Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Jeddah Corniche Circuit, 2021

Did Verstappen get the right penalty for “brake test” on Hamilton?

Penalty Box

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Max Verstappen was given a 10-second time penalty in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following the latest in a series of clashes between himself and championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

Did the stewards take the correct decision over this unusual and controversial incident, in which Hamilton accused Verstappen of ‘brake-testing’ him?


Hamilton ran into the back of Verstappen’s car approaching turn 27 on lap 37 of the race. Verstappen had been told by his team to let his rival past. Radio messages indicated Hamilton was not told Verstappen was about to let him through until after the pair made contact.

Verstappen received the instruction to change positions when he was around turn 22. He lessened his acceleration on the run to turn 27 to begin with, allowing Hamilton to close. The Mercedes driver also slowed, and Verstappen decelerated further. Hamilton swerved to avoid the Red Bull but hit the rear-left tyre with the right-hand side of his front wing.

According to the stewards, Verstappen “braked suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4G deceleration.”

How it happened

Verstappen begins to slow noticeably for the corner
Hamilton begins to close on Verstappen
Verstappen slows more dramatically, changing down to third, his revs dropping
Hamilton makes contact with the Red Bull

What they said

In the cars

Following the contact Verstappen was again told: “Give it back”. Lambiase continued: “I don’t know what’s going on here, Max. We tried to let him past. He’s not going past.”

“Yeah, check my tyre,” Verstappen replied, referring to the contact.

Hamilton was told “they’re asking Max to swap positions” as the pair made contact.

“He just brake-tested me, I don’t know what’s going on,” Hamilton reported back on the radio. “It’s just dangerous driving, dude.”

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After the race

Verstappen blamed a “miscommunication” for the collision:

At one point they told me I had to give the position back. That was I think just before 22. So after 22-23, I went to drive to the right side and I slowed down and I was braking and downshifting and he just stayed super-close behind me and I don’t really understand why. I was just trying to let him by.

“I’m just going slower and slower, pulling the downshift. We had, I don’t know, a miscommunication or whatever and he ran into the back of me and that was it.
Max Verstappen

Hamilton said he hesitated to pass Verstappen because he did not want to be the first of the two to reach the DRS detection line, as it would allow his rival to easily re-pass him:

There’s two scenarios: There’s one, that it wasn’t clear; two, I didn’t get the information [that he was letting me past].

Then it became apparent that he was trying to let me pass, which was what he, I guess, had been asked to do, but before the DRS zone. And so then that maybe would mean he would just DRS back past me coming through the last corner, following me in and then DRS’ing me into turn one. So that was a tactic.

But I think really the worst part was just the steep, heavy braking that then happened at one point, that’s that’s why we collided. That was the dangerous part.
Lewis Hamilton

The incident in pictures

The official verdict

The stewards’ interpretation of the collision was they believed Verstappen was trying to let Hamilton pass him before the DRS detection line ahead of turn 27. However Hamilton was reluctant to pass him there, as doing so would have allowed Verstappen to use DRS to re-pass him.

“It was obvious that neither driver wanted to take the lead prior to DRS detection line three,” the stewards observed.

“Whilst accepting that the driver of car 44 [Hamilton] could have overtaken car 33 [Verstappen] 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,” they added.

However the stewards felt Verstappen went too far with his final attempt to provoke Hamilton to pass him. “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.”

“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,” they added.

The stewards ruled Verstappen “braked in a manner which caused a collision” with Hamilton and broke article 2(e) of chapter four, appendix L of the International Sporting Code which states: “It is not permitted to drive any car unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time.”

He was given a 10-second time penalty – which did not alter his original finishing position of second place – and two penalty points on his licence.

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Your verdict

Do you agree with the stewards’ decision to penalise Verstappen? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments:

Was Verstappen's penalty for the collision with Hamilton harsh, lenient or correct?

  • No opinion (1%)
  • Far too lenient (52%)
  • Slightly too lenient (13%)
  • Fair (13%)
  • Slightly too harsh (7%)
  • Far too harsh (13%)

Total Voters: 477

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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301 comments on “Did Verstappen get the right penalty for “brake test” on Hamilton?”

  1. Also, where if you opinion section Keith?

    1. Oh, yeah, no what you think @keithcollantine section indeed, well fair enough if you also aren’t quite sure yet what to say on this I think.

      For me, that stewards report really reads like a brake-test, which in my opinion should really be dealt with harshly, and not with 10s after it is clear that just happens to not change the race results much. Braking like that just is a really bad idea to do and these drivers should know better.

      1. Agree with you when reading the 69bar (seems a lot) and 2.4g (also a lot).
        I must admit that when watching the race I blamed Hamilton for crowding Verstappen when he was clearly letting him go past. And I still think it was stupid of him to drive so close behind Verstappen.
        They were both playing games. But braking that forcefully was uncalled for.

        1. Only 2.4g, letting off the throttle is over 1.5g. 5.5g is full wifi.

          1. Letting off the throttle at that speed is not going to generate 1.5G. It would at higher speeds.

        2. JFF,
          Totally agree with you. If race control demands that a driver give back a position it should be done as soon a savely possible and a refusal to take back the position at that time should negate the penalty.
          There is nothing fair about Hamilton’s refusal to pass Max when it was offered and Hamilton calling Max crazy after his actions at Silverstone is the pot calling the kettle black!

    2. @ivan-vinitskyy I’m flattered you want to hear my take!

      This is a new style of article we started playing around with earlier in the year with a different framework to the usual debates which are normally framed as a for-or-against proposition. As part of this different layout I decided not to include the ‘I say’ section either.

      But seeing as you asked…

      Given how many warnings there were about drivers being aware of others behind them given the nature of Jeddah and so on, I expected harsher penalties here – and not just for Verstappen. I thought we’d see a very strong penalty for Verstappen backing off and then braking, and a less severe penalty for Hamilton also backing off. I think that would have set a strong precedent to prevent this kind of thing in the future.

      I did wonder if the stewards might give Hamilton a reprimand, which of course would have been his third, meaning a 10-place grid penalty for the final race!

      1. I like the “i say” section whether i agree or disagree with it. I also would totally get not putting it in due to the venomous replys having an opinion can get you these days.

      2. Exactly why they wouldn’t give Hamilton a reprimand….
        Imagine the fallout….

      3. That would have been quite the statement from the stewards. I guess a black flag for Max would have given Lewis an 18 point lead, which I think he would still manage to defend in Abu Dhabi even if he had a 10-place grid penalty.

        My take is that the stewards reasoning is quite sound but the penalty seems lenient – brake testing has the potential to cause a disastrous accident so you would expect them to throw the book at Max. In many ways, the season is being defined by stewarding calls (which is a bit sad, but every season has them, just not as many high profile and contentious ones) and some are harder to understand than others. My question is: do stewarding decisions in one race actually set a precedent for subsequent races? The capsule example of driving another driver off the road (Austria to Brazil to Jeddah) seems to prove that “precedent law” does not exist for F1 stewards.

      4. A person somewhere
        6th December 2021, 15:19

        @keithcollantine Given the way that 38.2 a) is written, they’d have had to treat it as two separate incidents for that to happen though.
        They were summoned in relation to the section of the FIA International Sporting Code that reads “Causing a collision, repetition of serious mistakes or the appearance of a lack of control over the car (such as leaving the track) will be reported to the Stewards and may entail the imposition of penalties up to and including the disqualification of any driver concerned.”.
        Given that, it’s hard to see how Hamilton backing off could be seen to have caused the collision in this instance (while accepting that it could be frowned upon for other reasons).

        1. @keithcollantine I think it would be difficult to apply. You are effectively punishing someone for slowing down because there is a car slowing down in front of them.

          I think if Max was tucked over to one side driving straight then you could penalise Ham for unnecessarily slowing but with Max in the middle doing a bit of a jiggly left right maneuver, it would be hard to prove that the driver behind wasn’t just lacking confidence in what was going on in front of them.

          If you penalise someone for slowing down for what they may fairly have deemed to be a hazard, you are then discouraging safe driving practices, no matter the track you are on.

          1. The problem is, both are slowing down for the same reasons that was not cruising first in the DRS point. Hamilton could and should have passed Verstapen and he decided not to do it (not by his own mistake since Mercedes didn’t warned him about what was happening). Verstapen only braked when he saw that Hamilton stayed behind him (to force Hamilton to pass him at that point). I see all that as a racing incident.

          2. totally agree. It was clear that Max was ill intended; if you truly want to let the car behind pass you move to the side. I’ve seen enough of this guy dirty tricks.

      5. I was wondering whether some light could be shed regarding the tire use requirement. This is off topic, and I may have missed it, but it seems Max ran the entire race on the medium tire, with the exception of the partial lap following the first red flag. As I said I may have missed something there, and I certainly don’t know the rules, but was crossing the start finish line in the pit lane considered a lap?

        1. Interesting. I don’t think it does count as a lap as the race was red flagged before they completed the lap and therefore the whole lap is effectively not run. However I am not sure if another regulation says that tyre changes are not required count if a session has been red flagged?

        2. @richly He also ran the lap behind the SC from the pit to the (re)starting grid, which also counts as a lap. Just as the red flagged lap counts as a SC lap, imho (as they didn’t go to the starting grid of the lap before, but used the order at the last (mini)sector before the red flag came out).

      6. The penalty feels like it was chosen by the stewards because:

        1. On face value it seems relatively ‘severe’; but
        2. In reality it had zero effect on the outcome of the race.

        I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I try not to see things cynically but the fact that the stewards wouldn’t even review ‘The Brazil Incident’ suggests to me that this is all about the show and making it last for as long as possible.

        The truth is that by not addressing events in Sao Paulo they have encouraged Max to push the boundaries when it comes to what is acceptable.

