Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021

Verstappen keeps second place after penalty for slowing in front of Hamilton

2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen has been given a 10-second time penalty for slowing in front of championship rival Lewis Hamilton, which led to the pair colliding.

The penalty does not affect Verstappen’s finishing position of second place in the race, as he was classified 15.7 seconds ahead of third-placed Valtteri Bottas. The pair therefore remain tied on points heading into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi next week.

The pair were summoned to judge whether they infringed 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.”

The championship rivals clashed on lap 37 following a bizarre sequence where Verstappen was instructed to allow Hamilton to take the lead after he had run off the circuit at turn two while trying to defend from his championship rival.

Verstappen slowed to allow Hamilton by on the approach to turn 27, but the Mercedes driver also backed off, seemingly reluctant to pass. The pair slowed further and Hamilton hit the rear of Verstappen’s car, suffering minor front wing damage, before the pair resumed at racing speeds with Verstappen still in the lead.

Verstappen was later handed a five-second time penalty by the stewards for leaving the track and gaining an advantage for passing Hamilton off-track at turn one.

He received two penalty points for the collision with Hamilton. That in addition to his single penalty point for the other incident leaves him on a total of seven for the current 12-month period.

The stewards’ verdict on Verstappen

At turn 21 the driver of car 33 [Verstappen] was given the instruction to give back a position to car 44 [Hamilton] and was told by the team to do so “strategically”. Car 33 slowed significantly at turn 26. However, it was obvious that neither driver wanted to take the lead prior to DRS detection line three.

The driver of car 33 stated that he was wondering why car 44 had not overtaken and the driver of car 44 stated that, not having been aware at that stage that car 33 was giving the position back, was unaware of the reason car 33 was slowing. In deciding to penalise the driver of car 33, the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration.

Whilst accepting that the driver of car 44 could have overtaken car 33 when that car first slowed, we understand why he (and the driver of car 33) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS.

However, the sudden braking by the driver of car 33 was determined by the Stewards to be erratic and hence the predominant cause of the collision and hence the standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, is imposed.

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2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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310 comments on “Verstappen keeps second place after penalty for slowing in front of Hamilton”

  1. A baffling and ultimately meaningless penalty seems about right for what was baffling and ultimately meaningless incident.

    1. someone deliberately causes a collision on track and gets away with it….just imagine if both cars were out..VESTERPEN would be smiling all the way to Abu Dhabi.

      1. You mean, just like Senna vs Prost x 2 ?
        Been there, done that, we need more Jersey Shore type garbage. No?

      2. Yeah it was weird fro Hamilton to deliberately crash into Verstappen, i guess he knew no reprimand would be given to him.

    2. @red-andy A meaningless penalty for brake testing his championship rival. The telemetry apparently backs up what a former driver like Brundle (usually a huge Max fan) clearly saw instantly. Verstappen, as usual, got off lightly and will continue to use the same ‘strategy’ (to use his team’s words).

      1. @david-br I keep seeing this term “brake testing” being used, but that is not what the stewards found. They deemed Verstappen’s sudden braking to be “erratic,” not intentional.

        Verstappen is fortunate in the sense that he was more than 15s up the road from his nearest rival, so the penalty does not cost him anything (unless the penalty points add up next year I suppose). But as the incident had no bearing on the overall race result, I see it as a fair outcome.

        1. @red-andy Establishing intention is a bit of a lost cause in any incident of this kind. There does seem to be a lot of reaction to it being on purpose, ‘dirty’, from former drivers and the like. A bit like Rosberg’s ‘off’ in Monaco qualifying when a lot of former drivers chuckled and kind of admitted it looked deliberate/clever. I’m not sure myself in this case. I think it was more Verstappen making it as awkward as possible for Hamilton, therefore making the situation unclear (sticking in the middle, weaving a bit, braking in sudden jumps) and Hamilton wary/suspicious, especially as FIA brilliantly decided to advise his team what was, on a F1 race track, effectively an eternity later. His final braking, when the collision occurred, just as Hamilton went for the pass? Who knows if that was intentional or not.

          1. I believe it would be best to just let the stronger team and advertised player win and not challenge them in any way. Since it seems competitive racing angers everyone. The most important thing in this sport is obviously, sponsorships, corporate & general public money, and above all safety!!! Leaving nothing but media and the elite to enjoy & turn this once dangerous, courageous & gentlemanly sport into Days of our lives on Tree house TV!

        2. Red, It’s not worth debating his fans. They drag you down to their level and you end up wasting energ.

          1. Wasnt it Mark Twain that said “Do not argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience” Very apt with some VER fans.

      2. We have seen Max’s true colours, today.

        His fans should be embarrassed by his behaviour, even if Max isn’t.

    3. The whole DRS thing tho. I thought after the Hamilton vs Raikonnen incident at Spa in 2008, it was clear that you couldn’t let someone past, then immediately re-overtake, which is what Verstappen was trying to do here.
      Its so bizarre that I’m already losing interest…

        1. Max has just shown us that he is capable of colliding with Lewis at turn one at the final race to take them both out and therefore win the DWT. He is happy to use dirty tactics.

          1. if he does that, he will be disqualified from the WC, i can guarantee you that. He won’t do that.

          2. He got off with a 5s penalty for attempting to take out Hamilton twice and 10s for the third attempt. Do you seriously think that they would take away a WDC title for a penalty that light?

            Verstappen knows he gets away with it and that’s why he keeps pulling these dirty stunts

      1. Yes. I, too, thought they changed the Sporting Regulations after Spa 2008 to require the lead to be given back for at least two corners.

        1. I think they just need to establish that giving the place back coming up to a DRS detection point and then repassing using that DRS is still “gaining a lasting advantage”, just as they established Hamilton’s move back in the day was still doing so. Giving the place back is supposed to be removing the advantage gained, to use it to gain another advantage is still gaining an advantage from leaving the track.

      2. Its not only what Max was trying to do which lead to this incident, its what he subsequently went on to do and thereby demonstrate that was his intention. His pit radio all but made this a team instruction, eg let Hamilton pass ‘strategically’ .

        so yeah. 10 seconds for what amounts to actions leading to a deliberate collision. Makes you wonder if the penalty would have been the same if Hamilton had lost. No wonder Verstappens sees no reason to change.

      3. Max passed because Lewis backed off intentionally

    4. Did you read it @red-andy:

      “the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration”

      Just be grateful he wasn’t disqualified will you.

      1. That’s is the exact telemetry from Lewis’ break test on Vettel after the safety car before the rolling start in Baku a couple years back.

        1. Paul Armstrong
          6th December 2021, 6:54

          Not the same! Driving behind the safety car around 60mph vs racing at 200+. Big difference but nice try.

        2. You just made that up. FIA actually said the telemetry proved Hamilton didn’t brake test Vettel: https://www.racefans.net/2017/06/26/f1-fanatic-round-up-2606-4/

          As Vettel himself recognized and apologized for: https://www.racefans.net/2017/07/06/vettel-accepts-hamilton-not-brake-test/

          And it’s pretty obvious just by looking at the onboard footage. Hamilton keeps his speed, while Verstappen goes from 8th gear to 3rd.

          1. @Warheart .. you should be ashamed of yourself. Hamilton kept his speed??? Do you have F1TV?? watch the onboard of Hamilton in lap 37 .. he downshifted just like Max. You just flatout lying man!

          2. @kavu Lewis slowed down behind Max, but then matched his speed until Max stomped on the brakes, providing 69 bar of brake pressure (a lot) and 2.4G deceleration (a lot) in a part of the track where nobody would expect it of him.

          3. @kavu everything I wrote obviously refers to the 2017 Baku incident, as was the comment I was replying to.

        3. Do you work for Donald Trump or something? Lol.

        4. Hamilton was behind the safety car and he lifted off…

          BEHIND THE SAFETY CAR… not during the race

    5. Braking testing is dangerous driving and as such the penalty is disqualification surely? Especially given the fact that twice before in that very race max was punished for dodgy driving against the very same opponent! Mental!!!

      1. +1

      2. Exactly, at what point is enough enough? If you go off track 3 times in a corner with track limits you get pulled out, but if you cause three separate collisions with your opponent then it’s fine?

      3. What’s more, slowing and bake testing on one of the fastest sections of track. If those car’s ended up strewn across the track, what carnage could have occurred when the others come round at racing speed?
        As has been pointed out already, i was baffled as to why they were both so focussed on the DRS line. If the rule introduced at Spa in 2008 was/is still in place, then both drivers would have known that there can be no repassing until after T1.

        1. @shakey66 The “rule” after 2008 was that you needed to go through the next corner before attempting to repass. By that “rule”, Max would have been free to gain DRS and pass Hamilton down the pit straight. Now, IMO that would still be gaining a lasting advantage by leaving the track, but it wouldn’t fall foul of the 2008 “rule”.

          1. Thanks for clarifying @drmouse, it was a long time ago and obviously pre-DRS, but it makes sense now.

    6. At least they investigated an incident and did so timely this time. Just because it’s meaningless in terms of the race result doesn’t mean it was meaningless overall.

    7. Ha, well described there @red-andy.

  2. FIA are a joke…
    this means they know it will not affect position.

  3. Will call it here first: Max and Lewis violently take each other out in Abu Dhabi, they are both disqualified from the championship, Bottas wins the drivers’ title, then goes to Alfa Romeo and never gets a point again for the rest of his career.

    1. More like wins in a mercedes and retires, I’ve heard this somewhere…

      1. @ivan-vinitskyy i think if ham is ahead of bottas and max behind bottas, ham certainly can afford to gift bottas the race win as a good bye present.

