Start, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021

Hamilton also summoned to stewards over contact with Verstappen at turn 27

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has also been summoned to the stewards over the incident between him and championship rival Max Verstappen during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The pair made contact approaching turn 27 on lap 38 of the race when first Verstappen, then Hamilton, slowed approaching the corner. Verstappen had been told to let Hamilton overtake him after running wide at turn one while the pair disputed the lead earlier in the lap.

Hamilton’s onboard footage indicated he was not told Verstappen was about to back off until after the pair had made contact. He said afterwards he was surprised by the incident.

“I didn’t quite understand why all of a suddenly he hit the brakes quite heavily and then I ran into the back of him and then he moved on,” said Hamilton. “So I didn’t understand exactly what was going on, and I got a message afterwards that he was going to let us past, so it was a bit confusing.”

Both drivers have been summoned for violations of article 2(d), chapter four appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code. This states: “Causing a collision, repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported to the stewards and may entail the imposition of penalties up to and including the disqualification of any driver.”

Despite incurring front wing damage in the collision, Hamilton went on to win the race, which he described as one of the toughest of his career.

“I’ve been racing here a long time, but that was definitely – that was incredibly tough. I tried to be as sensible and as tough as I could be out there, but also sensible.

“With all my race experience over the years, just keeping the car on track and staying clean, it was difficult. But we persevered as a team. We’ve had all sorts of things thrown at us, particularly in the second half of the season, so I’m just really proud of everyone and also I’m really grateful for the crowd we’ve had this weekend.”

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2021 Saudi Arabian 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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127 comments on “Hamilton also summoned to stewards over contact with Verstappen at turn 27”

  1. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    5th December 2021, 20:35

    Had this been the only incident of the race it could be chalked off as a misunderstanding. However, Max’s driving throughout the race means I really think he may be in trouble here… and Horner knows it looking at his face post race.

    1. This is what it seemed to be to me, just a massive misunderstanding. Not one driver to blame, just the process on how it is handled is. The defense into to turn 1 though…raises questions to what driving standards are allowed.

      1. Yes, my take out of the race is that this hit will be put to bed as miscommunication. Then there was twice a gaining an advantage situation from Max which were levelled by returning the position. To me then we have an extra 5 sec penalty for Max that is redundant. But it won’t matter for the race result. And I feel lap 43 turn 27 incident Lewis pushing Max wide could be looked at, resulting in probably 5 sec for Lewis, which also won’t matter for the race result. That leaves Bottas slowing down too much in the SC lap. Don’t know the rule book on that one. Brundle seemed convinced it is not allowed. That might be of interest to Ocon.

        1. The thing about slowing down too much under SC came in after Belgium 2005, if I recall correctly, when the two McLarens did exactly that in order to preserve their 1-2 running. It was made clear that future instances of the same thing would not be tolerated.

          However apart from Vettel getting a penalty once (Hungary maybe?) for falling too far behind the Safety Car, I can’t recall the rule being used much. It is one of those ones like “don’t deploy your pit crew unless you’re actually going to pit” that is quietly tolerated as long as it isn’t too blatant.

    2. I guess a reprimand for Lewis is the least penalty they could give…
      Oh wait.. 3 strikes.

      1. I can absolutely see that happening. 10-place grid penalty for Max at Abu Dhabi, reprimand for Lewis which has the same result. Make them both start in the midfield and pick their way to the front. Liberty would love it.

    3. Today the F.I.A proofed there biased. and have no consistency. Hamilton made almost 2 people crash into him and ignoring double yellow flags ( in training). and gets nothing. in the race same thing .Brilliant F.I.A your as corrupt as the politicians in Britain are these days

    4. I think Brundles comment was correct He had never seen so irrisponsable driving as Max showed during this race.

  2. If Verstappen is found to be brake testing, which I believe he did not, then I think he merits an immediate disqualification. If Hamilton is found driving on purpose, which I also do not think so, then same consequence, but it is hard to imagine that Hamilton has the voluntary will to hit Verstappen.

    1. @krichelle I think the most likely scenario here is that both wanted DRS for the start/finish straight.

      1. This, 100%! However, Max cannot overtake until after the following corner when giving the position. Lewis knows this only too well.