        It will be a moment of stupendous irony should the stewards in Abu Dhabi find that by having no choice other than to penalise Verstappen they inadvertently decide the outcome of the Championship.

        1. The race does not sit in isolation. What the stewards do today carries over to other races and series, sets a tone, a limit and scenario for all drivers at all races. At this race and Brazil they set a poor example which almost all drivers were concerned about before Qatar and must be more so no.

          They seem to have given licence to dangerous driving standards and dangerous ploys and indicated that such offences will be mildly penalised if at all.

          This is not a Versatappem versus Hamlton issue, there are 18 other drivers and some are young and inexperienced, some are simply reckless, and might well get carried away with themselves if not given fairly strict guidelines.

          If there is a death or serious injury it will probably be in a back marker as the fellows at the front may not avoid a collision completely but know that the Alonso dictum is safest: Drive towards the accident because it won’t be there when you get. there.

          1. geoffgroom44 (@)
            6th December 2021, 22:30

            totally agree with you Witan

        2. @sonnycrockett – Yep, the truth is that by not addressing things consistently throughout the season they have created this last race final. had they addressed all events consistently through the season Max would already have won the title.
          Seems previous indiscretions this season have quickly been forgotten, maybe that because of who the benefactor was.

      7. Why was Max allowed to let Lewis pass and then immediately retake the lead again?

        I remember in Spa 2008, Lewis was given 25s penalty for doing that and enjoying a lasting advantage.

        1. Yes I remenber that one. Good fight between Kimi and Lewis on a wet track. Kimi finaly spun of track Lewis won. Massa won the race after that penalty. Worst decission ever.

        2. Max was given 5s for this (or rather, the penalty for the original offence of driving off the track and gaining an advantage was then imposed).

  2. No more letting people pass or haggling for positions. If there’s a potential infringement, report it to the Stewards.

    Let them deal with it. (and the fallout of their decisions)

    1. @proesterchen all they need to do to stop this childish behavior of the drivers is hand out drive through penalties and not the stupid 5s slap on the wrist. It will improve the quality of overtaking instantly. Too many drivers going around in F1 at the moment who refuse to give space or yield corners where they’re beat. It was actually amazing to see Tsunoda learned his lesson in that race and backed out of one silly maneuver at least in the race.

      1. I don’t see the need for harsher penalties, just to have the current ones actually applied rather than offering under the table deals to teams and drivers.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          6th December 2021, 14:14

          @proesterchen What under the table deals? It has always been acceptable to avoid penalties for “gaining a lasting advantage” by relinquishing that “lasting advantage”.

          The problem is that the current rules and penalties are designed to work for fair drivers. Not for drivers who just don’t care if they crash or not.

          1. Remove that option. I imagine driving standards will need to change if there is no more infinite get out of jail free card available.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            7th December 2021, 10:35

            @proesterchen That makes no sense. We don’t want drivers trundling around with a 5s penalty if it’s possible to prevent it.

          3. It is already possible to not go trundling around with a 5 sec penalty, drive better, stay on track and stop trying to take Hamilton out every time he trys to pass you.. pretty simple for max really.

          4. @f1osaurus

            The whole point is to move the line the drivers have to consider when attempting to overtake and/or defend their position.

            Currently, that line sits firmly in the ‘what’s the worst that could happen, end up in the same place as before?’ column, which incentivizes manoeuvres that have even a tiny likelihood of success.

            Take away the get out of jail free card, and drivers will recalibrate their choices because making a mistake will land you on the stewards’ table for review. (and may very likely end whatever scrap you’re in for good)

      2. You should read Villeneuve’s take on this race. Spot on.

        1. @Markos: above comment should be at the Racefans article in general.

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      6th December 2021, 13:47

      @proesterchen I agree. While I’m usually happy to see them give racing a chance with some things like this, this is the second major controversy over handing back positions in FIA World Championship fights this season (after an incident between the Porsche and Ferrari fighting for the WEC GTE Pro title in Bahrain a few weeks ago). Needs to be referred to the stewards imo.

    3. JohnnyRye (@)
      7th December 2021, 0:14

      This was the first thing I said to my friend as we were debating this.

      Take away the ambiguity of giving the place back to the “victim” (can’t think of a better word). It’s creating too many issues. I can appreciate the desire to lessen the impact on racing, but as we’ve seen before, if another car gets in between it gets too complicated.

      Trying to orchestrate giving up a position obviously creates controversy. This goes back to Spa (Hamilton/Raikkonen) if not further. If the infraction is an either/or scenario of giving a position up or a penalty, keep it consistent and send it to the stewards.

  3. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    6th December 2021, 13:18

    If Verstappen wanted Hamilton to pass, we did he constantly jink the car left and right as he slowed? And why did he steer into the middle of the track as he brake-tested Hamilton? That was a deliberate attempt to destroy Hamilton’s wing.

    1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      6th December 2021, 13:22

      Just to add, is it right to refer to something as a penalty when it has zero consequences? The stewards might have just as well wagged their fingers at Verstappen.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        6th December 2021, 13:48

        @slightlycrusty Was Hamilton’s 10 seconds a penalty? It didn’t have any effect on him in the end, because the sporting element allowed him to gain the time back. This time around, Max already had a sizable gap so the penalty has no effect. That said, I’m slightly surprised it isn’t a grid penalty tbh.

        1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          6th December 2021, 14:06

          @randommallard Honestly, he should have been DQed from this race as a minimum. If he was behind on points going into the last race we might actually see a clean race. Instead I expect either he’ll run away with it at the front or he’ll crash them both out.

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            7th December 2021, 19:21

            @slightlycrusty I think the main problem here is that no one had been DQed for driving standards in so long that no one really knows where the line is anymore. Especially because “driving standards” have significantly changed over recent years for a variety of reason, including, but not limited to, the introduction of more tarmac runoffs, DRS, wider/heavier cars, and individual drivers themselves (such as Verstappen). One thing that definitely needs to be clarified is what is bad enough to deserve a black flag. And if we’re talking about more than a DSQ, then that’s a completely different matter that the stewards don’t have the power to decide. They can enforce up to a DSQ, but any race bans have to be heard higher up in the FIA (I suppose they could just add as many penalty points as to automatically trigger a ban, but I expect the teams would appeal that higher to the FIA anyway).

            Going back to your original comment, even though I now would prefer Hamilton to win, I myself are reluctant to say it was definitely deliberate. There is no doubt that it was careless, reckless and fully deserving of the penalty (and probably more, or a grid drop for Abu Dhabi). Looking at the onboard, I don’t think he ‘constantly weaved’ as you suggest; It looks like his steering is pretty consistent and towards the right hand side (but still on the racing line, which was obviously wrong) for the first half of the corner, then moves the car slightly centrally and then back to the right hand side just before the contact. I think the nature of the walls and track does make it look like he’s weaving a lot. This may be simply down to different definitions of ‘constantly weaving’ (I would call Alonso’s moves in the Silverstone Sprint constantly weaving), but there is no doubt it was silly and wrong.

            The reason I’m hesitant to say it was definitely deliberate is not because I don’t think it may have been, because there was that possibility (and for the record, while I was still supporting Verstappen at Silverstone I’ve always thought that anyone who said that Hamilton crashed deliberately needed their eyes testing), but because it is so, so difficult to prove. Schumacher got away with a collision in Adelaide 1994 mainly because they couldn’t prove it was deliberate. And Senna got away with one in Suzuka in 1990 despite making it pretty clear that if Prost led into that corner, he wouldn’t be in the race when he got out of it. Schumacher was disqualified from the championship in 1997 for collision with intent, but that is not only the only example of it happening, but also probably the most obvious crash anyone has ever seen. Brundle said immediately that ‘that didn’t work Michael, you hit the wrong part of him’. I think there were enough mitigating circumstances here (such as Lewis not being told why Max was slow) that RB were able to cast enough doubt over whether the contact was deliberate. And bearing in mind that the higher levels of the FIA eventually act like a Court of Law (and any appeals to that would likely go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport), it would require the case for intent to be proven ‘beyond reasonable doubt’, and I just don’t think that standard could be met here in a legal basis.

            I’ll repeat what I said at the start. Verstappen was being awkward with his manoeuvring, which was both careless and reckless, and enough to turn me away from supporting him until/unless he learns to race properly. I just don’t think the case for a deliberate crash is strong enough from a legal perspective.

          2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            8th December 2021, 7:52

            @randommallard, I don’t agree that Schumacher got penalised in 1997 because it was blatant, 1994 was so obvious: Schumacher had hit the wall just before the collision and had realised something was damaged. All those collisions were blatant cheats, though both Senna and Prost would argue on grounds of ‘natural justice’. I do wonder whether the only reason 1997 got punished is because Brundle found the right words and delivered them in such a crushing manner (in a broadcast that went live to many countries, not just the UK) that the public had already received a definitive verdict on the incident before the authorities could obfuscate matters. Whatever the reason, the FIA’s judgement on such incidents has never relied on the facts, only its perceived best interests. I do think, after the horrors of Balestre and Mosley, that Todt is the first FIA president to genuinely try to improve the processes and then take a back seat, rather than treating the sport as his personal plaything.

            I agree that ‘constantly weaved’ is too strong, but I was trying to describe the left/right steering inputs which do look weird, even from Hamilton’s car. Verstappen is steering into the middle of the track, braking and jinking slightly as he does so. As Massa said after the race: he was in the middle on the track, if you want someone to pass you pull over to one side, you don’t brake in the middle. After the collision, when he took off again he had to steer right to return to the racing line!