    2. That would be an epic end for this season.
      I like it.

    3. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      5th December 2021, 22:58

      Masi needs to show some testicular fortitude and summon Hamilton and Verstappen this week, tell them if anyone’s taking anyone out, that’s DQ from BOTH championships.

      1. What about Bottas and Perez, even some of the customer teams.

        Remember 2008 Crashgate Singapore race, Nelson Piquet Jr crashed into the circuit wall at turn 17.

    4. If Max and Lewis take each other out, Bottas might win the race, but Max will win the championship.

      1. There is precedent with Schumacher being disqualified from the championship in 1997, after crashing into Villeneuve.

        1. Well Senna didn’t get disqualified in Japan with Prost. But of course Max will not deliberately crash into Lewis. His moves in the first corner were aggressive but the purpose of them where to be in front of Lewis and not to take Lewis out off the race.

    5. Haha I had that thought too! Shame norris slid so far after his initial cracking start to the season.

  4. Wow so he actually brake checked Lewis. And no disq? Just 10 seconds. My goodness! How much more does FIA want Max to win this?

    1. @lums I don’t know but Masi’s talk of ‘offers’ to Red Bull has already left me feeling queasy enough today.

      1. @david-br

        I agree. I was appalled when I heard Masi saying “This is what we’re offering…” .

        Just ridiculous. If Max broke the rules on defensive driving, just give him the standard penalty applied to all drivers. If that’s a 5 second penalty then that is it. The race should have restarted with Max on pole, Ocon 2nd and Lewis 3rd, but Max with a 5 second penalty.

        Regardless of who wins the championship this year, one thing is for sure, that Masi needs to be fired before the start of next season.

        1. @todfod I can see the logic behind that bairganing. Had the race gone ahead after that maneouvre, standard protocol for the FIA would be to ask the driver to give back the position. If he doesn’t, then there’s a penalty. Since the race was then almost immediately red flagged, there was no option to do so on track, hence the FIA offering to do that switch on the grid.

          I agree Max should’ve been penalized, since that would set a precedent: if you gain an advantage by going off track, you better give that position back immediately, or you’ll get a penalty. Plus, if they had to penalize him three times during a race, maybe the stewards would eventually think enough is enough and black flag him, but, given how these issues are normally handled during a race, I can understand it even if I don’t agree with it.

          1. Okay, except now he’d also lost a place to Ocon as a result. Pretty sure précédent on that is a penalty must be applied because it’s no longer directly repérable.

          2. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen drivers ordered to give the position back and had to give up more than one to do so in the past, though I think normally the teams refuse because a penalty will be less costly than the advantage they gained.

          3. @warheart

            I think the point is that there should be no negotiating in the first place.. That makes it entirely subjective. If it’s an offense, it should be punishable with a pre defined penalty.

          4. I agree with you there @warheart, this was a proposal to “give the spot back” in an elegant way when a red car might have all too often led to a time penalty that then completely drew apart the race into a dud. The proposal to Red Bull was exaclty what the “proposal” is during racing – give the spot back or face a slam dunk 5 second penalty @todfod, @drmouse.

            To your point Gwan, in this case Verstappen would have lost out to Ocon anyway if he had joined in a safe manner and not blocking Hamilton, since Ocon was close enough behind them to take advantage on the run out of the corner anyway.

          5. Agree Gwan, it was pretty clear that Masi had missed that Ocon was also in front of Hamilton, so a penalty was required.
            Didn’t matter too much in the lens of the race but the opportunity has been lost to get Max to consider ignoring his worst urges. Max will now certainly be happy to risk Hamilton’s car at the cost of a slap on the wrist, and the benefit of the WC, he’ll see his only challenge in framing an excuse.

    2. @lums The stewards don’t go quite as far as calling it a brake check, only noting that Max braked sharply and that was the predominant cause of the collision.

      In recent times we have seen the stewards have often been very reluctant to say whether a move was intentional and give the drivers the benefit of the doubt … that’s why it was only 10 seconds, whereas had they found Max’s actions had been deliberate (i.e. he intentionally slowed down in order to cause Hamilton to run into the back of him), rather than merely “erratic,” then the penalty would surely have been much more severe.

      1. How can you defend this? I’m utterly baffled.

      2. Braking suddenly is the definition of brake checking. It is worth.noting that “break checking* is not a technical term and will.threrefore not be mentioned as such by the stewards. That does not mean that they do not mean to effectively mean the same thing.

        Breaking heavy in that manner is dangerous driving and dangerous driving is an instant black flag ..

        1. FYI it’s “Braking” not “breaking”

          1. In this case it wasnt!

          2. I know… Stupid phone autospell…

      3. I rather get what @red-andy means and how the stewards seem to be handling this @john-h. I hadn’t fully realised it at the time, but the motivation of BOTH of them not to be ahead at the DRS line makes sense.

        Then the motivation for Max to brake would probably have been more about pressing the brake paddle at their relatively low speed to slow down enough that Hamilton really had no option but to go over that line first. The section was normally very fast, but neither were going fast enough here to make it that dangerous as a brake test.

        I figure that what both drivers told them and radio messages probably confirm this rather being just a rather confusing and unnecessary messy incident where Max is trying to be as “strategically” as he can be at giving the spot back and Hamilton is both not completely clear about why Max is slowing but also does understand that if he is ahead by a smidgen at the DRS detection line he will surely be overtaken by Max right away.
        Max does that again when he lets Hamilton past later in the race, clearly not being as aware of that sad precedent from Spa 2006 where Lewis was penalised for doing pretty much exactly that move.

        It would also explain better why Max felt miffed about the penalty, since he felt he had actually been wanting to give the spot back (in a cheeky manner).

        1. Yep, I do see the argument here @bascb that it may not have been entirely deliberate by Max to cause an actual crash, but it’s very bad driving to do this on the straight and at least apply the brake when the other driver isn’t right behind you. That’s what I find very difficult to come to terms with, Max knows a crash will work in his favour and therefore by stomping on the brakes, again it’s for Hamilton to either act or crash. This might be acceptable in banger racing, but it really isn’t on in F1 especially on the straight like that.

          1. Yes, that goes back to the whole thing of “letting them race” and how it breeds this feeling in (certain) drivers that they can do pretty much anything unpunished. That then leads to doing more and more edge case things, and getting closer and closer to a dangerous accident.

            I agree that is not right and certainly sets a bad example that sadly WILL be followed by others @john-h.

      4. Braking unexpectedly in the middle of a straight should be pretty much an automatic penalty unless there’s some extenuating circumstances, especially when that braking results in a collision. And 10s isn’t sufficient.

        But hey, a penalty was applied which neatly avoids robbing FOM of the prize of the 2 protagonists going into the final round level on points. It’s a Festivus miracle!

    3. Strictly speaking, no. He decelerated suddenly, hence the “erratic driving leading to a collision”. But he didn’t hit his brake pedal. The rear lights would have come on (and warned Hamilton to take evasive action), as they light up when the car is regenerating energy, either through brakes or MGU-K deceleration.

      But downforce on these cars is such that even lifting off the pedal can cause the car to slow far faster than you can brake in a normal car.

      1. No, the telemetry showed he did brake heavily just as Hamilton approached him, and the rear light only flashes when cars lift and coast, not brake, and then only when in an energy harvesting mode.

      2. There are no brake lights on F1 cars.

      3. F1Entusiast1729
        6th December 2021, 6:18

        When did they install break lights on F1 cars?

      4. Paul Armstrong
        6th December 2021, 7:04

        Do you not what this mean? “then braked suddenly (69 bar)”

      5. You’ve got that wrong. The red lights flash when the PU is not receiving power from the electric motor, so any driver following that car is aware that it might be accelerating slower than expected (160 HP less)

      6. grat, the flashing red light is used to denote when a car is harvesting energy using the MGU-H – in other words, the thermal energy recovery unit that is independent of the brake system.

        There are also screenshots of telemetry data from Max’s car which clearly shows that Max was applying the maximum brake load that he could at the point where the collision occurred, so there is no doubt that he was braking

        1. I would like to point out that the FOM brake graphics are either 0 or 100% due to the nature of the brake-by-wire system and the teams using different brake loads and progression (with brake bias being changable in the car too). FOM are not able show the actual pedal loads on live tv.

          This also ignores aero- and PU braking effects, which differentiates for each car

          So that can not be deemed useful data for any argument under braking. You need data-traces from the car for that.

          I thought people would notice the ‘analog’ nature of the graphic, but it seems that is not the case. I am starting to worry about the way people jump to conclusions without thinking logically these days though (not just in F1)

          P.S. I bet FOM & media love this championship though :D

      7. Formula 1 cars don’t have brake lights. Where have you been? Netflix?

        Anywhoo, telemetry and the stewards report revealed that Max brake 2.4 G’s and steered to block the path. This is obviously a brake check.

  5. So he did brake check? And you give him 10sec penalty, which you know is meaningless. What a joke this FIA

  6. I think there will be no penalty for Hamilton as he was not alerted that Max had to give the place back. He just experienced crazy Max the lap prior and would be confused as to why Max slowed down on the fastest part of the track.

    1. Verstappen was weaving right at the exit of a very fast left hand corner which happened to ve very narrow. As the track widened and Hamilton atttempted a pass on the left side, Verstappen seemed to swerve and suddenly brake.
      There is no point talking about Masi and the stewards, they have only just taken racing etiqeutte to another level.

    2. He most certainly should get a penalty. He’s riding someone’s ass when they’re slowing down? Yea… please explain that one bud.

    3. Bobson Dugnutt
      6th December 2021, 1:55

      You would think that if a car suddenly brakes in front of a driver, the driver would take avoiding action. Neither had happened really.
      Both drivers knew what they were doing (DRS) and as far as i am concerned, Lewis just unneccesarily drove into the back of Max.