        1. Ninjenius – A strange choice, as I would have thought giving a place up means no passing attempts until after the following corner, in this case turn 1. That was made clear after Belgium 2008, no passing until after the following corner that you’ve given the place up on.

          Thinking about it, doing so immediately before a turn makes sense but with the DRS line being before the corner, the advantage would run through to turn 1. That’s why the DRS line makes this interesting as if Max was letting Lewis past there, he shouldn’t be trying to grab DRS for the run to turn 1 as he shouldn’t be attempting a pass there in any case as there’s still a potential advantage to be gained – as happened a few laps later.

          I’m not convinced that Max was brake testing but he certainly could have moved over further to the right and rather than a gradual slowing of his car, could have just had one strong braking move to make it obvious as to what he was doing. That he appeared to be trying to get DRS by the gradual slowing down, makes me very suspicious of his motivations.

          As for Lewis, considering that he was the one to lose out at Belgium (despite Kimi crashing out on the same lap, making it impossible to return the place), I’m assuming he would be aware of that. It seems he wasn’t aware as to what Max was doing though – and on a track with multiple blind high-speed corners I’m not surprised that this race turned out the way it did.

      2. But if Hamilton did it on purpose, why didn’t he do a similar move next time around when he was let through? He had so little time to react first time, I’m sure he was thinking there is a double yellow or a SC and then Verstappen downshifted/braked.

        Everything doesn’t have to be super complicated. Max wanted to get behind Hamilton before DRS line (like he did second time around) and Hamilton didn’t realize what was happening. With confusion they hit. We are lucky neither one had a DNF and in the end Hamilton won the race on merit.

        Imagine the outrage if Max got a puncture or Hamilton crashed due to the messed up let through.

    2. @krichelle – Are you telling that Hamilton was right behind Verstappen and decided to accelerate to crash into his car? Hamilton had about the same speed as Verstappen, but then suddenly hits him.

      Verstappen made it crystal clear that he tried another dirty manoeuvre to try and botch up Hamilton’s race.

      1. I am over exaggerating just in case regarding the many possibilities.

      2. Dude. Do you think VER wants to take the chance of letting HAM crash into him and puncturing one of his tires?
        Use your brain!

        1. Yes I do! Both of them out of the race was a great result for Max. Lewis was the one set to lose by such a collision! Only by the grace of the gods did that not happen.

          1. You don’t even believe that.
            Whining Brits as usual

        2. Too right verstappen is a loose canon why wait till he kills another driver with his reckless driving he wants sorting out now

    3. @krichelle I wouldn’t mind a DSQ. Driving in the middle in an unclear manner seemed quite a clear-cut brake testing (which doesn’t necessarily have to involve applying brakes) intention.

      1. Why bottas wasn’t disqualified when he was really slow at the middle of the track in qualifying and raikkonen drove into him?

      2. Not initially. Plenty of space and many reporters and ex-drivers are pointing this out. He should have just blasted past instead of downshift to gear 3 as well.

    4. I can’t see how you can say he “brake tested”. Hamilton was at least 1.5secs off Verstappen and had 2 car widths on the right. They were racing. Most probably Lewis thought that there was another VSC that he hadn’t seen and reacted badly.

      That being said, if he had given Max a puncture or broken off his front wing he would be in all sorts of messes, so F1 should call it a day and forgot this race ever took place.

      1. @afonic I don’t think anybody refers to initial 2 sec of that incident and calls it brake checking.

        Yes Max slowed down gradually, and so did Lewis. Lewis wasn’t sure what was going on so he braked and stayed behind Max. He is entitled to do it, there is nothing in regulations that says you must overtake another car. The problem started later when Ham was right behind Max. At that point Max cannot brake because that would be him causing a collision. By the looks of it that’s what he did. That’s why people call it brake testing. It also doesn’t help Max’s case that he tried to let the car behind through by staying in the middle. In initial phase he was more to the right on the racing line but then he just kep moving to the center. That’s not how you indicate to another car to let them by.

        1. Max was slowing to let him by … as instructed by the FIA. It was in the regulations that he must let him by. Hamilton just got confused.