            The best spin I can put on it is that he did, initially, want Hamilton to get through, but he didn’t want to make it a straightforward pass: perhaps by slowing in the middle of the track and jinking he was signalling “I’ll let you through, but you’ll have to drive right up to the walls on the dirtiest part of the track”; perhaps he just wanted to signal his contempt. But whatever he was doing wasn’t normal and would have momentarily confused Hamilton, causing him to slow. Then Hamilton realised what Verstappen was up to and so slowed even more…

            …there is no acceptable explanation for what happened next other than a brake test. Verstappen knew Hamilton was directly behind and close to him. He stamped on the brakes applying 69 bars of pressure. At that distance it was impossible for Hamilton to avoid him, but for his catlike reactions the front wing would have been destroyed. That must be read as either cynicism or reckless, childish petulance – given Verstappen’s recent history I vote for cynicism, exactly as happened at Monza.

          3. RandomMallard (@)
            8th December 2021, 9:44

            @slightlycrusty If the stewards would release the full, proper telemetry or put timings or something to work out at which point they’re referring to, I think it would really help. The public telemetry only shows braking as binary (for a variety of reasons), aka either on the brakes or not, not the exact braking amount or pressure. The stewards’ report I also find quite difficult to understand, because while they mention 2.4g and 69 bar etc they don’t really mention exactly when that happened. I assume they mean directly before the contact, but there is a bit of ambiguity in the report (when there really doesn’t need to be. If they can’t add timings, then why not say he applied the brakes at x force from y km/h).

            I certainly agree that the whole incident (and really Max’s whole race) was cynical. He didn’t want to let Lewis past easily and should have done so in a much better way. I mean there was no shortage of cynicism from both teams, with Bottas slow driving and Hamilton’s gapping on the restart, which, after some digging, probably is an offence on a restart, contrary to what Masi originally said. Article 51.8, which governs race restart procedure, states:

            The sprint qualifying session or the race will be resumed behind the safety car when the green
            lights are illuminated and the safety car leaves the pit lane. Drivers must follow the safety car no more than ten car lengths apart.

            However, I feel this is a pretty minor offence compared to some of the antics Max and RB pulled off, so not penalising it was probably the correct decision. I’m less annoyed at that and more annoyed at Masi not knowing his own rules.

            With regards to the brake check itself, I’m not saying one way or another whether it was definitely cynical or not. My gut feeling is it probably was, but I don’t think the argument for it would hold up in a court of law, where any more serious penalty would probably end up.

          4. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            8th December 2021, 10:36

            @randommallard Jolyon Palmer has given his analysis for the official F1 channel now –

            Verstappen and Hamilton’s Incident

            He’s a bit hesitant to come down hard on Verstappen (and does complain that the telemetry hasn’t been released), but at 2m20 and slightly stumbling over his words he says: “[erratic braking with Hamilton right behind him] was clearly initiating a bit of contact there”.

            Roll back the video to 28s and he’s paused it at the point where they’ve already begun slowing down. Verstappen is 2/3rd over to the right of the track, but as Hamilton draws closer you can see Verstappen steer left to block him, then steer right to ensure he won’t try overtaking on the racing line, and he continues jinking slightly until Hamilton is very close at which point he hits his brakes: applying 2.4g when they’ve already slowed significantly is massive. By now he is in the middle of the track. I can’t see that there’s much room for interpretation here: brake-testing in the middle of the track is a recipe for contact.

          5. RandomMallard (@)
            8th December 2021, 17:34

            @slightlycrusty I just wanted to let you know that if all these messages suddenly disappear, it’s because I’m deleting this account. Please, please, please don’t take this as a personal attack on you, or people of your opinions, because it really isn’t. I’ve had a recent change of circumstance, and considering how the F1 fanbase as a whole (again, not just you or people of your viewpoint) has turned incredibly sour or toxic recently, I’ve come to a decision that I think is best for me.

            In fact, this decision is very much not about people like you. You are the epitome of a model commenter in my eyes: very passionate, informative but always civil and respectful. I may not agree with you all the time, but it is always a good experience to be in a discussion with you. However there are a collection of people on the other end of the scale who have descended into nothing but personal attacks, against drivers and other commenters. This is the reason I no longer feel comfortable commenting here.

            Thank you, and keep up the good work Jay. There is a lot I’ve learned from people like you, and a lot others can learn.

          6. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            9th December 2021, 7:08

            @randommallard I’m really sorry to hear that, I think you are one of the nicest commenters here, this place will be much the poorer for your absence. I have noticed a lot of rudeness / trolling of late, but I try to ignore it. I hope to see you back here when things have cooled down a bit, your contributions are always thought-provoking and you certainly gave me another perspective of some of the events in Brazil. This forum would be pointless without model contributors such as you.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          6th December 2021, 14:15

          @randommallard Verstappen chose to turn in on Hamilton in Silverstone. If he wanted to fight another day, he also could have allowed Hamilton more space. As other drivers showed later.

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            6th December 2021, 16:49

            @f1osaurus I deliberately didn’t make any allusion to whether I thought the penalty was right or wrong in Silverstone because I didn’t want to start this debate again. It was simply the easiest and most noticeable example I could make when talking about penalties that ultimately have no affect on the final order. Max certainly made a misjudgement in turning in, whether he was entitled to or not. There are countless other examples, both of where they have served a penalty and then overcome it (Webber in Germany in 2009 for example), or having a large enough gap behind them that the penalty has no affect on the position (for example Stroll for a collision with Gasly in Russia this year.

          2. Hamilton wasn’t in the race line in Silverstone, he should be close to the kerbs at the collision point, but he’s far to the left. Max turn in because he did though Lewis would not be so close at that point. It was Lewis fault and he was rightly penalized for that. If you think I’m wrong just watch it for yourself.

          3. F1oSaurus (@)
            7th December 2021, 10:28

            @randommallard Well the point is, that it was really worth a penalty it would have been an actual loss if Verstappen had simply given space instead of going for the crash.

            Miane, Hamilton determines the racing line . Of course the racing line will be fifferent when a driver enters the corner from another angle

            This whole apex hitting nonsense is just that, nonsense. Did Verstappen hit the Apex (or did he even remotely follow the racing line) when he rammed into Leclerc in Austria 2019? Was he when he ran Hamilton off in Brazil? So 10s penalty for both of those incidents?

          4. Totally agree,max could have easily avoided a collision at Silverstone,and still gone on to win the race.

        3. that was a racing incident where Verstappen didnt give enough space. I thought Verstappen would have learned from that mistake, but now he is driving dirtier than ever.

          1. look at the amount of times Hamilton has avoided Verstappaen when Verstappen was never to make the corner.

      2. Euhhmm …remember LH at Silverstone? Got away with 10 sec, destroyed MV race and car and takes off with te win…

        1. Well if your driving style is ‘my corner or we crash’ as we saw many times during the race but Lewis is wise to it now then when it backfires you only have yourself to blame….

        2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          6th December 2021, 15:04

          Allsop, if you watch the on-boards, Hamilton is steering a constant radius corner, Verstappen momentarily turns left to avoid the collision, then immediately turns harder right to force Hamilton to yield or crash. Hamilton didn’t yield, just as he’d warned before the race. Verstappen is responsible for that crash.

          After the race Will Buxton interviewed Alex Albon who was in his Red Bull racing suit. Buxton starts by saying “I won’t ask you about the collision – “, but Albon interrupts, saying: “For me, it was a racing incident”. Buxton then asks whether Verstappen could have left more room. Albon’s reply: “Yeah, but he didn’t want to make it too easy!”. It’s on the F1 channel’s post race show, an honest reply from a Red Bull driver, before Horner had gone nuclear.

          1. Hamilton wasn’t in the race line in Silverstone, he should be close to the kerbs at the collision point, but he’s far to the left. Max turn in because he did though Lewis would not be so close at that point. It was Lewis fault and he was rightly penalized for that. If you think I’m wrong just watch it for yourself. If Hamilton was trying to play fair there he would be far to the right than he was and you can see that many moments later when he overtook Leclerc for example.

          2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
            6th December 2021, 18:30

            Miane, Hamilton was off the ideal line because Verstappen had squeezed him at corner entry. But Hamilton was alongside at the entry to the corner, under the rules that means he needs to be given space. You claim that Verstappen turned in ‘because he did not think Lewis would be so close’, but the onboard shows that Verstappen saw Hamilton and instinctively turned left to avoid contact (only momentarily) before changing his mind and turning right, onto Hamilton’s line. Verstappen therefore initiated contact.

        3. If you think Silverstone is the same as this then you don’t understand the sport of F1.

      3. Just as with the incident, the penalty must be considered in isolation from the consequences. If an incident is worth 10s, they get 10s regardless of whether that leaves their position the same or drops them 5 places. Similarly, if it’s worth a 5 place grid penalty, that’s what they get regardless of whether that drops them from 1st to 6th or leaves them in the same place coz they qualified 20th.

        These are still penalties, even if they don’t affect the result. A 5s penalty means you complete the race 5s slower. Whether that affects their finishing position depends on so much that it would be near impossible to fairly and consistently adjust the penalties to have similar outcomes.

        1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
          7th December 2021, 11:48

          @drmouse, I get the logic, the problem is that less scrupulous drivers can treat the fines system as a tariff: “that’ll only be 5 seconds, I can afford that”. There needs to be an additional sanction for cynical driving, i.e. bringing the sport into disrepute. When Verstappen brake-tested Hamilton he was trying to determine the outcome of the championship, a 10 second penalty is not sufficient to deter such behaviour, he should have been disqualified from the race.

          1. I don’t disagree

        2. @drmouse They don’t disregard the consequences though do they? They even came out and pretty much said that in Brazil that they would have only decided to investigate the infraction if there was a collision. It’s obvious from how they have/haven’t dealt with multiple occurrences that they definitely take consequences into account, even though they shouldn’t. It makes you lose all confidence in the regulation of the sport.