      There’s was a solid 4 seconds between Max started slowing down and the contact.

      Either way, it is what it is, i just hope this doesn’t go full Senna-Prost next week.

  7. @barryfromdownunder
    Lewis shall beat Verstappen the clown….so speaketh the racing gods.

    No. 8

  8. @barryfromdownunder Why do you think that he didn’t brake suddenly?

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      5th December 2021, 22:49

      I watched the onboards, maybe you should try the same before commenting something this dumb

    2. He braked accidentally that’s why it caused an accident.

    3. @barryfromdownunder It was a legitimate question, I was just wondering what it was that made you certain that he didn’t brake suddenly.

      I did watch the onboards and on Max’s onboard you can hear a distinct drop in the revs immediately before the collision, which is consistent with the drop in revs that you’d hear when braking sharply. The stewards will also have the accurate telemetry from Max’s car, which is why they were able to accurately quantify the pressure with which he used to brake

  9. Great! Masi has standardized penalties. Not to mention the standard is utterly stupid but it’s there, stay tuned for more.

  10. Oh my goodness… I did not expect that Verstappen was found to be brake checking. I thought everything was fine for both drivers. This should have been a disqualification based on his driving during this race.

    1. That’s the opinion of most people that aren’t call Barry or affiliated with FIA

      1. @ivan-vinitskyy dont humiliate erikje please :) by not mentioning him

      2. @ivan-vinitskyy

        Just like Toto Wolff says: life is too short to drink bad wine.

    2. @krichelle I’m shocked. Basically waited til Ham was behind him, then braked hard, really should be disqualification. He’s a supremely talented driver, but those tactics need to be punished severely

      1. +1

        Yeah, there was a lot of hackery going on in that race. The “braking too late to make the corner” thing was happening far too often to be just a mistake, too.

  11. @barryfromdownunder I’m confused… what are you disputing? FIA findings?

    1. He knows better than telemetry, or the FIA. AWS Barry ™.

    2. @barryfromdownunder onboards… of course.. why didn’t we think of that. Those things have everything one may want.

  12. However race-winner Hamilton remains under investigation for his role in the collision

    What does this mean? Max braked and got a penalty for it, so why is any additional investigation necessary?

    1. Is this correct? where did you hear this?

    2. I think that was for his part as why he didn’t pass Max when Max slowed down (the first part) second part Max geared from 6 to 3 and they made contact.

  13. …the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration.

  14. Read it a little more closely.

  15. Ok, so even knowing he intentionally caused the collision they simply give him a meaningless penalty. Such a joke…

    DSQ would have been the right decision, and maybe a race ban. But obviously VER shall get the title.

    Fortunately nobody was hurt today. Dangerous track anyway, and this mad kid free to perform all those crazy actions.

    1. Crashtappen has been getting away with serious penalties for ages and the echo chamber of Jos-Horner-Marko have made matters worse. What a joke of penalty.

  16. Hamilton could have driven around him. He had acres of space and time to do it? Ridiculous.

    1. Brake checking deserves a DSQ. Be happy that he got away, again, with a meaningless penalty.

    2. @rocketpanda Not driving past someone is not against the regulations. Brake checking others is considered dangerous and covered by rules.

    3. VER was weaving (albeit marginally) when he slowed, so how does that happen?

    4. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      5th December 2021, 22:59

      At 300km/h? around to the dirty side of the track?

    5. Disappointed in this comment @rocketpanda. Even after brake checking is confirmed it’s Hamilton’s fault I guess. Some people really are beyond understanding.

      1. Maybe you noticed they didn’t say brakechecking i think Max geared down (which is the same as braking) and that is what the stewards talking about.

        1. Stewards don’t actually use terminology like “brake checking” you know @macleod. They clearly say he hit the brakes suddenly and significantly.

        2. @macleod in addition to @john-h comment above, the stewards noted a high braking pressure, so this wasn’t just using engine braking. He stomped on the brakes.

          What they describe, especially as he knew Hamilton was right behind him, is the very definition of brake testing, and he should have a much more significant penalty for that. It’s a highly dangerous thing to do on a race track.

    6. He did not pass as he was not told to do so as the FIA did not tell Merc until late on and once he was told to pass he tried and was brake tested… Besides that Max was weaving in the middle of the track so it was not obvious he was letting Lewis past. Would you go around Max while he is weaving? I mean Lewis found out what happens when you do try to go around him…

      What is odd is that the FIA seemed to not mention the fact that Max di not abide by the rules when finally giving Hamilton the place back. You are supposed to leave 1 corner before retaking the position… He clearly did not do this.

  17. @barryfromdownunder Stewarding teams aren’t local to the country. This is the same stewarding team the was assigned to the race in Brazil

    1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      6th December 2021, 2:04

      You most certainly and absolutely incorrect- these are Bahrainian stewards who are experienced.

      1. And you apparently don’t know the difference between “stewards” who hand out penalties, and “marshals” who are track workers. And yes, there was a large number of marshals in from Bahrain, as they have extensive experience with F1 races.

  18. I’m curious what Verstappen fans has to say now that the data is as clear as the day that he brake checked. I always knew Verstappen’s defences are questionable, but Brazil and today proved that he loses 100 racing IQ points whenever someone attempts to overtake him. And he calls it “hard racing” with a straight face. Truly appaling!

    1. János (@meandthewanderlust)
      5th December 2021, 22:57

      I am not a Verstappen fan but I desperately want someone else than Lewis win the title for once.

      What I have to say is that I rewatched Lewis’ onboard 3 times and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that Lewis slowed down so much on the straight (under a green flag!) and then drives into him.

      1. Maybe cause VER waived and braked suddenly with more than 2G? just guessing…

      2. @meandthewanderlust It’s not against the rules to slow down like this, especially when someone in front of you has slowed down. The second point is invalid. We already know who drove into who. Braking suddenly in front makes you the one who causes a collision.

      3. @meandthewanderlust Think Ham was treating him like the hind legs of a donkey, and the brake-checking kind of justifies him doing so tbf

        1. exactly and all three times he “let him through” it was in an unusual manner in the middle of a narrow part of track. its obvious he was up to something or at minimum try to be tricky. not to mention he was trying to get drs to be able to re pass (which would have been illegal anyway)

      4. You can support anyone you like. But nothing is puzzling with Lewis colliding with Verstappen. It’s simple: 69bar and 2.4g.

        1. That’s not a lot at all. Which is Lewis had more than enough time to go around but consciously decided to crash into Max. I think FIA just don’t have the guts to change the result at this stage so Max just gets the blame again at the earliest opportunity, with the penalty being ultimately meaningless.

          Your boy Lewis was very lucky again.

        2. Yeah, the 69 bar part is especially damning. Just lifting off creates pretty substantial deceleration, but actually hitting the brakes while on the straight and in the middle of the track with somebody following close behind is just nuts.

          Don’t understand how that isn’t a DSQ minimum.

      5. @meandthewanderlust That’s because Max drove unpredictably in the middle rather than staying right or left without any slight or sudden steering movement.

    2. @rockgod

      I’m a Max fan. I read the verdict of the stewards and they say Max was predominantly at fault for causing a collision and a 10 seconds penalty.

      That’s the exact same penalty that Lewis got in Silverstone when he was found to be predominantly at fault for causing a collision.

      That’s consistency

      1. That fair @anunaki. But before this verdict, folks here were foaming at their mouth that it’s Lewis who deliberately crashed into Verstappen for some bizarre reason to potentially ruin his own race and gain advantage somehow.

        1. @rockgod Well in the heat of the moment and without all facts it’s tough to make a clear decision and you go with what you got.

          And of course there is still a lot of frustration among Max fans as myself about Silverstone and Hungary. That doesn’t always help.

          The only thing I don’t get is why Lewis is still under investigation

          1. @anunaki Hungary, I understand it was completely out of Verstappen’s control. But in Silverstone, don’t you think that with the 33-point lead that he had, if Verstappen would’ve taken a more cool-headed approach (like Lewis did in Brazil) he would’ve already won championship by now? I feel that his don’t-you-dare-pass-me-if-you-don’t-want-to-crash attitude has finally caught up to him. His fans and his team keep justifying that it’s “hard racing”, but it’s just enabling his self-desctructive behavior IMHO.

          2. @rockgod

            Man.. I agree. For most of this season, I felt a little gutted for Max losing 25 points in Baku for no fault of his own, as well as, being taken out at Silverstone and Hungary. But, that doesn’t justify his attitude since Brazil, where he’s protecting his championship lead at any cost.

            He’s not afraid to collide while defending, because he will still protect his lead. He showed in Brazil, that if Lewis went around the outside and kept it on track, they would have both collided and been out of the race. On lap 36, he again pulled the Brazil move, either he stays in front, or they collide. The way he handed back that position was ridiculous as well.

            I honestly thought he deserved a black flag today. He keeps justifying it as ‘hard racing’, but this isn’t racing anymore. Racing isn’t about colliding and defending off the tarmac. It’s about doing it within a specific set of rules.

      2. You might have had a point if the 10s penalty Lewis got in Silverstone hadn’t been extremely light to begin with. Ultimately, he probably stole the title there, smiling on the podium as the rival he rammed into the hospital was still undergoing health checks. That’s just Lewis Hamilton in his purest form.

    3. I feel like there was two of them in it to be honest. Neither wanted to go across the drs line first, and as it got closer they both made a mess of it. I do like Max, and can’t but be in awe of Lewis if not a huge fan, but this particular incident is a bit of a storm in a teacup.