          There won’t be any penalties because of the mitigating circumstances… being Hamilton was not informed.

          1. Hamilton just got confused double, by weird driving by max, and message not being relayed to him on time!

            If anyone is allowing someone on track, they go to the side of the track and drive slow steadily, not go to the middle of the track. this was more max trying to minimize the overtake by the drs zone let by and gain full advantage of it with the drs next straight! as was the case in the second attempt made super clear! his second pass was clear 25sec penalty worthy… ask ham about it?

          2. Nah, wasn’t a breaktest. But while there was space, he definitely wasn’t clearly going to the side of the track to indicate he was letting HAM by, it really felt like he wasn’t only trying to be overly clever with the place where he did it, but also with how much he didn’t actually make it easy or clear, hence Hamilton not being told was critical, since Verstappen certainly wasn’t showing it on track.

    5. Hamilton later tolt on ziggo tv in the interview that Verstappen was driving slower to force him to pass first over the DRS line, so that Max wanted to overtake him again. While the board radio can clearly hear that max is asked to let him pass. In the situation that preceded this, Hamiltonb could have known this. these are basic rules you know in such situations as formula 1 coreur. even in Formula 2 it is the most normal thing in the world that you give your place back. Hamilton himself couldn’t quite decide what to do or he didn’t understand, it, he purposely bumped into Verstappen at the last minute, and later announced that he was doing a test brake. You can clearly hear that he only shifts down, and on the images from above, Verstappen does not brake. I think that because of Hamilton’s paronid thoughts, his focus was not good anymore and because of thinking too much he was no longer able to antisipate properly.

  3. I’m on the fence with this one. I think we have to see what Max did when Lewis jinked to the left, because if he applied the brake then that’s not on, if he didn’t well then Hamilton should have driven around him better. With all the VSCs and no notification from the team I can see why Hamilton was confused, but ultimately if Max didn’t brake he should have found a way around him imho. I don’t know if Max brakes though, only the stewards and Max know at the moment.

    1. In F1 car you don’t have to brake to slow down considerably mate, just go off the throttle and it’s almost like braking in a road car.

      1. Letting aerodynamics or engine slow you down is still braking, just not via friction of the brakes. Toto was very convinced Max did slow down on purpose, perhaps he had seen the GPS chart with scar speeds. Only that will tell us for sure.

      2. +1 Not much before I had not knew this, but it is true.
        I was surprised by this fact, because I thought that strong engine braking effect requires a big engine, but these cars have quite small engines now.
        But googling about it confiremed, that modern formula cars have very strong deceleration by lifting the throttle. I have tried it at Raceroom (sim) and got surprised, it really decelerates like hell without applying throttle :)

        1. They have a ‘small’ engine braking effect, but the ERS is there, doing a lot of work in order to recover energy, even on lift & coast manoeuvres. This, combined with the immense drag from the wings if there’s no power pushing them through the air, means lifting off the power is fundamentally the equivalent to an emergency stop in a road car!

    2. Brake pedal or not, 5-6 rapid downshifts -is- braking

      1. Watching that onboard from Hamilton, I’d have no idea what Verstappen was doing or where he was going either. He sticks to the middle of a narrow track when, at the speed he’s slowing too, he should be pulling to one side. All very deliberate. He certainly caused the accident (luckily for Hamilton not race ending). But it does look very close to brake testing. He’ll get away with it though.

      2. And strangely enough that’s exactly what Lewis did also instead of just passing.

    3. On the F1TV PLC we got to see that 1. Max is pretty clearly watching Hamilton and he does slow down a bit extra (not sure he brakes, but he downshifts) and drives just a tad more to the middle of the track shortly before Hamilton hits him @john-h.

      However, I rather think it was more a combination of misunderstanding (Lewis not yet having been informed that Max is going to give him the spot) as well as Max wanting to do this at a rather unexpected place and not “communicating” it on track as clearly as he thinks he is (going all the way to the side of the track is what you’d do) – going on the later point where he does let Hamilton by and then immediately repasses him (probably not allowed, see Spa 2006 Lewis vs. Kimi), I think he was trying to do it in a place where he could then gain DRS and repass almost immediately.