          1. I don’t disagree with this either

    2. This was bizarre at best. Masi has done nothing to show me he is a crediable race director this year. When I saw the off that sparked the first red flag, I immedialtely thought there would be one, yet they went under safety car for 3 laps before calling the red flag. Amateurish at best. The low point for Masi this season was that farce of a “race” under no laps of racing conditions in Spa. How can points be awarded for what was essentially just a qualifying session? Now we have horse trading positions outside of the stewards control. Verstappen should have been hit with “rejoining the track in an usafe manner.” That boy needs a drive through penalty or two to teach him some manners — if there were gravel traps, there would be no “slipping into the run off and gaining an advantage” bs or the overly late braking to take yourself and your opponent off into the run off without penalty (Brasil), or the “back out or we crash” approach to overtaking that Verstappen seems to thrive on throughout his career. Hard racing sure, but not fair or legal. The word “unsportsmanlike” or “dirty” comes to mind.

      1. Agreed. This fiasco needs sorting out ASAP, certainly before next season. MV is a serious accident in the offing.

    3. János (@meandthewanderlust)
      6th December 2021, 19:23

      “constantly jink the car left and right as he slowed”

      Watch Lewis’ onboard. Max did not “jink the car left and right”.
      Lewis had at least 5 seconds to pass him before he braked harder.

      1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        7th December 2021, 11:43

        @meandthewanderlust it is obvious from Hamilton’s on-board that Verstappen is jinking left and right as he’s slowing down, it was a weird thing to do. If you look at Verstappen’s on-board it’s even more obvious that he’s driving in zig-zags. Immediately before they hit Verstappen turns into the centre of the track and applies 69 bars of breaking pressure – that’s not anything other than a brake-test.

        As Massa said after the race (I’m paraphrasing): “That’s not normal. If you want someone to pass you move to the edge of the track and drive in a straight line, Verstappen was in the middle of the track when they collided”. He said that on the Formula 1 channel (Youtube) post-race show hosted by Will Buxton. And he said in the show that he had been supporting Verstappen all season.

  4. I hope the off-season is busy for the FIA creating guidance documents for the stewards.

    I have no doubt Max was trying to minimize the impact of letting LH through. His passing/defense tactics have crossed the line and a clear message needs to be sent before everyone begins to drive like Max. Max is still a great driver i.e. that move into 1 into turn 1 on the 2nd restart, he just needs a reminder about where the line is at.

    1. Well said, indeed that was the sort of move that I like to see from him indeed @blueruck

    2. I’d rather the FIA get busy writing sporting regulations that they intend to enforce. Perhaps even ‘as written.’
      Then the rules wouldn’t just be some kind of in-house joke they can constantly play on the viewers.

  5. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    6th December 2021, 13:21

    Verstappen slows down, Hamilton decides not to overtake for whatever reason but proceeds to close in on him. Somehow it’s Verstappen fault, even though all Hamilton had to do was overtake as what he was trying to do in the last few laps. Regardless of whether Verstappen applied his brakes a bit extra just before the crash, it’s Hamiltons closing/slowing down that created a situation which lead to a collision. When you know from teamradio that Verstappen was instructed to let Hamilton by, the slowing down of him makes sense.

    If the stewards had said: ‘okay, both knew that the DRS would be for the other driver if they overtook too early/too late, meaning both were equally in the wrong and thus no further action’, I would’ve understood it. Same if they had said ‘Hamilton decided to not overtake and his closing on Verstappen resulted in the crash, thus a penalty for Lewis’, I would’ve understood it.

    This verdict is the only thing I can’t and won’t accept, but seeing the names of the stewards it’s no surprise. And yet people still claim that the FIA is trying to make Verstappen champion. It’s hilarious.

    1. God are you still going?

    2. Yes i saw that too :) Normal is the one driving into the rear is always guilty. I think Max forcing Lewis to overtake by getting very slow braking when Lewis was moving. First i though Lewis was playing games or even trying to damage Max gearbox as i hear the message to let him pass and Max slowed down then.
      Later i hear that Lewis wasn’t told that Max would let him pass till the accident. Still i really was wondering what Lewis was doing by not passing Max ?

      1. Well, presumably something else than the victim blaming @macleod and @barryfromdownunder you are doing; being found to have braked very suddenly is a good way to make sure one takes (some of) the default blame away from the rear-ender in a roadcar rear-end collision where I come from (NL), and I don’t really see why anyone at Ziggo would think something different, nor should you.

      2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        6th December 2021, 15:40

        Normal is the one driving into the rear is always guilty.

        In the UK if you deliberately brake test someone and get hit expect to be penalised.

        Brake checking is highly illegal, it’s classed as dangerous driving which can carry up to a two year prison sentence and an unlimited fine.

        1. +1- my sentiments exactly.

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      6th December 2021, 14:27

      @barryfromdownunder So after slowing down somewhat, Hamilton is then right close behind so what would be the sane thing to do?
      A) Actually move to the side instead of the middle of the (narrow) track and allow Hamilton to pass
      B) Slam on the brakes

      1. So after slowing down after a team order to let someone pass, you think:
        A) Hamilton is overtaking you and taking the inside line.
        B) Hamilton also reduced speed and is right behind you.

        What Hamilton did was unexpected and irrational, mainly thanks to Mercedes fault in not warning him.

        1. But then, how is slamming the brakes the right thing to do Miane? I really don’t understand the logic at play here?

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          7th December 2021, 10:37

          There was no inside line really. With Verstappen sitting in the middle of the track, there was a dirty piece of track that was never used.

          So I chose B yes. Weird, but seeing how Hamilton was brought before the stewards for ignoring yellow flags which were never shown to him and a driver slows down in front of you in the middle of the track clearly not ready for letting you past … then yeah.

    4. ‘whether Verstappen applied his brakes a bit extra’

      I got as far as this and had to stop reading through laughing so much, -2.4 g’s a ‘bit extra’ lol, if that was me or you, you’d feel like your eyes were gonna pop out…

      1. Agreed 2.4g is equivalent to 0 – 100mph in 1.9s (or 100 – 0)

    5. The penalty was based on anti steward remarks made by Verstappen on the in lap after the race. No one in their right mind would penalise the car that was bumped from behind. It sums up the season perfectly. It was established there was miscomms or no comms to Lewis, both played around because of the drs line. “Please do don’t that again” was the only reasonable choice here.

      1. Dont buy it for a second, Max was trying to take Lewis out

        1. absolutely. He’s hotheaded (see his punch up with Ocon in Brasil) and dirty (see, well basically his whole career) — intentionally taking out your opponent to win a championship is not beyond him at all.

          1. Reminds me of Lewis at Silverstone

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            7th December 2021, 10:39

            You mean Verstappen in Silverstone when he decided to turn in even sharper after he initially instinctively did make space when he saw Hamilton next to him.

      2. This was the very definition of a brake check: slamming the brakes on hard with another driver close behind outside of a braking zone. I’ve seen people banned from karting tracks for doing that. It’s instilled from very early on that it’s unacceptable in all forms of motorsport, because it’s incredibly dangerous. I can’t understand how anyone can defend this behaviour who had even the smallest knowledge of motorsport…

      3. Because that penalty for brake testing Hamilton has destroyed Verstappen’s WDC chances. Oh wait, it made no difference whatsoever. Find something else to get angry about.

    6. Barry blames Hamilton? I didn’t see that one coming.

  6. How would anyone know if the right penalty has been applied? The stewards have been so inconsistent Max could have been DSQ’d or given bonus points.

    1. Do we know what the rules are? it’s a bit strange we need the same team Stewards and a much more clear rule book with penaulties.

      1. There was a time when I broadly knew the rules and could call an incident and be generally right. Now, when there is an incident I mentally disengage from analysis or debate as it seems pointless. It is like watching a new sport where you do not know the basic principles.

        I am sure LM and the media general are ecstatic with all the coverage, clicks, ads etc but I cannot see how not applying consistent rules can attract or keep a fan base.

    2. Haha. I guess they roll the dice who is to blame and than pick a random penalty.

  7. Far too lenient. The standard drive-through penalty default, i.e., 20-sec (for example, what Kimi got in Imola), would’ve been more worthy if not DSQ.

    1. @jerejj
      Yes, considering all the other incidents Verstappen was involved in that race, a 10 sec penalty doesn’t seem enough. Personally, I would’ve issued a 30-sec time penalty, so that there were actual consequences for Verstappen. He was driving unnecessarily slowly, which should be punished strictly.

      But a DSQ would go too far IMO. Let’s not forget that this collision could’ve been avoided by Hamilton as well. Verstappen slowed down early enough for Hamilton to pass him, but Lewis was either confused or didn’t want to pass him before the DRS detaction point.
      Also, can you imagine Max being dsq from this race or banned for the next one, considering the points situation in the WDC?! There is no way the stewards (anyone of them in the whole panel) would take such a big influence in the championship fight.

      1. John Toad (@)
        6th December 2021, 15:03

        Masi is always harping on that penalties are assessed on the incident not the outcome.
        The effect on the WDC should not have inhibited the stewards from a DSQ for MV.

        1. But the circumstances always play a big part in these decisions. If not, then Senna would’ve been disqualified from the championship for delibaretly crashing into Prost at Suzuka in ’90 and likewise Schumi for crashing into Hill at Adelaide in ’94.

          Also, a DSQ should only be adopted when it’s 100% clear that the driver in question was trying to sabotage the other driver’s race on purpose or if the driver did something so dangerous (consciously) that he put other drivers’ lives at risk.

          1. @srga91 Schumacher absolutely should have been stripped of the 94 title, it was because they didn’t he tried the same in 97.

          2. This is the real point, the stewards / FIA never really came up with an answer to the Senna / Shumacher senario, and so here we are with Verstappen.

            If Verstappen were to have mad lunge at Hamilton to take them both out, there is nothing the Stewards or the FIA could do as any kind of deterant. He would win this year’s championship. It would leave a bad taste possibly back fire on the Redbull brand image, but as we see with Shumacher and Senna it wouldn’t really deminsh their reputations. They would continue to race, the circus would move on.