      Now his move at turn one to try and stay ahead deserved a penalty, as did Brazil, but they are fighting for the championship, and in my opinion the merc in the hands of Lewis (recently) has been clearly superior, so when Max has been in the lead he’s been a sitting duck is having to go above and beyond to win, which is what any of the greats would do, including Lewis.

      It one of the greatest seasons Ive ever seen, been watching since the mid 90’s…. itwill probably be decided in a court room!! who’s got the best lawyers??! game on

  19. @Barry Bens 69 bar of braking pressure and 2.4g deceleration tells me you don’t understand braking you toilet cleaner.

  20. Time penalties don’t mean much when the front runners are so far ahead, Verstappen ended up with 15 seconds of penalties and still finished 2nd. If Bottas got 15 seconds of penalties he’d have dropped from 3rd to 7th. What sort of penalty system is this, dropping positions instead would be more of a deterrent.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      5th December 2021, 23:01

      @emu55 It’s the same penalty system that’s been in place for several years now with very few complaints. At least a time penalty can be earned back, like a penalty in football (you can concede a penalty, but the score 3 goals yourself and win the match for example). I’m sure the response to something like Silverstone where Lewis worked back his 10 seconds would have been very different of he had instead been dropped off the podium, just as an example.

      1. @randommallard there have been plenty of complaints about the penalty system. Personally I would rather go back to the old ways of drive through and stop and go penalties. The 5 second penalty is a joke and rarely penalises the offending party.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          5th December 2021, 23:49

          @slowmo I think 5 second penalties are the better of two evils to be honest. They allow small penalties for minor infractions that may not necessarily warrant a full drive through, but still provide some level of penalty beyond a reprimand. I agree that they’re not perfect, but the effect of 5 seconds can be fairly significant (mainly in the midfield, but also cases such as Canada 2019). For example, Perez in Monza: goes off track, gains an advantage in doing so. Probably not worth a full drive through than would lose him 8-10 positions probably, but the penalty is significant enough to drop him off the podium.

          I would rather see small penalties handed out for these infractions than reprimands or warnings, which I feel would probably be the direction the FIA took for smaller offences if they got rid of the 5 seconds.

          1. @randommallard I’ll meet you half way and say make the smallest penalty a 10s one. The 5s penalty is used so often its rarely a huge hit for drivers.

          2. @slowmo there’s no “smallest” penalty, the stewards can impose any time penalty they want. The current de facto standard seems to be 5 seconds – 10 seconds – drive through – stop and go, but there’s nothing in the sporting rules that prevents them from a 1 second penalty, or a 1 minute penalty.

          3. @warheart I think that boils down to the precedents that they only give the same penalty that they have previously. Obviously a key item of stewarding in F1 is that the penalty should be for the offense and not based on the outcome of the offense, hence why many felt Hamilton’s penalty in Silverstone was unfair as while he was penalized he clearly benefitted from his rival not finishing.

            My point is that the 5 second penalty rarely truly inconveniences a driver and as such drivers are willing to gamble on receiving it because it’s not really much of a penalty if you barge past a driver that could cost you 30s if you were stuck behind them.

            I think the minimum time penalty should be 10s, then a 20s penalty followed by a drive through and stop and go for in race penalties where possible. While there may not be any specific penalties listed, it’s pretty clear the stewards try to use precedents where possible and at the present time the 5s penalty is used most often.

          4. @warheart incidentally there is a section on the penalties that can be applied and there is only certain penalties that are possible:

            47.3 The stewards may impose any one of the penalties below on any driver involved in an Incident:

            a) A five second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop in his pit stop position
            for at least five seconds and then re-join the sprint qualifying session or the race. The
            relevant driver may however elect not to stop, provided he carries out no further pit stop
            before the end of the sprint qualifying session or the race. In such cases five seconds will
            be added to the elapsed the sprint qualifying session or race time of the driver concerned.

            b) A ten second time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop in his pit stop position
            for at least ten seconds and then re-join the sprint qualifying session or the race. The
            relevant driver may however elect not to stop, provided he carries out no further pit stop
            before the end of the sprint qualifying session or the race. In such cases ten seconds will
            be added to the elapsed the sprint qualifying session or race time of the driver concerned.
            In both of the above cases the driver concerned must carry out the penalty the next time he
            enters the pit lane and, for the avoidance of doubt, this includes any stop the driver makes whilst
            a VSC or safety car procedure is in use.

            c) A drive-through penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane and re-join the sprint
            qualifying session or the race without stopping.

            d) A ten second stop-and-go time penalty. The driver must enter the pit lane, stop in his pit
            stop position for at least ten seconds and then re-join the sprint qualifying session or the
            race.
            If any of the four (4) penalties above are imposed upon a driver, and that driver is unable to
            serve the penalty due to retirement from the sprint qualifying session or the race, the stewards
            may impose a grid place penalty on the driver at his next race.

            If any of the four (4) penalties above are imposed during the last three (3) laps, or after the end
            of a sprint qualifying session or a race, Article 47.4b) below will not apply and five seconds will
            be added to the elapsed time of the driver concerned in the case of (a) above, 10 seconds in the
            case of (b), 20 seconds in the case of (c) and 30 seconds in the case of (d).

            e) A time penalty.
            f) A reprimand.
            g) A drop of any number of grid positions at the driver’s next race.
            If any of the seven penalties above are imposed they shall not be subject to appeal.

            h) Disqualification from the results.
            i) Suspension from the driver’s next Event.

          5. @slowmo my bad, I should’ve mentioned I was talking about time penalties. Paragraph e) allows the stewards to impose any time penalty they deem correct, not just 5 or 10 seconds.

      2. Oh, I don’t know… Horner was pretty bitter that Hamilton was handed a 10 second penalty for causing a collision, and yet went on to win the race. I seem to recall he described the penalty as “meaningless”.

        And as I recall, Hamilton actually had to work to do that, whereas Max already had a 15 second cushion.

  21. Stewards:

    the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration

    Barry Bens:

    Telemetry showed he didn’t break abruplty you toilet-cleaner.

    Both equally compelling arguments. Tricky to know which statement is correct really.

  22. ‘the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration.’

    Telemetry shows he brake checked Lewis and gets a 10 second pointless penalty, that’s a new one in the Max dirty tricks bag, if the FIA or Masi down clamp down on Max he’s gonna end up seriously injuring or killing someone…..

    1. I am really concerned about the silence from the GPDA.

      This is clearly a tragedy in the making.

    2. Can’t wait for that

  23. @barryfromdownunder you sure do have an interesting way of interpreting reality.

  24. Hamilton driving when Verstappen was letting him past was so clumsy. But then again seeing what Verstappen had thrown on him in that race & in Italy/Brasil I can undestand how freak out or perhaps paranoic he must be about any move Verstappen makes.

    If FIA doesnt set firm boundaries for the next race, there will be another round of what we saw today.

    1. You do realise Hamilton has already avoided 3 or 4 collisions with Verstappen at this point and then meets him weaving in a very narrow part of the race track. You can’t blame Hamilton for being very cautious.

      1. That is basically what I wrote.

        1. Clumsy and cautious are opposites – Hamilton was the latter. It was Max’s rapid deceleration that caused the collision.

          The RB driver’s clumsy, awkward driving made this an avoidable incident: he didn’t make a decisive move to one side and slow – he slowed down in increments on a corner whilst weaving to the middle of the track and then to the right (but not all the way), then slowed suddenly as Lewis closed in behind him.

          1. taking in to account the truth of your entire comment its crazy how masi f1 and the stewards simple flutter their eyes at this, never when drivers let another pass to retake do they do it in this sort of erratic unpredictable way, slow and fast weaving on a narrow section and trying to set up an immediate re pass, which would have been illegal anyway as happened the second time. they have no spine or ability to assert the proper rules

            sorry about the grammar

  25. “Whilst accepting that the driver of car 44 could have overtaken car 33 when that car first slowed, we understand why he (and the driver of car 33) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS.”

    This could be understood as the driver behind gets to choose when they accept the place back. I do hope the FIA provides clarification or there will be more confusion in the future.

    1. János (@meandthewanderlust)
      5th December 2021, 22:59

      We both know that the current FIA personell is incapable of providing logical clarifications…

      “This could be understood as the driver behind gets to choose when they accept the place back.”

      Exactly. Lewis had PLENTY of time to just cruise by when Max “suddenly” braked…

      1. Drivers normally take the first chance they get in this situation

        Perhaps if the rule was the driver has to take the first opportunity to regain the position else it is forfeit, the incident would not have occurred.

        1. Perhaps if the rule was the driver has to take the first opportunity to regain the position else it is forfeit, the incident would not have occurred.

          Given that the driver behind is the one that is due recompense, maybe the driver should take the first opportunity to let the other driver past? Completely off line and without sudden braking?

          Your suggestion is that the driver behind does what he is instructed to do at the behest of someone who has wronged him, regardless of how that affects him?

          1. Is slowing down from 300km/h to 160km/h and leaving 1,5 car width on the left not enough to let someone pass?
            Should Verstappen have fully stopped in the pit line lane to let Hamilton pass and ruin his race completely?

            These are drivers who can go next to each other through corners, but Hamilton can’t pass a slowing down car on a straight line?
            If fully agree Verstappen shouldn’t have braked (from 160 to 120) and should be penalised, but this also happened because Hamilton didn’t pass him like any other driver would have done. A bit understandable because nobody informed him, so most of the blame for the situation lies with the stewards and Massi

          2. @ChrisVB

            While there was technically room to go past, there was not a lot of room and max was weaving to make things worse. It did not look like he was letting Hamilton past… We see most races how drivers hand positions back and they tend to move to the far left or right and do not slow by that degree. They certainly do not stay in the middle, weaving around! On top of that, the FIA had instructed Max to give the place back but had not told Merc that they had done so. Lewis therefore had no idea that Max had been told to let him past. When they did get the message to Lewis he immediately went to go past at which point Max braked hard and put Lewis into the back of him!