      I don’t think Max was trying to do anything untowards there, but somewhat on the edge and certainly unexpected and it caught Hamilton out since he did not even expect to be let past, and certainly not there and this way.

  4. A person somewhere
    5th December 2021, 20:38

    To add context, here’s the wording of the section of the rules cited (same in both cases) in the documents summoning Verstappen and Hamilton to the Stewards:

    d) Causing a collision, repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported to the Stewards and may entail the imposition of penalties up to and including the disqualification of any driver concerned.

    1. So a clear case. Hamilton deserves a penalty of at least a reprimand.
      Combined with his flag for unsporting behaviour.

  5. Nothing will happen I believe. This one is heavy on FIA’s incompetence. They informed Verstappen’s race engineer he should let by Hamilton before informing Hamilton. They said when they crashed they were in the process of explaining it to Hamilton’s race engineer.

  6. Really strange incident for me. I can’t believe that either driver wanted to have a crash, and it seems like a bit of a miscommunication. I don’t see, other than the DRS detection line, why Hamilton didn’t just pull well clear and go past. But on the other hand, Verstappen sat in the middle of the track and slowly drifted to the left while slowing down. I wouldn’t like to have to make a judgement on this one, but I would say in the end if either driver is at fault it’s probably Hamilton.

    1. A crash strongly favors Verstappen though. He’s just not good at it. Needs to check out some vintage Schumi and Senna moves.

    2. @mazdachris Usually a driver makes it clear through ‘car language’ that he’s ceding the place. Verstappen wandering in the middle of a narrow track left it ambiguous – including whether he’d move left or right. That constitutes not returning the place safely.

      1. Yeah that’s what I mean about it being a miscommunication. I don’t think that Verstappen made it clear that he was allowing Hamilton past, or where he was likely to go on the track. I can understand why Hamilton was unsure about what was happening. But at the same time Hamilton didn’t have to get right under his wing, he could have avoided the collision (to my armchair expert eyes, of course) so to me it was more Hamilton than Verstappen but ultimately I’d just say it was a stupid incident that both drivers should reflect on.

        1. @mazdachris Verstappen was weaving slightly and also braking inconsistently and seemed to brake further just as Hamilton finally decided to go left. The inputs should let them. I don’t think Hamilton was to blame, though, he wasn’t told what was happening and – as the race showed! – has every reason to be suspicious of Verstappen suddenly moving into his path.

  7. I think Hamilton should get 30 seconds for this, based on a stop/go for Vettel saying a similar thing at Baku!

    Verstappen clearly slowed and pulled right!

    1. Why would he pull onto the racing line then? Why go right?

    2. For a lefthand bend? I’d call that the racing line.

    3. Now now, Vettel got his penalty for pulling alongside Hamilton and ramming him as you well know @maddme.

      1. This is true,,, Whereas Hamilton straight slammed into Verstappen’s rear left wheel…

        1. Are you really suggesting that Hamilton deliberately rammed into Verstappen?

        2. @maddme
          tell me honestly and with a straight face that max was indicating he was about to yield? going right left right left then to the middle while massively slowing down?

      2. Vettel got the penalty cause it was a purposeful ramming, not cause it was at high speed or anything.

    4. Pulled to the right then steered to the left so drifted in to the middle of the track. Watch the onboard as the incident is not as you describe.

  8. What if instead of Max slowing because he was told to let Lewis past, he’d had a sudden loss of power?
    IMO, Lewis should have gone around Max, regardless of why Max slowed — the guy behind is at fault when he hits the guy in front.

    1. +1

      And saying it was a break test is a serious remark by Lewis.

      1. We just heard on Ziggo the radio-message from Mercedes; they told Lewis that Max was letting him pass, just as Lewis could not avoid him anymore, Lewis heard it too late. A clear mis-communication in this case. Also; both slowed down as they were near the DRS line.

    2. uhh what? in racing you’re not required to maintain a safety distance between your car and the car ahead. if somebody randomly slammed on the brakes in Formula 1, would you really blame the guy behind?

      this principle applies to driving on public roads not racing

    3. That’s the rule on the road, but not on track. If the driver in front makes an unnecessary and unexpected move, they are at fault.