            So the question has to be about new penalties, a penalty which fits this situation. The Stewards would be forced to decide the championship based on conduct and clear intentions.

            Deducting points would be the obvious and fairest answer where the drivers are as close and the actions of points leader decides the outcome in an unsportmanship manner. A heavy fine on top of that points deduction would cement that decision. You could class this special category under actions likely to bring the sport into disrepute.

    2. You are right: that deserves a drive-through penalty. Isn’t the equivalent of a drive-throug 25 seconds?

  8. I think the big thing here is intent and the problem they have is there is some doubt around what the intention of both drivers was at this time. Regardless of everything it’s pretty clear the entire situation was created by Verstappen attempting to give up the place at the part of the track that would benefit him most and that is not in the spirit of the sporting regulations.

    Whether he deliberately brake tested Hamilton or was just trying to manufacture the chance for him to not give up the place is debatable and that was likely what tipped the stewards to the 10 s penalty rather than the 20s they could have given imo.

    I voted for fairly lenient in light that they at least gave a penalty that suggested a bit more than it being a minor infraction while they also stating both drivers were likely using some gamesmanship.

    It’s always dangerous to start saying penalties were not a penalty just because they didn’t influence the driver losing positions. That being said the entire conduct of Verstappen throughout the race with numerous incidents certainly warranted more than a slap on the wrist and I fear i trying to protect the championship battle the FIA are taking us down a pretty poor route for the future given the precedents they’ve set protecting Verstappen this year. The suggestion from this race is you drive dangerously and only get a 10s penalty, that’s pretty scary stuff for the future.

  9. Clear DSQ in my opinon, together with a 2-3 races ban. What if he would have succeeded wrecking HAM in a narrow 300+ km/h section of the track? I hope Mercedes will ask for a review.

    1. you know they both were in 3th gear…. slowing down even more. Asking for review should only be for penaulties on yourself. So Max should ask for a review not Mercedes.

      1. Who asked for review on Silverstone? You are well entitled to ask when an opponent gets away with to little penalty. Bottas would get 2nd also, so one more reason for it.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th December 2021, 15:47

      As Verstappen was only predominantly at fault he is not fully responsible for the collision.

    3. Lol, remember Silverstone and people asked for similar penalties? It was ridiculous then and it is ridiculous now.

      [quote]What if he would have succeeded wrecking HAM in a narrow 300+ km/h section of the track?[/quote]

      10 second penalty. Again, see Silverstone.

      1. No deliberate action in silverstone, brake testing is ofc 100 % deliberate….. should have been a drive through.

        LH gets a BnW flag for staying on track and pushing MV off ( Which is generally exceptable as he was ahead had inside line and stayed on track ), MV gets just an order to hand the place back ( that took 6 laps and only did it to his advantage), not once, but twice in the same race as well as brake testing and didnt get one single BnW flag…… even though he failed to stay on track and force not one car, but two cars to take avoiding action and also rejoined in an unsafe manor while still trying to prevent not both Ocon and LH from taking the lead, but just LH….

        MV should have been black flagged.

  10. I don’t know why people are losing their minds so much over this…..I’m no verstappen fan but the stewards explanation is totally reasonable.

    If this was contact whilst passing which resulted in some damage, I don’t think people would complain. Why do people think braking is any different? Its certainly no more dangerous at the speed it happened at. Is racing to the drs line different to a corner? It’s just knee-jerk reactions after other incidents rather than looking at this particular incident independently.

    I’m pleased the stewards decided racing to the drs line is reasonable.

    1. @valandil it’s specifically against the rules to brake unnecessarily on the track like Verstappen did. I think the outrage though comes from the fact that some feel there was deliberate intent by Verstappen to harm Hamilton’s race to which the punishment he was given meant very little in the end. When taken in the context of the other moves he made that were questionable in the race too it does seem like he came away from this race with no consequences for some frankly appalling driving.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        6th December 2021, 13:56

        @slowmo I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. I, as someone who supported Max for most of this season but has been so appalled by his driving recently that I would now prefer Lewis to win, feel that this was close to the right decision, but not quire there. I don’t think there is intent to crash with Hamilton, but he’s obviously trying to let him past in the most beneficial way to him as possible (as I think many people would). The predominant blame is on Max, but I don’t think being tucked up so close directly behind him (as opposed to one side) was Lewis’ smartest move. I would probably have preffered to see a grid penalty for the next race to be honest, so I went for a bit too lenient.

        I agree with what you say about being wary not calling something where you don’t lose a position a penalty though.

      2. I guess I would argue it wasn’t unnecessary as they were racing to the drs line. And what people ‘feel’ happened I would argue is not permissible as evidence.

        As for punishment vs outcome, that is never a consideration so that isn’t relevant.

        I agree he has come out of a bad weekend from himself scot free (and again, I’m no fan of his). But my comment was around this one incident. And I don’t think it was THAT bad, just a very unusual misunderstanding from both of them with some erratic driving from max that caused a collision. So yea I still think the hype is unjustified for this incident.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      6th December 2021, 14:31

      @valandil The explanation from the stewards is reasonable, but when someone slams on the brakes with a car close behind, there really is no other way than that that could be considered a deliberate intent to have him crash in the back. How does that only warrant a 10s penalty?

      Also considering Verstappen already cause two deliberate incidents prior to that. At what point is enough enough and does a driver get a black flag?

      1. That’s the problem though, if could be taken as an attempt to force Hamilton to overtake, not hit him. I think his antics backfired. I don’t think it was deliberate contact.

        1. Either it was a deliberate attempt to force contact between them, or Max lacks the skills to safely drive an F1 car. I’ll not attempt to sway to as to which one to pick.

        2. F1oSaurus (@)
          7th December 2021, 10:43

          Go off track in a track limits monitored corner three times during the race and the driver is black flagged because the driver is deemed not in control of his car. So what if a driver causes three incidents in a single race? Shouldn’t that be penalized heavier than simply going off track a little? Verstappen is clearly so not in control that he’s an acute danger to other drivers.

  11. I think the penalty for the collision, and the penalty for the first lap incident were far too lenient.

    The FIA have created a situation where penalties are not deterrent enough. See Silverston and Brazil.

    Verstappen knew a collision with Hamilton was to his benefit, because whatever penalty he got would be offset by going into the last race with a eight point lead.

    In my view the lap one turn one incident warranted a much stricter penalty. A strict penalty on lap one would have diffused the situation, both by encouraging sportsmen like driving, and putting him farther back.

    I think Hamilton was right to be concerned about passing him. He’d spent the whole race having to dodge Verstappen. Further, verstappen’s tire wear became apparent immediately after the incident. I think Verstappen knew he had lost the position, and was trying to i cause a collision to prevent Hamilton taking a further lead.

    Disqualification was the right punishment.

    It makes me frustrated and sad to see F1 officiated this way. I’m losing my enthusiasm for F1.

    1. Hitting from the rear is something Max didn’t want because of his gearbox.

      1. @macleod The gearbox is unlikely to get damaged from a direct hit from the rear because the rear crash structure would protect it. F1 gearboxes are far more likely to be damaged by a lateral force than one from behind. Hamilton’s front wing and front right suspension were at a far greater risk

    2. Why does Silverstone keep coming up? It was the first lap in fully fueled cars and cold tyres. Both drivers braked late (Max’s speed was higher than his qually lap so not clear he would have actually made the corner). Max squeezed Lewis, but Lewis had no where to go as he couldn’t tighten his line so Max took himself out.

      Look how many times Max can’t hold the corner and just runs Lewis off, at least 3 in Jeddah yet in Silverstone the Max disciples thing Lewis should have had a race ban. Penatly is about the incident and not the consequence. By the standards of Brazil, Lewis should have not even had the 10sec.

      Lewis got 10 sec for predominant blame, the attacking car sticking his nose in.
      Max was DNF as failed to take avoiding action or give space even through there was plenty of paved run off. Had he done so, Lewis would have had to give the place back and Max would now be all but certain the champion.

      Max needs to learn that you don’t need to win every single corner, he acts like he wants to get one over on Lewis at every single oppertunity rather than playing the long game and that approach has now taken his championship down to winner takes all.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        7th December 2021, 10:44

        Well put

      2. (@f1osaurus)

        I mostly agree with our anonymous commenter. But in the context of the championship battle penalties haven’t been great enough to discourage Silverston-like contact. If Verstappen is anywhere near Hamilton this last race is going to be really ugly.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          8th December 2021, 14:26

          @slotopen So the weird thing is that every driver (besides Verstappen) said the Silverstone contact was a racing incident. Hamilton was alongside and would have made the corner. It’s odd that that even received a penalty at all. In fact it was Verstappen who turned in even after noticing Hamilton was there, so it really was more on him than Hamilton.

          While all of the drivers (besides Verstappen again) agree that Verstappen’s actions of simply not breaking after being overtaken (ie his default since Brazil) are way out of line. Yet it wasn’t even investigated the first time he tried it and now he claims that he should be allowed to keep doing that since it was allowed in Brazil. And indeed the current penalties in no way deter such dirty driving.

    3. Correction: I think it was the third restart where Verstappen forced Hamilton wide and into third place.

  12. I am flabbergasted they put this on Max I was expecting a penalty for Lewis.

  13. I think the gut extinct of many formers drivers was that Verstappen brake tested Hamilton last second as he was trying to pass, combining the massive deceleration with a swerve right (too late) to mask what he was doing. FIA’s decision to me suggests that they saw what happened as deliberate but decided to avoid the ‘nuclear’ option of disqualification so that the championship can, theoretically, be resolved on track in the final race.

    I voted ‘too lenient’, because it was, but I can just about accept their decision if they disqualify Verstappen from the championship, as they did with Schumacher, for any attempt to win by taking Hamilton out. On the other hand, even if Verstappen steers directly into Hamilton and takes them both out, we all know that Red Bull, Horner, Marko and Verstappen Senior will still insist Max was blameless. That just makes me feel a bit sick with how Formula 1’s integrity is being eroded by them at present. Clearly deluded Max fans won’t see that.