            Given the previous incidents where max did not seem to care if he finished the race or not, would you blame Lewis for being overly cautious? Not to mention that Lewis was brought before the stewards for not adhering to a yellow flag that did not show up on any display. He could easily have thought that Max had slowed down for a VSC that had not appeared on his own dash and therefore would not go past and risk a penalty.

        2. Had he been told that this was happening? I’ve seen nothing to suggest Lewis knew.

      2. I sort of agree. Of course he braked – he was slowing down to let Hamilton by. Of course he didn’t need to brake so aggressively. Why Hamilton was that close to his gear box and not going around him on the left or right when max was clearly going slowly is still a bit confusing. But what does it matter? The stewards gave the most meaningless penalty that they possibly could to ensure that Netflix still has its dream finale.

    2. agreed, the explanation is not consistent throughout

    3. Hamilton wasn’t aware that Verstappen was giving the place back. Usually, the FIA notifies the following driver, then the lead driver, and each team communicates clearly with their driver.

      Not only did this sequence happen out of order, Max was told to give back the position “Strategically”, which almost certainly led to the DRS zone farce.

  26. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    5th December 2021, 22:55

    Whilst accepting that the driver of Car 44 could have overtaken Car 33 when that car first slowed, we understand why he (and the driver of Car 33) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS

    >we understand

    Clearly ya don’t

    1. Driver of the day!

    2. “the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration”

      @barryfromdownunder totally legit move I’m sure you’re going to tell us all. Come on then, we’re waiting…

    3. where is erikje for the support?

      1. He’s the puppet master, he’ll be here shortly talking about attacking etc etc…

      2. Yep, I always look for this. Both erikje and Red Bull spin doctor Robbie have been conspicuous by their absence lately. Can’t defend the indefensible I guess

        1. @aapje was wondering when you are gonna show up :) nice camo though

          1. @mysticus

            Just calling out the bullying.

          2. @aapje
            toxic? wait when erikje starts commenting?
            bullying?
            oh wait is that you?

  27. Hey, at least he got a penalty even though it’s ultimately meaningless as opposed what happened in Brazil. It’s something I guess.

  28. you must be a joker…THE stewards see max sudden deceleration at 69 bar .
    this is brake testing.

  29. So they found that Verstappen braked ‘suddenly,’ ‘significantly’ and ‘erratically’, causing the collision.
    AKA brake testing.
    At least they’re not pretending we didn’t see what we all saw this time. Little steps.

    1. @david-br

      i thought they were gonna wait until after the next race to make a decision :)

      1. @mysticus They got what they wanted, I guess, Hamilton and Verstappen dead even on points going into the final race. If ten seconds to the clock meant Max falling down to third or worse, I’m not so sure we’d have seen such a rapid (for FIA) decision…

        1. @david-br

          man imagine if max got a 25 sec penalty instead of 10 sec pfft what a penalty joke… i cant imagine redbul sleeping tonight and talk all the nonsense they spewed.

          Did you see this and hear what max is saying, and using brazil as an example for his “unfair” penalty
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=650mei4aEXI

          i m speechless to see this guy how spineless he is

  30. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
    5th December 2021, 23:01

    A meaningless penalty. So a slap on the wrist but doesn’t affect the race result, really. Ideal, keep the fans talking but everyone involved moves on.

  31. It’s a joke… No penalization, he will keep on doing the same…

  32. 2.4 gs slams on the brakes on a 200 mph straight and is not dq from the race? Dirty.

  33. I remember un Hungary 2006 both Schumacher and Alonso being penalized with 10 grid positions for brake testing others in practice. Surely doing so in a race is even more dangerous…

    Call yourself lucky Max. I wanted you to win this championship but now I have serious doubts you should…

    1. He was out of control in this race. There is no excuse for behaving like that.

      However unlike other cases this year and even some Mercs antics during this weekend (obviously not as bad as Verstappen’s) he at least got all the proper penalties except this one. Easiest DSQ decision ever.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        5th December 2021, 23:40

        Call yourself lucky Max. I wanted you to win this championship but now I have serious doubts you should…

        @fer-no65 In the same boat myself. Having wanted to see someone else at the top for most of this season, Max has forced me into a position where I find it impossible to want him to he champion.

        @cobray I’m not sure about it being the clearest DSQ decision ever. I think the mitigating factors (Hamilton not knowing what was going on, and the awful officiating in the first place) may have saved his neck a hit here. I don’t feel it was a brake test to intentionally cause a DNF, he was just impatient in wanting Lewis to get past him. It was reckless sure, but I don’t think it was malicious with intent to cause a DNF

    2. I remember un Hungary 2006 both Schumacher and Alonso being penalized with 10 grid positions for brake testing others in practice. Surely doing so in a race is even more dangerous…

      Is this something that Mercedes may protest? Could this be going on even longer… again?

      1. No. Time penalties handed out in the last three laps, or after the race, are not subject to appeal. One of those rules that could only have come out of a committee.

    3. RandomMallard (@)
      6th December 2021, 17:06

      I remember un Hungary 2006 both Schumacher and Alonso being penalized with 10 grid positions for brake testing others in practice.

      @fer-no65 (and @3dom) Actually it was something even weirder than that which I can’t remember ever seeing since, especially not in recent years. It was a 2 second qualifying penalty, where essentially each of their times in Q1, Q2 and Q3 had 2 seconds added to it.

      Actually goes to show how much closer the field is now because with that penalty, both of them still made it into Q2 around Hungary (a not particularly long track). This year that penalty would have knocked them out in Q1 in Hungary, ahead of only the Mazepin and Schumacher (Mick had crashed in FP3 and didn’t take part in Qualifying), based on the assumption of them having fastest time in Q1

      1. @randommallard Really interesting to hear about the specifics of the penalties and the comparison of the impact of then to now, cheers

  34. Lol at this rate, the rule book and the penalty system need to be evaluated based on Verstappen. In fact there was the so called “Verstappen rule” at Spa I think it was a few seasons ago. Weaves on the straights to break the tow because he knows it’s just a black and white flag. Passes off track and thinks he’s won the position fair and square. Tries to engineer collisions (Brazil cough cough). Brake checks rivals when he’s been ordered to give the place back (2.4G deceleration is quite some force). Strategically gives a place back (in fairness he was ordered by his engineer to do that) so he has DRS and repasses at the next corner. Tries to attempt a pass on a sausage kerb in Monza which launches his car and nearly takes Hamilton’s head off. On reflection I was thinking my earlier comment about Max being a dirtier driver than Senna was over the top but nah. I think it’s a reasonable point of view.

    1. Max Verstappen is the cheapest cheat of F1.

  35. Max got away with break testing Hamilton and for some reason people thought that Hamilton would gain from running into him purposely?

    Final race will be explosive.

  36. ‘the key point for the Stewards was that the driver of car 33 then braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration.’

    Is it going to take someone getting seriously hurt before the FIA actually takes punitive action to discourage this kind of driving.

  37. What if they would not have DRS activation line as a rule change?
    So for example is someone is close enough at the DRS detection point,
    then that one could freely use DRS for something like 4 seconds. Not necessarily as a continuous time interval, the driver could open it and shut it until uses up the 4 seconds.

    I never really liked this DRS thingie, it took a lot of nice defensive drives from us since its existence, often the closing speed is just a thing what almost never was or would be there without DRS. But of course if the aero is this complex, without it there would be even less overtakes than before the DRS-era.

    I would allow the usage of it during the free practices and qualification, but during these sessions the preformance of it would be gauged, measured somehow, and the size of the opening of the wing would be adjustable to achieve the following goal:
    The advantage of the closing speed, it “grants” should not be more than something like 10kph (on average, based on the data gathered during the pre race sessions). Of course it would be an average, and estimated thing, and the size of the opening of the wing would be maximized to the same at every team at the same race. But then based on measurements at the next weekend the size of the opening would change to achieve the 10kph goal.

    Driving predictably and in a bengin manner should be prescribed by the rules somehow, but it is hard to regulate a pool of sharks.

    1. People who didn’t understand the sheer skill they were watching as two cars dual on track without an actual overtaking attempt needed a gimmick to keep them paying cash into the sport.

  38. Honestly I don’t think Max brake tested on purpose (with the intention of taking Hamilton out or both), rather he was desperate that Hamilton didn’t pass him quickly enough and took the (stupid) decision to brake.

    In the end the penalty was probably ok, given that Mercedes didn’t warn Lewis either.
    Very interesting to see how the championship battle is affecting both drivers’ actions on track, at least it shows they’re not robots!

    1. After thinking about this, I agree that He didn’t brake test as He slowed then immediately accelerated which would have allowed him to drop straight on the tail of Hamilton if He’s made the pass but He should moved further over.

    2. @mantresx It’s a fair comment (or question). I feel you’re right that Max was impatient for him to pass, hence the erratic sudden braking, but also there is the factor that he doesn’t care that much about the risk of collision, partly by default nature, partly because he could risk more in the current situation. But deliberate or not, it was effectively brake testing.

    3. with max’s driving today, he deserved 4 different serious penalties… and he was offered a deal and not a penalty for these! ridiculous… he could serve a stop and go in one of these was a very highly likely option, and outcome of the race would be significantly different in any of the cases… as he would drop many positions…. and points as a result… if you hear the interview, max was justifying and even protesting his penalty with brazil example! brazil for gods sake!

    4. Now, THAT is probably the best assessment I’ve heard. Max really, really, wanted DRS on Hamilton, and acted stupidly to try to get it.

      I’m reminded of 2018 Baku.