      If it had been due to a low of power or similar, I would expect this to be counted as a racing incident. In this case, where Max decelerated by his own choice when he was well aware how close Lewis was behind him, the fault tips towards Max. He knew how close Lewis was and yet choose to decelerates further anyway.

    4. +1000 finally someone who gets it

    5. If the engine had de-rated, the flashing red light on the Red Bull’s crash structure would be on to indicate the car was in recovery mode, which wasn’t the case.

  9. Max let Lewis by but Lewis didn’t understand at best but he probably didn’t want to give him DRS.

    But then he hit him, that could be a reprimand that gives him a penalty

    1. Yeh, right- ee-oh!

  10. Think this one is destined to be a ‘no further action’.

    If they find Verstappen guilty of a brake-test he’s facing (at best) a pit-lane start in Abu Dhabi. Normally you’d expect a race ban. They won’t ruin the title race unless there’s absolutely no other option, so (barring it being absolutely, 100% obvious through telemetry etc, and I doubt that will be so) it’ll be chalked down as a misunderstanding.

    1. But then it’s still causing a collision

      1. János (@meandthewanderlust)
        5th December 2021, 21:44

        Haha, yes, Lewis caused a collision by slowing down and hitting a slow car on a straight under a green flag.

      2. @anunaki

        “But then it’s still causing a collision” exactly the point, max caused it.

        he goes left right left right than to the middle while massively slowing down just before the DRS line (his intention was clearly confirmed by the second attempt at the drs zone, and instant attack)

        normally what drivers letting others by do is pull of the racing line slow adequately, not on a fast run down to drs zone and pull left right left right then to do middle all the while slowing down massively!

        1. I can’t watch this video. But isn’t that why they go to the stewards

  11. I am eager to see the outcome of this.. and mostly like, I am assuming that it would be no action on anyone.

  12. Let’s take Max’s view. He is told to let HAM pass. He slows in the middle of the track. And then punches it full speed never letting HAM pass. What was the logic?

    1. If you watch Max’s onboard he slows down from miles back and Lewis does not go past (presumably as he hasn’t been told what’s going on). Max floors it after he’s been shunted into from behind.

      Look at it from Max’s point of view, you’d expect Lewis to have been told and take the pass.

  13. You cant drive in F1 the way Verstappen did today. Hamilton was hessitent to pass Verstappen because, well it is Verstappen, and he did seem to be playing games. And that pathetic spin by Horner blaming Hamilton waiting for drs line? Terrible excuse

    1. Exactly.
      Max is dancing right in the middle of a very narrow fenced portion. Not until the road becomes wider did Lewis attempt to go to the left and Max slows suddenly more.
      When a driver has attempted to crash into you 3 times already. I could understand Hamiltons caution.

      1. János (@meandthewanderlust)
        5th December 2021, 21:41

        Watch Lewis’ onboard. What you say is not correct.

    2. What Horner didnt say- “Everyone knows that the Golden Child is never in the wrong”

  14. Does anyone really buy this- “suddenly hit the brakes” rhetoric, or do you guys use brain too?

    1. I’ve watched Max’s onboard @geekracer2000 and there is deceleration just before contact is made, however how much only the stewards can really tell. I don’t think you can claim a superior brain on this one just yet.

      1. No one sad there was no deceleration, (btw top job for spoting that keep up with good work)
        De deceleration downshifted from 8 to 3 gear in a loooong sequence totally opposite to hitting the brakes in sudden fashion. Also thanks for your sincere answer.

        1. Do you KNOW how fast an F1 car changes gear? Its split second stuff. You can hear how fast Max downshifts if you care to Review this. This has the same effect as sudden braking.

          1. János (@meandthewanderlust)
            5th December 2021, 21:40

            If you care to review this, watch Lewis’ onboard again and tell me if you still believe it’s Max’ fault…

      2. János (@meandthewanderlust)
        5th December 2021, 21:39

        If you have F1TVPro, watch Lewis’ onboard again.

        I just did and it’s obvious that he slows down a lot, follows Max because he’s confused, and hits him.
        At no point was Verstappen impeding him.