    1. As someone else suggested, ideally Max would have half a point less and the ‘wipe out’ option wouldn’t be available to him. Pity they couldn’t just dock that half-point and save us (and the drivers) from acrimonious discussion about the likelihood of this happening in the run-up to Abu Dhabi.

      1. So you would want FIA to interfere even more in the points? Seems silly

        If Hamilton had won one more race than Verstappen, would you find that solution fair?

      2. Even better osluton would be to remove the Spa points awarded. That wasn’t a race.

  14. Whether harsh or lenient, this penalty is consistent with the FIA’s current thinking. They know and agree that what Max did was wrong. They want to penalize. But they want the championship to go down to the last race…

    So they apply a meaningless penalty, and scold Max to not do it again or else! But everyone knows there is no else…

  15. Interesting precedent, which I think will eventually lead to a change in the rules.

    If car A has to give the position back to car B, then car B would be better off not taking the position back. If car B takes the position back, car A will be directly behind him. If car B does not take the position back, then car A will get a 5 second penalty and thus be further behind him.

    I think the rules should be changed so that passing off track should automatically result in a 5 second penalty.

    I would also like to see a further rule change:
    if driver A is “predominantly” to blame for an accident, then that logically means that driver B is in part to blame. But driver B is not penalized for this partial blame (which can be 49% of the blame). This seems unfair, because the stewards said driver B also caused a collision. Partial blame should lead to partial punishment. That would help avoid such collisions, making the sport safer.

    1. @uzsjgb RE. Your final question, that already exists under ‘racing incident’ where neither driver is penalized.

      1. I disagree with the interpretation that “equal blame” is equal to “racing incident”. To me, a racing incident is a situation which could occur with any 2 competent drivers raving hard. It should mean that there is little-to-no blame on either side. Conversely, if there is an incident where both drivers shoulder a significant amount of blame, both should be punished for their part in the incident. They needn’t be equal penalties, but relative to their “share of the blame”.

        1. @drmouse I realize they’re not the same, but I think unless another driver has been affected, penalties when both are to blame are a case of over-policing and discouraging racing.

          1. @david-br this doesn’t necessarily work, though. If 2 drivers are involved in an incident which deserves a 5s penalty and are equally to blame, but another driver does not break the rules and is less than 5s behind, letting them get away with it is basically penalising the clean driver.

            IMHO, bad behaviour should be punished no matter who else may shoulder some of the blame.

        2. It’s completely tangential, but the image of two competent drivers raving hard was really quite amusing. Max and Lewis grooving away to Tiësto, glow-sticks and psychedelic clothing all over the place…

          1. Yeah I spotted that, but there’s no edit. I think I’d give Max the edge on raving though, I think Lewis would be “too cool” to go for it properly lol

  16. Ultimately you have to apply the penalties according to the rulebook and not according to their consequences. If 10 seconds was the “standard” penalty for this offence then it doesn’t matter that Verstappen ended up second regardless. So yes, I’d say he got the right penalty by the current rules, but that those rules, and the way they’re enforced and interpreted, could do with some serious scrutiny over the off-season. We can’t continue with a situation where drivers don’t know where they stand and where teams are allowed to haggle their punishments.

  17. I voted slightly too linient. Braketesting is a big nono in Motorsports and should be punished with dsq. However here is a slight element of doubt of what Verstappen’s intention was.
    By playing the devil’s advocate here you could argue that he was trying to let Hamilton pass and got frustrated. To speed things up and to force Hamilton to get on with it he ended up stepping on the brakes.
    An other mitigating circumstance is Hamilton’s kind of indecisive driving. He could and in my opinion should have passed earlier.
    Still, what Verstappen did is intolerable and at least a drive through (or it’s post race equivalent) should have been apllied.

    1. @roadrunner Yes and I think FIA missed the chance to put Verstappen behind on points just enough to make him have to win the final race on track. I fear the worst.

    2. @roadrunner I agree it’s difficult to prove intent. However, if it wasn’t deliberate, then Max has demonstrated a critical lack of control and awareness of his car and surroundings, which brings into question his suitability to drive in F1. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world – this kind of dangerous mistake is unacceptable.

      1. That logic could also be applied to the Silverstone crash. But you probably don’t think that.

        1. @anunaki Agreed, Verstappen should have been aware Hamilton was on the inside and given more space.

          1. Max was aware. He corrected his turn in and then immediately turned in harder. He deliberately failed to avoid contact at Silverstone just like dozens of other times this season alone. Unfortunately, Hamilton was already fully committed and couldn’t avoid the crash like has done so dozens of times this year against Max.

          2. you know what I mean with that, Lewis had more space on his inside but he took out Max

            As the earlier situation with Leclerc showed he could take that line through the corner and no crash would’ve occured.

            He was blamed for that and got a penalty. But you could easily think he did it on purpose, or he wasn’t fully in control of his car. But you don’t do that, because you’re a Lewis fan. And that’s OK

            We just can’t look inside the heads of drivers, so we think what suits us

          3. F1oSaurus (@)
            7th December 2021, 10:47

            @anunaki So Verstappen keeps claiming he needs to run wide through Hamilton because he can’t take a tighter line on multiple occasions, but Hamilton needs to be banned from racing because he couldn’t tighten his line on just a single occasion?

            Reality is, Verstappen had massive to his left and he could have avoided the crash (as others shown later in that same race). Yet he chose to turn in even tighter. Verstappen could have been WDC right now if he had acted like a sane person in Silverstone

          4. I don’t know why you think Lewis should be banned. I do think or say that.

  18. I think it’s a bit harsh to penalise a driver giving up a position primarily because the guy behind doesn’t want it back ‘right there.’
    Verstappen made every reasonable attempt – and then some – to give the advantage back and Hamilton chose not to take it.
    There was no penalty needed here.

    If they are finally going to start penalising for driving unnecessarily slowly, then how about applying it to practice and qualifying sessions…..
    Nah, I didn’t think they would either.

    1. Its not about giving a position back, its about gaining a lasting advantage. If you give position back in a place where you can immediately regain it, then you still keep your lasting advantage from the illegal passing. So the incident still needs to go to the stewards.

  19. @macleod The gearbox is unlikely to get damaged from a direct hit from the rear because the rear crash structure would protect it. F1 gearboxes are far more likely to be damaged by a lateral force than one from behind. Hamilton’s front wing and front right suspension were at a far greater risk

  20. It’s pretty obvious that he was trying to play with the DRS detection point and get an advantage across the following straight, hence the term ‘strategic’ in the radio-call. I wouldn’t say he brake-tested him as such, he just wanted to let him through in the least damaging way possible.

    90% of the people on here seem to want to see Lewis bag yet another title in the most boring way possible. At last someone’s come along that’s taken things to the final race, has all the thirst, excitement and determination that’s been missing in F1 for decades and all you lot want to do is ban him for daring to get in Lewis’ way.

    1. No. We just want clean racing. And MV doesn’t know what that is.

    2. lexusreliability?
      6th December 2021, 16:49


      all you lot want to do is ban him for daring to get in Lewis’ way

      This is nonsensical. Tell me this. How many times has Lewis avoided a collision with Max. Let’s start with this race alone? Had they crashed, Lewis DNFs, loses a front wing and is running out of the points but Max survives and goes on to win- you would be fine with that? You seem to conflate people having an issue with dirty driving to people having an issue with someone challenging Lewis. Competition is fine- like Max’s Brilliant start after the 2nd restart. Cheating is not- like making your own track up like passing off the track or not letting an opponent by when ordered to do so in a safe manner. If you can’t distinguish between the two that’s a reflection of your own limitations.

    3. He literally brake tested him. Your version of reality is amusing.

  21. There is no proper penalty invented so far to penalize Max. Guy is ruining any perception of fair play to the core. The message he sends assisted by race director is horrible. Watching this race I felt like being repeatedly punched in the gut. In my four decades+ of following this sport I never felt so down in spite of the driver I’m cheering for taking the victory. This race drained me emotionally and left a sense of numbness. Let us not forget this should be sport for the viewers to enjoy it. Sadly it’s turning into quite the opposite.

  22. “standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, is imposed”

    Are there precedents for this type of penalty then? And is the difference between giving him this penalty and a more harsh one the issue of intention? By saying it was erratic rather than intentional does that mean they can give the penalty that ultimately didn’t affect things? He knew where Hamilton was, he was checking his mirrors, so to hit the brakes at that point he must have known what would happen? But of course intention is difficult to prove, and having them level on points is a good thing for viewing figures.

    I don’t want the stewards to decide the championship, I would love a last race battle at the front for the win and the title. But going off how it went yesterday, I can’t see that battle being fought withouth cars off track or contact. Which would be a shame to end the season that way.

    Would also be good to get some clarity on some of the other stewarding questions raised by teams/drivers – eg Verstappen practice start in pitlane, Bottas backing Verstappen up, Hamilton hanging back further than 10 car lengths. Were any of these actual infringements?

    1. 10 car lengths rule does not apply on the lap to the grid for a red-flag restart.

      1. Thanks @romtrain. And I presume even though the safety car was out, because Hamilton and Bottas hadn’t yet been picked up by the safety car at the point of pitting, then there was no requirement to keep within 10 lengths then either?

  23. This is the way how lesser offences were treated in the late eighties

    1. The FIA and Liberty care more about the show than safety or the integrity of sport.

  24. Martin Elliott
    6th December 2021, 14:10

    One trouble is that the ‘guidance’ is that the penalty (from SC !) is for the offence (ISC A-L) and not influenced by the ‘consequences’.
    So a mid range 10s penalty in pits becomes +10s at added after end (& 2 penalty points). Virtually no penalty at all.