    5. What? A sensible comment in this thread? Surely you deserve no less than disqualification.

  39. My dude barry has little to no brain cells as usual. Blindly against Mercedes snd Hamilton. Read some books already.

  40. It is obvious that Max did a dangerous and unsportsmanlike move there. Of course he deserves something bigger than that. But he exploits the fact that the FIA, the world, doesn’t want to go this down to the penalties. He may complain about the penalties but does EVERYTHING he can to deserve one. Today it was apparent that only the Dutch vote for driver of the day

  41. Can we fire these people and just get full time professional stewards? Max down shifted almost all the way through the gears and Lewis wouldn’t pass.

    Give the place to Lewis, but don’t slow down while doing it.

    1. Garry Connelly and Silvia Bellot are professional stewards, and Vitantonio Liuzzi is a former F1 driver with 80 starts (Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Force India and HRT– not exactly glorious, but still, he’s been around a track or two).

      I do not know anything about Hassan al Abdali (including how to properly format his name).

  42. I know believe we are being trolled by Barry. Finally we sussed you out Bazza.

  43. Wow… I thought he’d ‘engine braked’ with a sudden downshift or something ahead of flooring it, and that nothing obvious would show on the telemetry. Didn’t think he’d actually done (can’t call it anything else) a brake test.

    I understand they don’t want to ruin the title fight and honestly, part of me is glad – I’ve spent all season not caring which one wins and a final-race decider with both on level-pegging is what I wanted ahead of this race – but that’s an absurd penalty. Any other circumstance and the guilty party would have got a lot more than a meaningless wrist slap.

    1. @neilosjames the fact that he’s looking in his mirror whilst doing the brake test is extremely damning imo

  44. Verstappen is such a bore. I wish he was a good enough driver that he could actually drive faster than Hamilton, rather than resort to such silliness.

    1. A bore? Didn’t you hear? Verstappen is a racing god sent to earth to fight the good fight, no matter what it takes, to supplant Lewis and Mercedes empire.

    2. Max Verstappen is an amazing talent behind the wheel. He is blindingly fast, he is unafraid, and given the right car, he will drive circles around most drivers. Tactically, he’s very good, or he wouldn’t be quite so good at pushing the rules.

      However, he is unable to think strategically– Everything is in the here, and the now, and the next lap, the next race– these are outside his perception. Further, due to his upbringing by Jos, he is incredibly full of self-entitlement. I joked that in qualifying, the reason he crashed was that he expected the wall to get out of his way.

      Hamilton used to be accused of being a raw talent with no refinement– and by those less friendly, they said “brain” instead of “refinement”. It was firmly believed by most in the paddock that he would be at a disadvantage in the turbo/hybrid era because the technology would confuse him (and that Nico Rosberg, being more technical, would adapt more quickly). But Hamilton is not an idiot, and he’s worked long and hard with his engineer to understand the technology, the rules, and how to be a successful F1 driver– and he understands, unlike Max, that sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.

      Verstappen is a great racer– but in my opinion, he lacks the level of self-awareness and introspection necessary to become a great champion.

      If all goes to plan, next year he’s going to have to deal with Hamilton, Russell, Ocon, Norris and Sainz– Perez may even get into the game, if the new Red Bull suits him. If Max wants to be champion, he’s either going to have to do it next week, or do what Hamilton did right before 2012– have a long, hard, look at himself, and figure out where it’s going wrong.

  45. I’m a Hamilton fan, but I think the penalty was fair.

    There’s no mileage in Max wanting Lewis to deliberately go into the back of him, i.e. deliberate brake testing.

    He’d have to be the biggest idiot in the world, to think he’d still have an 8 point lead, having deliberately caused a crash.

    His error, was not obviously lifting off and moving to one side sufficiently enough to show that he was making an attempt to give the place back, i.e. classic Max ‘I yield to no man!!’ Verstappen.

  46. Should have been a 30 second penalty which then would at least have put him behind on points so he couldn’t just crash his way to the title next week. The penalty makes no sense for what was dangerous driving. I’d say he was lucky but we all know this I’d nothing to do with luck.

    1. @slowmo
      +1. If Lewis is on pole next week, I think there is <1% chance that both of them are still running after the first turn. Max will make every effort to wreck Ham out of Max doesn't have the lead.

      Unfortunately, the stewards have again missed a chance to send a clear signal to Max that his driving standards need to improve. He obviously isn't getting the message, and I have to believe it's because the penalties haven't been harsh enough to get his attention. Max is an incredibly talented and quick driver. In a fast car like the RB, he can overcome these small penalties, so he just doesn't care.

      I too wish that Max didn't have the option to take them both out and still win the championship. Ideally he would be 1 pt behind so it truly is a winner take all race. I don't think Ham would intentionally take out Max, but I am sad to say that the reverse isn't true.

      1. lexusreliability?
        6th December 2021, 1:40

        Which is why I hope Bottas will be there or thereabouts. Like today before the red flags. Max can play dodgem cars with Valterri and leave the serious driving to the grown ups.

    2. @slowmo Alternatively, 20-sec, i.e., the standard default drive-through penalty equivalent.

  47. RandomMallard (@)
    5th December 2021, 23:25

    I think Max may have got away with one here. I’m on the fence. On one hand I think it’s weird he didn’t get a DSQ, but I’m not sure that would have really been the right response either. There is a clear misunderstanding here, as Lewis had not been told that Max needed to let him past, and thus was hesitant to overtake. I think that’s why Max has avoided a DSQ here, because he was trying to follow a Race Director’s instruction, that the car behind didn’t know about, but did so in a poor manner.

    I mean the whole thing could have been avoided with competent officiating in the first place.

    1. Yep probably, do wish the stewards had put that last part into their decision document @randommallard, but I suppose that would be expecting a lot.

  48. Can Merc appeal the penalty given as its so lenient for such a dangerous act?

    1. @f1-plossl Thats what I want to know too, but more specifically I want to know if any other team can appeal too. They all have drivers that don’t want Max like behavious on track.

    2. The ghost of Toto’s savagely murdered headset says they will try.

    3. I don’t believe so. There is a clause that’s been in the rules for long enough that it was used in 2008 against Hamilton, that says time penalties handed out in the last three laps, or after the race, are not subject to appeal.

  49. Yet again a nonsensical punishment from the stewards. If Max is guilty of something this dangerous he should be either disqualified or handed a grid place penalty at the next race. His actions today could’ve caused serious harm, especially on a fast circuit with high speed, blind corners.

    Between the toothless punishments handed out and the continual blinkered support by Horner and the Helmut Verstappen is never going to learn.

  50. Hard to argue really, especially as it seems the telemetry was the deciding factor. It’s bizarre that Max just slowed and then seemed to wander around the racing line. Sure there was time for Lewis to pass early on but by the time he realised what was happening, the opportunity had passed and Max was in the middle of the road with Lewis left with nowhere to go. Surely if you’re handing back a position you make it a touch more obvious and jump off the racing line or yield the line into the next corner. Such an incredibly avoidable accident. I suppose notifying the driver behind first would have cleared things up…

  51. RandomMallard (@)
    5th December 2021, 23:32

    For anyone wanting a side by side with the best telemetry publicly available, this video is pretty good:

    https://youtu.be/wmGZWiPa2R8

    1. @randommallard Not really, numbers don’t match with what’s in the video.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        6th December 2021, 6:58

        @ivan-vinitskyy I know its not perfect, but I think it’s the best we’ll get with the current information.

        The thing about the public telemetry is it only ever shows the brakes as being fully on or fully off. My understanding for this is that because of the way the brakes are set up, there isn’t really a “maximum” brake value like there’s is for the accelerator. Obviously once you reach 100% throttle, you can’t go any further, but with the breaks it depends entirely on how hard a driver can push the break pedal.

        1. @randommallard
          “but with the breaks it depends entirely on how hard a driver can push the break pedal.” it is brake by wire, they adjust the sensitivity and balance (front/rear bias) i doubt they really need any pressure than light touch since the brakes are not directly/hydraulically attached to the pedal, but controlled by another system with pedal attach to it. i m sure every driver adjust sensitivity to their liking. telemetry only checks whether pedal is pressed or not. but i guess they can know from detailed telemetry or calculate off throttle slow down vs brake assisted slowing from accelerometer comparisons.

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            6th December 2021, 21:55

            @mysticus
            Firstly, I’ll correct myself: “brakes”. Makes no difference as you’ve clearly understood me but I’ll get annoyed at myself if I don’t correct it.

            Secondly, you do make a good point about the BBW (the explanation I found was quite old, I think 2010 or so, so I believe before the BBW system came in). I still believe that the force required is fairly high, because you still saw even after the introduction drivers talking of quite high braking forces on the pedal. After all, the last thing you want is a long pedal or a pedal that gives very little/no feedback.

            telemetry only checks whether pedal is pressed or not.

            I believe that is correct for the telemetry shown on the F1 App (that the video I linked uses). My interpretation of Ivan’s comment (which may be a wrong interpretation) was that he was saying the brake numbers quoted in the article don’t match the brake traces shown on the app, which I suggested was down to the fact that the brake telemetry on the F1 App is binary (i.e. on or off). I think there’s just been a misunderstanding, I completely agree with the penalty and think Max fully deserves it.

          2. @randommallard
            no i wasnt trying to correct you, i was just pointing it out (for the video perspective) telemetry it is showing only the on/off brakes not the pressure (i know they have detailed telemetry for it) but even than it could possibly be calculated from accelerometer data as well to confirm. also the video shows braking while 50% on throttle (from 0 to 50 throttle while on brakes) makes no sense (these cars spools the turbo differently so no three pedals)… not sure the overlay is realistic or someone made it up? also from 150 to 100 and below max slowed significantly quickly, you wouldnt do it with just off throttling (just suspecting not much downforce/drag in there until around 190-200 kmh in these cars) so he did brake tested ham into a possible collusion out of annoyance more likely but i wouldnt spare the thought of “calculated move” as he did so many of them during the race!