        That can happen, even to one of the GOATs but there’s no need to deny what everyone has seen: He was confused and made a mistake, end of the story.

  15. Black flag for Max! His dangerous driving is a disgrace for the sport!

    1. I totally agree he’s a dirty driver a win at all costs is in his brain no matter who suffers or how I do it.

      He should have had the black flag end of story

  16. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    5th December 2021, 20:55

    Hamiltons reaction at Sky shows why nobody likes him. He drives into the back of someone and then forces him nearly into a wall, then has the balls to call Verstappen ‘over the line’. Can’t wait for the day he buggers off from F1, that’s going to be a glorious moment

    1. It’s Barry with something positive to say about Hamilton again everyone.

      1. I wouldn’t know, I see that big red shouty Avatar and keep scrolling

        1. @f1-plossl I don’t know what causes such red-faced pain but I’m sure it’s treatable by a good proctologist.

      2. Hamilton is third most popular driver according to F1 poll. That says quite a lot as to his likability given the success he has had.

        I personally really dislike Hamilton. Comes across as a virtual signaling phony. I cannot understand why anyone would like him, but the Racefans commenters appear to be mostly pro-Hamilton, but the more generic F1 audience ranks him third.

        I am not a Verstappen fan. I am an anyone but Hamilton fan. I was rooting for Vettel when he had a chance, and now I am for Verstappen. I am praying to racing gods Hamilton loses, as I can barely tolerate him. And I too am looking forward to the day he leaves. I don’t think it will be anytime soon though, as he appears to crave attention, which F1 provides him.

        1. @crannog

          So you say the “generic F1 audience” ranks Hamilton 3rd. But I would counter the “generic worldwide audience” ranks him 1st, based on internet viewing metrics. If that’s how you want to view these drivers….good luck. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter….Hamilton is a 7 time F1 world champion…maybe soon to be all time record 8. No “opinion” is changing those facts. Fact.

        2. I rooted for Massa the year Hamilton won. Rooted for Button when he was Lewis’ teammate. By the time he got to the year of his second title, first with Mercedes, I respected all that Lewis had achieved (managing at least one race win every year for example). I felt he was a deserving multiple champion. Then again I also rooted for Vettel, as I am a Ferrari fan, and I was also happy that Rosberg managed to beat Hamilton.

          But for me Max is so unlikable. Perhaps down the line, when he’s got a championship or 2 or 3, and has matured a bit, I could root for him (especially if he fights against a more unlikable person – which Leclerc, Norris, Russell are not). But at this point (and this year) I am fully behind Hamilton. Won’t be terribly disappointed if Max wins, and I won’t say any of the 2 don’t deserve it – whoever wins this one does.

      3. I am loving the rivalry between @john-h and @barryfromdownunder as much as Lewis vs Max. Brilliant.

        1. Haha @cobray. Yep sorry about this, I should know better than to get involved in these things :) it’s not very dignified.

    2. Ayyyyy Bazza!!! You’re back!! And you never disappoint! God I love you man x

    3. Barry, you are wrong. The little s_it buggered off F1 right after the disgraceful Hungaroring 2007 show, surrounded by general opprobium, and never was heard of again. So there.
      In case you have forgotten, lets review the WDC after that:
      2007: Kimi
      2008: Felipe
      2009: Jenson
      2010: Fernando (you probably did not expect this one, but there you go)
      2011, 12, 13: Seb
      2014, 15, 16: Nico
      2017, 18: Seb again, making 5, as much as the great Chueco, and second only to Michael
      2019, 20: Valtteri the useless
      2021: wrapped by Max 5 o 6 races ago

      1. Still salt about the crane? Wow that was along time ago. That was quite amusing when they put him back on the track I have to admit, although I think Hamilton finished 11th in that race from memory.

        1. Ah no that was the nurburgring. What happened at Hungary 2007?

  17. I think that the practice of asking a driver to give position is not correct. We have seen today that there are circumstances where it is not safe.

    Also this offer to Red Bull to give grid position at the restart was ridiculous. I mean seriously this is like having the referee in a football match negotiate with the players before reaching to a decision.

    If someone did something that warrants a penalty then just give him the penalty.

