would go nuts at his desk lol

  62. I don’t know. It must just be me, but so many comments (including that of individuals involved) seem to overcomplicate the issue with factors such as intent, consequence, and outcome.

    I had believed it was simply the act itself that determined the need for a penalty or not. The stewards should make clear if they determined this to constitute crowding a driver off the track or not (simple decision number 1) and then IF yes, whether such crowding is allowed or not (simple decision number 2).

    Does anything else matter?

    1. The stewards don’t want to address that issue because they want to reserve the right to punish or not punish.
      statutory limitations does not imply that nothing happened just that time has elapsed and those in control have lost interest or motivation.
      I expected the stewards to address the issue not for punishment but for clarity, but they chose to play ostrich.

  63. Ain’t it a shame that you can’t say Racing Incident?
    Racing Incident is a word, and some say this is a racing incident
    Canada 2007 a racing incident, Bahrain 2020 a racing incident
    Australia 1996 a racing incident, Japan 1989 a racing incident
    Silverstone 2021 racing incident, Monza 2021 racing incident
    Imola 2021 caused a team feud but it’s still a racing incident
    Racing Incident 100%, so what will you try to do with me who thinks Silverstone is a racing incident 100% and you who thinks Silverstone isn’t a racing incident at all?

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