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      7th December 2021, 8:44

      @ivan-vinitskyy and @mysticus and anyone else who may read my original comment:

      It has come to my attention that this telemetry in this video is probably not correct. The design and general feel made me think this was the telemetry from the official F1 app Live Timing page, but having reviewed the actual telemetry on there, it appears to be very different to what is shown in this video.

      Sincere apologies for my lapse of judgement.

  52. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    5th December 2021, 23:33

    Well, what do we expect after watching the race? Any penalty would be a slap on the wrist for Max.

    This sport has become a joke. If Max wins, it’s akin to a card cheater who plays with a deck stacked full of aces winning in poker.

  53. To summarize.
    Max was told to let Hamilton pass, strategically.
    Max slows down before DRS zone.
    Hamilton isn’t informed of the pass.
    Hamilton also doesn’t take the bait to pass Max near the DRS zone.
    Max gets annoyed, brakes, and then goes full throttle.

    1. And then after the collision doesn’t key Hamilton past, which is what he says he was trying to do. Methinks emotions got the better of car 33.

    2. Not true at all .. watch the onboard of Max. He kept downshifting and not braked suddenly. The stewards were also very clear that Max didn’t brake tested Lewis.

      1. Weird idea of “proof” @kavu. The stewards statement says that Max braked heavily (-2.4g) and suddenly. They have access to the raw data, not the guesswork of some random on youtube.

  54. Does anyone know of any past incidents involving braketesting?

    1. Alonso on DC back in the early 2000s @sel1700. Nothing like this though I can remember in F1. Lower formula yes, not in F1 the drivers usually know better.

      1. Was Alonso penalised for that?
        I remember an Alonso moment too, although that maybe happened during his Minardi days, but maybe later.

        I remember him intentionally compromising an opponent’s pace for the next straight by deliberately braking hard and early at an end of a straight. With the power of the suprise he took out some pace from his opponent. By that time we had a showman-type, not so good TV pundit, who praised Alonso for that, I ate that as a young man, although the whole thing looked very agressive and dangerous. Although it was a clever shark move, as much clever such a dangerous move like that can be.

        I don’t know where, when and against who it happened, but I quite vividly remember that it was done by Alonso, and how much it was praised by the pundit.

      2. Against Couldhard it happened in 2003 at the Nürburgring
        There was another: Alonso vs Doornbos in 2006 at the Hungaroring FP1

        Seeing the video of the Alonso vs Coulthard maybe it was not the incident I remember, because Couldhard ended up in the gravel, it seemed more rude than the one I remembered. And to praise such thing as a pundit…?
        According to some articles Alonso denied that he was brake testing Coulthard.

        For the FP1 incident vs Doornbos, Alonso recieved a time penalty added to his qualifying results.

      3. There was the subtlest hint of a braketest by Fred when the cranemaster was right behind him. Brazil 2007. The little s_it panicked, went off, lost some 5 or 6 positions and totally screwed the race. And the WDC (already half screwed after the Shanghai gravel incident)
        That was a brilliant, brilliant move.

    2. Vettel thought Hamilton brake tested him in Baku a couple of years ago. Under a safety car. Telemetry disproved that as I recall.

    3. Well, there was that time in Baku when Verstappen slowed down so suddenly his teammate ran right up his diffuser… but that wasn’t brake-testing.

      And neither was this, since the lights didn’t come on.

      But it was erratic driving– and personally, I feel it was erratic driving both times.

      1. @grat there are no brake lights in F1. The lights are used for either low-visibility situations or to show when the PU is “de-rating” and charging up the battery.

  55. Max’s dirty tactics and petulance have likely cost him a WDC. This might be the only season he’s competing for one too with the regulation change. Imagine if he never wins a title!

    1. Imagine if he wins and we’ll have to call him the best driver of the year.

  56. Max clearly slowed down

    1. Yeah, because they told him to slow down. Apparently he slowed down too much though?
      This is the only time I can think of where the car behind rams the car in front and it was the leading driver’s fault.

      1. Brake testing someone is OK? Sure.

      2. I suggest you can’t think of an example simply because it’s so rare for a driver to pull a stunt as stupid as Max’’s at this level of racing.

  57. How is braking automatically being equated to brake checking? In my opinion #33 picked the spot to let #44 past for the obvious reason that he gets to have DRS. #44 who refused to overtake before the DRS detection point. I do not buy the suggestion that the 7 time world champion doesn’t know what is going on. He just didn’t expect that #33 would not let #44 take that tactical advantage. The collision afterwards is a result of said tactical game that both drivers are engaging in. Between all the over the line overtakes/defending and the unnecessary wallpush both deserve the black and white for today.
    Actually the worst offense of this farcical race was ignored entirely: #77 slowing down under safety car conditions to close the cheap pit window for #33 was incredibly unsportsmanlike and if this was orchestrated by the Mercedes they should be taken constructor points away. Then there was the double penalty for the same offense, which is just baffling…
    In any case I wish we could go back in time and cancel the race before it happened. This stupid track is too dangerous to begin with and all the rainbows in the world wont stop Sauds from terrorizing infidels in the name of Allah.

  58. I just cant believe that a driver is found out brake checking someone and causing a collision and effectively gets no penalty…. In 30+ years of watching F1 I have never seen such a joke of a decision, and Ive seen a few dubious decisions over the years…

    1. How is it brake checking? They told Max to slow and let Lewis pass. Lewis could’ve passed but was playing games the DRS line. Max is supposed to let him by without braking? He moved over and almost downshift through all his gears what else was he supposed to do?

      1. Ummm, just lift off accelerator. No need to down shift, no need to brake.

      2. Maybe move off the racing line and lift off the throttle a little like every back marker who’s being lapped?

        Or weave around a bit and slam on the brakes.

      3. Dane

        Lewis could’ve passed but was playing games the DRS line

        You mean the DRS line that MV was playing games at.. that DRS line.

        Max is supposed to let him by without braking? He moved over and almost downshift through all his gears what else was he supposed to do?

        Well…. just maybe…… and I’m going out on a limb here….. just maybe….. I dunno…….. perhaps pull clearly and decisively to one side and reduce speed in a manner similar to 99% of other drivers that have been ask to return a position.

  59. You are allowed to brake test and only result in a 10 sec penalty. Can’t wait for the next rece

  60. Barry drops a bomb and the only casualty is common sense. He’s better than IAF at pinpointing targets.

  61. Sadly, F1 looses more credibility.

  62. Was so exciting, but Max knowing full well he tested Lewis a number of times yet couldn’t rub him out of the race. Max is treading a fine line, almost back to his dive bomb days

  63. Let’s punish because he is racing too hard and he gained advantage off track.
    Let’s make him slow down so the other driver may pass.

    [he slows down to let the other guy pass, but the other guy doesnt understand that and hit him in the back]

    Let’s punish him because he slowed down in the wrong way.

    Stupid.

  64. Hamilton got away with:
    – Impeding cars in practice
    – Yellow flag incident
    – Pushing Max off a couple times
    – Hitting Ocon
    – Ramming Max

    Max meanwhile:
    – 2 place Grid drop to give Hamilton the place back
    – 5s penalty
    – Had to hand the place back twice
    – 10s penalty for letting someone by as instructed, and getting rammed

    FIA favouring Mercedes again, what a total joke. What a farce of a race. Hamilton and Mercedes are a bunch of cheats.

    Awful drive by Hamilton, the lucky clown has got another hollow win thanks to the FIA and the best car.

  65. To give this some context:

    – 2.4g is more than half the maximum braking an F1 car can achieve at those speeds.

    – It is more than twice the deceleration a normal road car can achieve.

    – Max would have been slowing by about 13mph for each quarter second of braking. (A normal human reaction time to an unanticipated event is more than quarter of a second although racing drivers may have quicker reactions.)

    – Even with no closing speed before the braking, 2.4g deceleration would cause the cars to close by two car lengths in about 0.9 seconds. It would be even less if the cars were already closing before the braking.

    1. More context:

      – The cars had slowed to motorway speeds (~100kph, 62mph) at the time of the incident. The next time you see a tired old HGV driver or a cocaine-fuelled, brain-defective BMW driver travelling two car lengths behind another vehicle ask yourself whether his reactions are really that much quicker than those of a seve-time Formula One champion.

  66. I miss Charlie Whiting

  67. You’re a clown.

  68. I wonder if Merc have grounds for appeal. I can’t understand how dispite the confusion, a 10sec penatly is all thats given. Surely a drive thorough (25 Sec) would have been more resonable for what the FIA effectively admit was a brake check. I have never seen a driver hand back a position in this way.

    Just get off line lift off the throuttle, let the other guys past and continue on, its straight forward.
    Not stay in the middle, downshift, wobble left and right and tap the brakes.

  69. lexusreliability?
    6th December 2021, 1:37

    Max Verstappen is right. This wasn’t Formula1. This was Mario Kart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- Max has poor racing IQ. Even Brundle, who has been quite defensive of Max in the past felt today was below the belt driving. How many times did Lewis avoid a collision in this race alone? The brake checking is the icing on the cake. But these penalties have had no consequence to Max and his championship bid which is why he isn’t learning.

    1. When Brundle finally takes definitive stances against Max, you know that Max messed up (three times in this race). This is the same Brundle who thought that Monza was fine.