    1. I strongly disagree and actually thought that was the most fair and diplomatic approach to the whole situation and quite unique, but overall would say least controversial moment of the race. Obviously race direction felt that there was some wrong doing, although often in the past we have seen lap 1 incidents deemed racing incident (think Alonso racing line). So under a red flag you give BOTH teams a way out. You ask the wronged done team “Are you happy if team A receives penalty B?” and you ask team B “Will you accept penalty B or will you roll the dice with the stewards? “. I think Mercedes could have easily said “No we are not happy” and then it would have gone to the stewards, taken maybe 10 laps to be reviewed or be applied post race. This way it was done and dusted.

  18. Non-issue. Let’s move on to the season finale.

  19. I think that the sooner RBR sack Horner the sooner Verstappen will realise his true potential. Max needs someone with a stern approach to guide him from potential great to the upper echelons of the sport. Horner needed to sit Max down years ago and spell out what was/is acceptable/unacceptable behaviour. Max is a constant danger and although I understand the psychology needed to win and his approach safety has to be paramount

    1. Hamilton is just as dangerous. Not so much in the duel but always going over the edge when it comes to small rules. I understand very well that this frustrates some drivers if the fia does not see this in time. Take the space Hamilton took at the restat to warm up his tires and take a run-up to the start. According to the regulations, there is only a limited space between two cars and no 200 meters to spin to bring the tires up to temperature. Well then you have the same advantage with tires everyone understands. but fia doesn’t do anything with this!!

    2. @peter taylor

      Agreed. Horner is unhinged. His “leadership” is a joke. He’s a Helmut puppet. No balls, no heart. Verstappen had every advantage this season, and because of a lack of leadership, Red Bull is turning their good season and fortune into pure horsespit

  20. They both were informed about the position change.
    And both drivers were fully aware there was a DRS detection line before the last turn.

    Both drivers didn’t want to be the first to drive across that DRS line.

  21. Maldonadoesque.

  22. Moment of confusion from Hamilton there, I don’t think he had in mind the DRS line. Will that slip cause a penalty of some sort…

    Pretty sure versappen chose that spot for solely for the DRS.. doing what sainz did in Brazil

  23. Starting with some personal comments.
    I hate both drivers as characters. As drivers I love them both. Each for their driving talents.

    But what VER did today is SO FAR stretched beyond regulations that I was left speechless and angry at the end of the GP.
    MS was stripped his entire championship points for doing a tiny fraction of VER’s today actions. HE “tried to let him past” by braking down to 3rd Gear FFS on a 320kph point !!!

    If very strict on the book: GP DSQ for VER is the proper action. If I want to pass a message these actions cannot be tolerated : DSQ and 2-3 race ban.

  24. Max , along with Lewis, head and shoulders above anyone else, He doesn’t need to resort to these questionable moves.

  25. Sir Cryington playing dirty and then acting dumb. Mercedes style.

  26. János (@meandthewanderlust)
    5th December 2021, 21:32

    “I didn’t quite understand why all of a suddenly he hit the brakes quite heavily”

    That’s NOT what happened and everybody knows it.

    1. @janos

      When the driver in front of you is the same driver that has driven you 25 meters off track in the last race and is the same driver that is weaving so preposterously down a straight that he is given a warning is the same driver who is doing who knows what down the straight in this race guess what…..Hamilton absolutely doesn’t know what that supposed race driver is doing. Wake up.

    2. Wait… you posted this after the telemetry proved that’s exactly what he did!

  27. Hamilton: “Max was trying to let me pass before the DRS zone and then use the DRS himself, but I’m not stupid.”


  28. Read a lot of comments, here and on another site (with more Max fans). For me, Lewis made a mistake, by not initially taking the opportunity to pass, when he also slowed down behind Max instead of passing. After that it was too late… Max was in the middle of the track all of a sudden (in a narrower part of the track), and when that gap opens on the left and Lewis tries to go for it I think Max decelerated. In my view Max deserves a penalty for this, hopefully after checking telemetry and proving he did something wrong (slowing down in the middle of the track). Now, whether Lewis can then escape without a penalty is another discussion, as they could also give him one.

  29. I think it was clumsy from both, but there was nothing malicious. I would be surprised if the stewards issue a penalty to either.