    But continued poor driving, from ISC-L 2d actually suggests exclusion – no added guidance needed!!

    The ‘rule books’ & (private) guidance are even more complex and contradictory than most National Legislation. Any SD would keep lawyers busy for years not minutes.

  25. Far too harsh. If anything I was expecting Hamilton to get a penalty. I don’t know what he was doing not just passing him, dozy driving. Now, I must also say – and I’m not a Hamilton fan either – that I think Verstappen has disgraced himself and turned the end of the season into a farce with his ridiculous driving in other instances, but I don’t think he did anything wrong here. Hamilton had a large amount of track to play with and plenty of prior warning, but still needlessly hit the back of him. And if you’re in that position where you’ve been told to let the car behind past, and he doesn’t do it, then of course you do what Verstappen did and slow down.

    1. @tflb None of these comments about Hamilton being ‘dozy’ factors in the obvious – he didn’t and doesn’t trust Verstappen not to cause an incident whenever he goes past him. He explained after the race that he wasn’t advised Verstappen would return the place until too later, didn’t know what Max was doing therefore, and thought it might be some ‘tactic.’ I don’t see any reason to doubt any of that. When he finally went to pass, Verstappen braked heavily. Max and whatever gods he worships know whether that was on purpose or not.

      1. @david-br Verstappen wasn’t to know that Hamilton hadn’t been told he was going to let him past though, so that’s irrelevant really. Verstappen had been told to let him past, so that’s all that matters. Instead of getting on the radio to moan when Verstappen first lifted off, Hamilton should have just gone past. That’s the best way to foil any ‘tactic’ anyway.

        To me it was very clear that Verstappen didn’t want Hamilton to crash into him, that’s a stupid risk to take even by his standards. It was just bad situational awareness from Hamilton.

        1. Whether Hamilton knew or not, whether Verstappen was trying to let him past or not, whatever the circumstances, you do NOT slam the brakes on with a car right behind you outside a braking zone without very good reason. This is a fundamental rule in motor racing. It is drilled into drivers from day 1. There is no excuse. It’s equivalent to just steering directly into a rival in the middle of a straight.

      2. geoffgroom44 (@)
        7th December 2021, 7:05

        I agree with all that you write here

  26. No, it was far too lenient. Fair enough Verstappen slowed, but any racing driver worth their salt knows a) you don’t brake when you slow – a lift and coast on a straight is more than enough, b) you don’t occupy the middle of a narrow track when slowing and c) you don’t wiggle around while braking. I don’t suspect Verstappen of anything more sinister than braking to gain DRS (I don’t think he slowed intended for Hamitlon to crash), but had any other driver braked at 2.4g on a straight knowing a driver was straight behind then we’d be crying for the book to be thrown. It could have ended in a serious incident, and the FIA’s non-penalty is a ridiculous example of them having lost control this season.

  27. I don’t know if it counts towards “slightly lenient”, but I would’ve issued a 30-sec time penalty instead. Verstappen was driving unnecessarily slowly on the racing line, which absolutely needs to be punished. 10 sec aren’t enough, that’s definitely too lenient.
    For anything more, i.e. a DSQ, he needed to pull off a maniac move and be wholely to blame for the accident. Given that Hamilton could’ve avoided the accident as well (he could’ve passed Verstappen before the accident, but chose not to), a DSQ wouldn’t be justified IMO.

    1. @srga91 I think a 30 second penalty would have dropped Verstappen down to 6th? And so would have meant no winner takes all scenario in the final race which is not what the promoters would want! I’m not sure if there’s one in between 10 and 30 seconds, but if there was that would have been the best option in my opinion. Drop Max to 4th, 6 points behind going into the last race. A proper winner takes all, with the chances of a controversial double DNF greatly reduced.

      1. Thanks, @oweng for pointing it out. I guess I forgot what the exact to Ricciardo and Gasly was. Anyway, I still think that a 10-sec-penalty isn’t enough. Perhaps a 20-sec-penalty (if possible) would’ve been adequate, because that would’ve dropped him behind Bottas and Ocon to P4 and 6 points behind Hamilton.

        1. *the exact gap to Ricciardo

        2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          6th December 2021, 20:15


          To be consistent though, it isn’t really right to change the time penalty based on the time gap to the cars behind the driver at fault. People would probably be happy with a 5 second time penalty had the field finished under safety car, when the penalty actually would have been smaller.

          I don’t think they can decide on how severe the penalty should be based on how spread out the field was.

          Given that I don’t think Hamilton dealt with it perfectly, which likely lead to Verstappen handling it even worse, I honestly don’t think Verstappen was deserving of a penalty like some suggested. It was a misunderstanding, not bad enough to deserve a race ban. I personally think 10 seconds was correct, and as I said, would have been accepted if cars were closer to Verstappen (but that has nothing to do with Verstappen. He was obviously too good earlier on so that he managed to make such a gap – which is thanks to his great speed.

  28. It seemed clear to me on the replays from Hamilton’s on board that he got brake checked and it’s good to see that backed up by cold hard facts. I can’t fathom why there isn’t a bigger penalty being talked about for dangerous and cynical behaviour like that from Max.

    The stewards/Masi keep giving so much leeway to very bad behaviour and it’s going to literally lead to someone being seriously injured or worse. It’s sets a terrible precedent and example for other upcoming racers to follow of what is and isn’t acceptable. It’s a shame the safety of the sport seems to be taking leaps and bounds in reverse now, and as fantastic as the halo is there are still many ways for F1 drivers to still get seriously hurt.

    1. I feel the same way @davidhunter13 I think this is spot on personally. I do think Hamilton should have just driven by though, he was probably confused but still you have to take the chance. I can also see why he was wary of Max, for example had Hill erred on the side of caution after Schumacher hit the wall he would have been champion in 1994.

      To be honest I’ve been left with a bad taste after Sunday’s race. There is no excuse for braking like that regardless of whether the guy didn’t immediately overtake or not. Like others have said, do that on the karting track and you will be banned. Also some of Max’s driving generally was incredibly poor race craft made possible by what happened in Brazil. Very unsavoury.

      1. geoffgroom44 (@)
        7th December 2021, 7:09


    2. geoffgroom44 (@)
      7th December 2021, 7:09


  29. Well as I saw it: Major passive aggression from Lewis.
    Lewis knew Max was slowing down in order to give him the place back, or soon very quickly realised, otherwise he would have simply passed him on track, (suspecting loss of power or other failure, they were in a race remember:) but he didn’t want to be disadvantaged with the oncoming DRS. So Lewis slowed down hoping for a better opportunity….playing cat & mouse with Max (read safety line restart) this provoking a hot headed Max seeing the DRS line quickly approaching, (thus thwarting his strategically planned manoeuvre to give back the position) to jump on the breaks, to try & shake Lewis off. I don’t think he really wanted a to cause a collision & risk damage to the gearbox again, but just panicked & took off. Toto throwing down the head phones was another great bit of childish theatre & I thought that alone deserved a penalty. What I don’t really understand was why did Max give the position back again around Lap 43. All in all a great race I haven’t seen since Monza 2019 when Leclerc took on Hamilton to win.

    1. I think you’re right. There’s no way Hamilton wouldn’t have just overtaken Max if he wasn’t playing games.

      They both played very dirty in this GP.

    2. What I don’t really understand was why did Max give the position back again around Lap 43.

      Lewis did this in 2008 at the Belgian GP and the penalty was 25 seconds added to his race time. That was a very controversial and shocking penalty at the time but came across as a warning to all drivers not to try this move (return the position only to overtake in the next corner) again. It’s likely there was some Masi:Red Bull communication we didn’t hear which was essentially another offer to give the place back (on lap 43) or be referred to the stewards. Had it been referred to the stewards though it’s hard to say if it would have been a 25 second time penalty as the precedent shows or if there would be been no penalty at all, such is the inconsistency this season…

    3. ‘Lewis knew Max was slowing down in order to give him the place back’

      I got as far as that and stopped reading, Lewis was unaware of the give place back, Lewis just thought ‘whats going on here’ and slowed, you can imagine he’s eyes scanning the track looking for a possible obstruction/crash then steering wheel looking for yellows and back again multiple times in seconds, all this occurring at 100+mph and when he does decide to jink left for the overtake Max brake checks him…..

      1. @f1-plossl

        What you are arguing completely goes against what Lewis said…

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        6th December 2021, 20:23

        if drivers can’t process this sort of thing, then normal overtakes at faster speeds should be even harder. To me, the initial stage of this was simply a blank moment from hamilton. I accept Verstappen dealt with Hamilton not instantly going by very badly by slowing down even more, but I still blame hamilton for not getting by at first.

        Not that we have heard hamilton’s message yet (unless it is out there somewhere) but we just know that as soon as verstappen cut the first corner, he will have complained and wanted the place back. The team told verstappen to let him pass and if hamilton was taken by surprise that Verstappen would try to do it in a place that benefits Verstappen, he’s having a blank moment. Verstappen doesn’t have to give the position back at an easy stage, but he made the opportunity to pass really easy, and hamilton didn’t take it. That’s on Hamilton.

        The penalty however was still deserved for Verstappen, including both.

  30. It’s funny how a race driver refuses to pass, in a race, his biggest opponent under green flag. I guess it’s completely normal nowadays.

    1. This is not new, there was a similar game played with Lewis and Fernando in the 2013 Canadian GP in which neither driver wanted to cross the DRS detection line first. That was a fantastic battle between two World Champions.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      7th December 2021, 10:51

      With the driver supposedly letting the other past sitting exactly in the middle of the track? With the driver that is supposed to slide past already being called in front of the stewards for ignoring a yellow flag that was never shown.

      If Verstappen wanted Hamilton to go past he should have moved to the side. Not sit in the middle and slam on the brakes.