  70. Honestly, none of this would have even happened if DRS wasn’t a thing…

  71. Hey Barry, your looking a little like a Verstappen

  72. A reprimand and 10 place grid penalty for lewis please

    1. Before the drawn-and-quartering

  73. Er… The stewards, from the official documents, were:

    Garry Connelly
    Vitantonio Liuzzi
    Silvia Bellot
    Hassan AlAbdali

    You’ll note that three of those names are distinctly European (well, Garry is Australian), and two of them are professional stewards with extensive experience, one of them is a former F1 driver who raced for Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Force India, and HRT.

  74. Watching the post race stuff on the Sky replay (my first watch through).. Max 100% braked when Hamilton was right behind him. They both slowed. Hamilton clearly slowed and didn’t accelerate at all and then suddenly Max slows dramatically and they crashed. That’s a brake test.

    Also Masi is an absolute farce. So much down to him and poor stewarding. Brazil should have been a clear penalty for Max but they didn’t even want to investigate. As a result Max thinks he can get away with murder and that his style of defending is now appropriate. Masi needs to be gone unless we want the sport to just become a running farce.

  75. In the live chat, I mentioned slowing down massively on the racing line was more likely to attract a penalty than the bumping (especially at this track). I’d have thought that would be clear to all but fandom can be truly blinding. That aside, how amusing/depressing was it to hear Max referring to Brazil in the presser as justification for his driving?

  76. To me the two culprits to be predominantly blamed for the incident are rather the tarmac runoff at turn 1 and DRS… I would definitely welcome a life ban for those two.

  77. Whilst accepting that the driver of car 44 could have overtaken car 33 when that car first slowed, we understand why he (and the driver of car 33) did not wish to be the first to cross the DRS.

    Regardless of whose who and the following actions after this moment. This statement is bs. If driver X overtakes illegally and then clearly offers to give it back by slowing down but driver Y refuses; then it’s done, no more further action from driver X to let by driver Y. He gave him the opportunity

    1. What about the lasting advantage clause as applied to Hamilton in 2008.
      Max was clearly trying to let Lewis through “strategically” before the DRS line.
      It was Max messing about as Horner put it.
      Now we are going to get drivers slowing and/or braking in the place of there choosing if they have deemed to have passed illegally.
      This is not what is meant by giving the place back.

      1. Now we are going to get drivers slowing and/or braking in the place of there choosing if they have deemed to have passed illegally.

        @Gazza
        If there is no standard or rule then yes, the driver in front chooses when to slow down. As long as it is done in a safe manner.

        I don’t want to put names to avoid bias; the first slow down (which I’m referring to) was done safely

    2. If he gives the opportunity and it is not taken, that doesn’t mean the offence he committed goes away. The stewards would then have to step in which is exactly what happened. But the issue here is not about offering an opportunity and seeing it declined. It is about the dangerous manner in which that was done.

      1. @Emma
        The stewards did not step in after the first effort (which is what they should have). They only stepped in after the second effort became unsafe.

        But the issue here is not about offering an opportunity and seeing it declined.

        This is exactly what I want discuss about in my original comment… I think there’s more than enough content on the following dangerous attempt

  78. “Thanks again Vitantino, the check is in the post. We’ve increased the amount from Monza and Sao Paulo because what you did here was extra special.”

    1. I know, you just have to laugh sometimes at the farce.

  79. After witnessing the way Verstappen drove yesterday I recon there’s a 90% chance of the Abu Dhabi gp resulting in a collision between Ver and Ham. Having essentially got away with some highly questionable moves (again), why would he not continue to do so,

    Is it the same stewards for the final gp?

  80. Since he had already lost the win, a DSQ would’ve been more worthy or at least a grid penalty for the Abu Dhabi GP.
    Alternatively, 20 or 30 sec, whatever. A redundant 10-sec overall time addition.

  81. Here is what I had written here about Sainz doing a “let pass and repass” on Norris at the US GP this year : “What if Norris had been even cleverer and had refused to pass at this place, waiting to be let by on the straight ? This has the potential to generate some ludicrous situations.”

    And here we are. It only makes sense that Hamilton saw it coming, refused to pass, and that Verstappen’s sudden braking was not intended to make Hamilton crash into him, but rather to take him by surprise and to force him past. Are we going to see more situations like the starts of track cycling sprints ?

    I am not sure what the moral of the story is. Apart from the brake testing which was clearly over the top, one cannot fault Red Bull and Verstappen for trying to game the system, nor can one fault Hamilton for not playing ball. But it shouldn’t come as a surprise when artificial rules (DRS) generate artificial racing.

    1. @palindnilap
      Well said, and good vision
      There’s the option to just slap a 5 sec penalty and get done with it, but that might advantage the driver that did the illegal overtake and make it worth it.
      Good point about the DRS. It severely aggravates the problem but does not erase it IMO. Cause even without DRS some points at the track will be better than others to make the maneuver

      1. Simply change the rule to “give back the position and stay behind for at least one full sector (big one, not mini-sectors)”. Or just check whether the advantage is lasting and if so, then let the stewards decide. Its a shame race control gets fooled by such cheap tricks. They look like complete amateurs to me.

        1. Yes, that would do it. Or even, “stay behind for one full lap”.

          As for the penalty if the driver doesn’t give the place back, we have seen numerous times that 5 seconds is much too lenient. It should be, if you don’t give the place back you will be placed at best just behind your rival at the end of the race. If your rival is out of the race, then hard luck, so are you. That way, you will start to see people giving the place back in a flash. I don’t see why one has to be so nice with drivers who are in the wrong in the first place, and who have then refused to obey an instruction from race control.

      2. @Ipsom

        “There’s the option to just slap a 5 sec penalty and get done with it, but that might advantage the driver that did the illegal overtake and make it worth it.”

        Max doesnt really say “hi” to stewards for no reason. He knows he will be given a joke penalty, and he will laugh hard about it to mock competitors! It is time he was given something to think about. But alas, masi/stewards do seem to be on redbul payrol or max’s father is threatening them with assault if they do something about max.

    2. Sorry but all rules are ‘artificial’…..

      1. I disagree. Yes, it is difficult to make objective sense of “artificial”, but some rules are more artificial than others. For instance, the DRS rule is discontinuous. You are 0″01 behind at the detection zone, you get DRS. You are 0″01 ahead, your opponent does. You are 0″99 behind, you get DRS. You are 1″01 behind, you don’t. At least in that sense, DRS is more artificial than, say, Indycar’s push-to-pass.

  82. And the FIA farce continues…

  83. I am neither a fan of Max or Lewis.

    I don’t agree with what Max showed yesterday, that was a bag of tactics extremely on the line or a bit over the line.

    But I am also trying to empathize with him. He has a shot at the title, but Hamilton in his Mercedes is just so much faster. Driving the whole race on the limit and not being able to shake him off, race after race and then being overtaken, must frustrate the hell out of him. So with the hindsight to that, even if I don’t agree with what he is doing, I understand it.

    On the other hand, it seems to me as if Hamilton expected everyone will just let him by and accept he is so much faster. Not taking away anything from his abilities, he is driving one hell of a season.

    Hamilton will win the title either way. Either he defeats Max on the track (most likely) or if they crash and both retire, pretty sure Max will be the one to blame (would not be surprised if yes) and he will be disqualified from the championship.

    Don’t think another Schumacher-Hill incident will be tolerated.

    Liberty got what they want, a title decider in the last race, well orchestrated over the course of the last 8-10 races, bravo!

    1. @milansson but then you’re not considering what it is like for Hamilton having to drive around with one eye on his mirrors constantly in the event Verstappen will attempt to torpedo into the side of him again ala Monza. Hamilton is literally giving up some speed and marginon overtakes because Verstappen is driving dirty this year. It must be incredibly frustrating when Hamilton seems to receive a penalty for sneezing on the wrong part of the track in comparison.

  84. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    6th December 2021, 8:41

    Felipe Massa summed it up on ‘F1 LIVE: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Post Race Show’ (F1 channel, youtube) around the 7 minute mark…

    Buxton: “Did Max jink and the last minute?”
    Massa: “For me, he starts to slow down, then he moves into the middle of the track. When you slow down you stay outside, you show that you are giving the position, but he went to the middle of the track.”

    In my view he’s just tried to destroy his rival’s front wing and thereby win the championship. When Schumacher last tried to crash his way to the title he was disqualified from the entire season, Verstappen’s punishment is a non-penalty penalty.

  85. This has to be the most bizzare thing I have seen, Blaming max for braking when Lewis is the one coming dangerously close to him when he was slowing down. I have lost all faith in the stewards and FIA.

  86. Here is proof that Max didn’t brake tested Lewis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmGZWiPa2R8

    1. I don’t think a YouTube video where someone tries to align the telemetry @kavu is quite the same as what the stewards have access to. There is no need to apply the brakes on a straight like that, I think that is the problem here that thankfully many people can now see. It’s really sad that the championship is going to be decided with this type of driving, whoever wins.

    2. Ha Ha, I stopped watching the fake telemetry vid at 1:06 when it showed Lewis braking with while still applying some throttle, 7yrs old driving karts are taught not to do that, its one or the other never both…

      1. @f1-plossl haha good catch, while on brakes, he has 50% throttle applied, good way to destroy the gearbox too :) i guess we can say he didnt like his gearbox :)

  87. It seems to me that the whole penalties system went out the window on this.
    The stewards admitted that Max reduced speed drastically by stepping on the brake pedal, and at a very high speed sector, maybe to avoid being overtaken while they were approaching the DRS sensor. And then decided to slap a penalty to Max which doesn´t change the result of the race and still leave Max and Lewis tied on points before the last race.
    What a joke.
    For 2022, they will need much more than new car designs to save F1.

  88. The penalty is the wrong way round.

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