  30. Max needs to really smarten up!

    He’s going to injure somebody or worse!

    1. Has anyone heard when we can expect the stewards’ decision? It is early in the morning there Dec 6 now…

    2. He already injured Hamilton’s head and neck

  31. To me, it looked like Max was already angry at giving the place back again and chose to do it just before the safety car line, which is his choice. He made it a less than ideal line for Ham expecting Ham to know what was going and and duck past. When Ham stayed behind, Max lost it and thinking HAM was gaming him on the DRS line did an F you deceleration resulting in the contact.

    That why Max then gave up an let Ham… data doesn’t lie and he knew that move just cost him the championship.

  32. Verstappens entire M.O. there was to flout and negate the penalty to move behind Hamilton. I’m sure that Masi will take note. If he just moved clearly to one side it would have been no issue. Then of course he took off again and didn’t comply with the decision for many laps. I mean what is there to say for him here? Hamilton purposefully hit him for laffs?

  33. Unless there’s telemetry that clearly indicates otherwise, let’s assume no brake-testing or malicious intent involved from either side. Given that, I think it’s quite clear what happened and why.

    The root of the problem is poor enforcement of F1’s regulations around passing has left Max believing that extremely aggressive driving is ok (note his reaction to being given “driver of the day” on his slow-down lap). There are multiple examples of his aggression in this race alone. Whilst it can produce brilliant overtakes as a result, it too often results in “avoid me or crash”. A knock-on effect of Max’s belief is that other drivers are very wary of him, especially Lewis due to the close Championship title fight.

    Given that context, the most likely explanation for this somewhat bizarre incident is… Max slowed down to let Lewis through, but since Lewis had not received any information about the position switch, he was put on high alert as soon as he saw Max slow down in close to the middle of the track for what appeared to be no reason. Rather than do what he would do in any other situation and just drive past, he instinctively slowed down to avoid coming alongside a driver he didn’t trust and wasn’t sure what he might do.

    Two obvious points here:

    1.) Change the policy so that the car behind is always told first, to prevent a situation where the information is with the driver who will be slowing down before the one who is allowed to overtake.

    2.) Set clearer guidelines on acceptable passing, and enforce them consistently. Then all the drivers, including Max, will end up conforming.

    1. COTY let alone COTD.

    2. @simon999 Good point, had they informed the following car first, a collision would have been less likely. Regardless of the fact that the telemetry tells us Max unnecessarily hit the brakes on a section of flat-out straight with a car immediately behind him, i was confused about why both drivers were so focussed on the DRS line. Maybe i missed a rule change (easy enough to do nowadays), but i thought after Spa 2008 a driver wasn’t allowed to immediately take a position back if instructed to give up a place. If that rule was/is still in place, then both drivers would have known the DRS line was irrelevant as a pass wouldn’t be permitted until after T1.

  34. Whatever the message situation, initially Max slows down and Lewis also slows behind behind?
    Why they are racing if the car in front slows you pass! (Max could have had an engine issue)
    So then Max backs off even more and Lewis is now even closer and clips him.

    Seems to me Lewis knew about it and they were both chasing the DRS line, Max seemed to overly slow down no matter the situation.

  35. Max nor Lewis is to blame here fully. Max did deserve the penalty for defending too hard into turn 1, however Lewis did push Max way way too wide when he was letting him trough, almost dangerously and almost tripled the ten car lengths behind rule. then there’s the issue of the letting through incident. To me this was the FIA’s or the Mercedes Teams fault, for not communicating properly. But if blame has to put on either driver, this has to be Lewis. Max slowed down carefully, which Lewis noticed early. But then decided to stay really close behind Max, without overtaking him or keeping his distance. Then he stopped watching his speed and moved to the left damaging his car very slightly. Max could’ve been more to the left side of the track, but even so, Lewis really cocked up here. Eventually making sure Verstappen got punished double.

  36. Absolutely correct analysis. Both drivers failing to finish means Max wins the championship. The same situation applies for the final race. Be prepared for more reckless driving from Max. Max has also awarded a 10 sec penalty after the race for braking sharply (confirmed telemetry 2.4g) causing an accident.

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