  31. No.

    A deliberate brake test to take your direct opponent out of the race should’ve been dealt with very harshly. They decided this was best for the show.

    Now, what happens if MV flat out rams Lewis out of the race in Abu, and both retire on the spot ? Technically, he is the world champion; but will the FIA have the balls to actually erase all points earned like they did to Schumi in 1997 ? At the moment, it looks like they don’t have.

    1. FIA and the owners want a new world champion. Its pretty obvious since Monza at least…

      The only chance for Lewis is to get away in front, maybe with Bottas protecting him, and be very careful when lapping a car of the two RB teams. Mad Max will use any chance to DNF Ham, thats for sure.

  32. I’m surprised there was no investigation/penalty for the move where Max let Lewis by only to get into the DRS detection and overtake him on the pit straight. As others have pointed out this is as similar to Spa 2008 as you can get and in that case Lewis got a 25 second time penalty after the race. However given Max gave the place back again later and did not overtake again is indicative of “back-channel” communications between the Race Director and Red Bull. I would like to know what was meant by the radio message to Max that the move was not necessary, what was that in reference to?

    1. I was wondering how the things unfold behind the scenes as well yesterday. My best guess is the following happened:
      Verstappen was told to give the place back he took by running wide at Hamilton’s first attempt to pass.
      Otherwise the usual 5 second penalty for that kind of infringement would be applied. (it’s not anymore the drive thru / 25 seconds it was in 2008).
      The first attempt went wrong and Hamilton ended up in the back of Verstappen. Verstappen accelerated away and tried to build up a 5 seconds lead to nullify the penalty.
      In the meantime the stewards were still investigating and waiting what would happen on track so they haven’t yet announced a penalty.
      Verstappen couldn’t pull away hence his diffuser was broken and his tyres were degrading.
      So Red Bull changed their mind and instructed Verstappen to let Hamilton by a second time.
      Verstappen let Hamilton by, but he did it in a similar way to 2008 and the stewards weren’t happy about. Red Bull probably knew immediately that this wasn’t allowed and he would still be punished.
      So Verstappen let Hamilton by a third and final time and this time he managed to stay in front. But it was to late to eacape the penalty. The announcement of the penalty and the swap of positions happened pretty much simultaneously.
      If the stewards had waited a bit longer they maybe wouldn’t have felt the need to hand out a penalty. Or if they had given the penalty a little bit earlier Verstappen wouldn’t have yield to Hamilton a third time.
      I think that was what the radio message was all about: “No we got the penalty anyway. We didn’t have to let him by”

  33. Not condoning the poor driving, but it wasn’t a brake test, which is done to incite a collision. Max braked like that to try to force Hamilton to overtake him, without quite realising I think he was right behind him and not along side. For me that is a subtle and important difference between slowing deliberately to cause a crash.

    There needs to be more obvious rules, such as “let the car by at such and such place”, maybe we need designated areas where this can happen to avoid the DRS issue.

    Also, why were Hamilton, Bottas and Mercedes not penalised for the safety car antics?? They were a clear breach of rules. So all this high and mighty “rules don’t apply to Max” is just hypocrisy really.

    Max, though, really needs to learn to accept when he has lost. At the moment, he can’t do that and even though it’s made for a tense and exciting season, I can’t help but predict that we will have one final coming together in Abu Dhabi.

    1. Also, why were Hamilton, Bottas and Mercedes not penalised for the safety car antics??

      I presume you’re referring to the Safety Car incident prior to the red flag. I can’t see any reason to investigate Lewis but I would like to know why there was no investigation in Bottas’ slowing down to get himself a gap to double-stack. My only interpretation is that since he slowed down while on track behind the safety car that it was not an infringement. Had he slowed down in the pit area that would have been a clear penalty.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        6th December 2021, 20:35

        Bottas has done this before in Baku 2018 when he was in the lead of the race. The safety car came out and he went slowly into the pit lane entry so the team could prepare his unscheduled stop before he got there. He’s also done it in another race this year, and so have many other drivers.

        If you look at it though, there were stages other drivers were going far slower than Bottas. You have to question what too slow is, as surely going the speed he was isn’t a problem given a safety car is out.

        I’m also not sure about what you mean about there being a clear penalty for slowing down in the pit area? I think you have to slow down when you drive into your pit box don’t you? :D

        The pit lane entry in previous races has been interesting. Vettel got frustrated in china 2016 with really slow moving drivers in the pit lane entry during the safety car – so he overtook them. Those drivers – nor him got in trouble.

        So I don’t think there was anything wrong with what Bottas did in Baku 2018, and certainly isn’t an issue in the pit lane entry, as you can overtake slower cars there.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th December 2021, 15:26

      Are you serious? Max didn’t know Lewis was behind him and he’s racing in F1? He decelerated to the tune of 2.4g.

      To put that into context, here’s an article describing LMP1 deceleration which is an average of 2.3g per lap at LeMans. LM GTE Pro stop at 1.6g.

      It’s a miracle Lewis didn’t plow into Max like Mazepin did at the start of the race.

  34. Am I in New Orleans, Lewisiana?

    Over last 5 years, I remember two episodes where HAM was involved in rear-ending collisions (I am avoiding “raming into another one” because in both cases it wasn’t). In one occasion, the one at the back was blamed (VET, Baku 2017), in the second the one at the front was blamed. Yup, all fine here :)

    1. Two very different incidents:
      1. Baku was behind a Safety Car (no overtaking is allowed)
      2. Lewis was found not to have used the brakes, instead he lifted off the throttle. This is a significant distinction and the defence was Lewis was putting heat into his tyres.

      What happened after in Baku was the real shock; why would anyone pull up beside a driver and side-swipe them?

      1. 1. This is exactly my point – break testing happens under SC because you are obliged to follow another car (i.e. stay close). There was no bloody way Max break tested Lewis, this whole narrative is just falling into one of few manipulations Mercs did yesterday (other two I can remember – BOT spacing during first SC, and HAM spacing before second start).

        2. This is factually incorrect, Lewis tapped breaks in that straight, you can look up youserlf (pay attention into “Lewis taps brakes”):

        Don’t get me wrong – I did not like Max cutting T2 so many times, although it was obvious this would happen after watching F2 races. And I really don’t think Max should have won this one, because of (1) mistake during quali, and (2) mistake at first restart, but break testing is just not factually correct.

        1. From that trace I read Lewis tapped the brakes, released the brakes travelled around 20mts then Max brakes at -2.4g, 60+bar of pressure.

          1. Just for reference, -2.4g is just slightly more than lifting, which generates incredible -1.5g. Many readers think this one as hand break, which would be if it was “an average family car”. Heavy breaking would be something like -5g, and they actually do this on every corner.

          2. ‘-2.4g is just slightly more than lifting’

            Lol, is that metric or imperial, what a load of Tosh….

          3. lexusreliability?
            6th December 2021, 16:41


            Just for reference, -2.4g is just slightly more than lifting, which generates incredible -1.5g

            You have no clue what you are talking about. F1 cars brake up to 5g. 2.4g is about half the stopping force an F1 car can generate which is considerably more than just lifting. So to say 2.4 g is slightly more than lifting is frankly, BS.

          4. So just to clarify – when Max lifts, it’s -1.5g. When he breaks, it jumps to -2.4g. I can understand your misunderstanding here, you probably want to look into the g data

          5. That’s still more than a road car with ABS going full anchors…at around 100mph

        2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
          6th December 2021, 16:13

          The thing is you are using the words and phrases of commentators. The stewards did not use those words at all.

          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.

  35. I do think that the whole penalty solution needs some looking at, passing off track (outside of white lines) should not be possible, but likewise, reckless defense to keep the position should also be peanalised.
    I like the MotoGP solution of “long Laps” this way its dealt with there and then and drivers can get on with their race.
    If Verstappen would have served this, there wouldn’t have been such a mess. And also – if serving long lap then DRS should’t be available to you for that time too?

  36. I will admit that I clapped my hands in glee at the drama and controversy during the race. Nothing is more exciting than someone being truly naughty. A lot of you will disagree with me and even find these comments disgusting but that’s how I am. Still, the meaningless 10 sec. penalty is pathetic. Bad behaviour deserves harsh treatment. Verstappen has gotten away with his conduct and therefore will not learn his lesson. Not good at all.

  37. Putting this specific incident to one side for a second I really think the FIA need to come up with a directive regarding how & more importantly where drivers are expected to let another past if they are required to do so to avoid them trying to do it tactically in order to try & immediately get the place back.

    The whole reason Max slowed where he did was because he wanted to get DRS to try & repass Lewis into T1 & I think part of the reason Lewis didn’t just drive by was because he figured that out & knew that with Max so close & DRS fairly powerful on the run to T1 the chances were Max was going to get back by fairly easily.

    Such a directive been in place in Jeddah for me would have been to pull off the racing line & stay on the left side of the track down the pit straight. And the directive would be similar for Abu Dhabi this weekend, Stay on the left down the start straight. Or maybe you just say that your not able to attempt to re-take the place for a lap or something.

    It’s supposed to be a penalty so having the ability to do it tactically so you get DRS & are able to get the place back straight away shouldn’t be allowed.

  38. It was quite a farce officiating yet again..

    Bartering with race control for position. Lewis not willing to overtake on a disadvatageous position, then Verstappen breaking in to Lewis.. :p

    Unlike a proper manly dual for the championship, it looked like murky blurry fight for steward decissions and attention.

    Penalty then was picked to br as severe as possible without affecting actually anything.

    It reminds me of NBA giving LeBron 50k fine.

    Next time give Lewis 7s penalty when he is 10s clear of Verstappen.

    All around wrist slapping. This is why we are where we are…

    Massi asking RedBull how much of a penalty would they accept was a total disgrace.

    What ia next? Negotiations for grid position?

    And what penalty do they give Hamilton for not wanting to reclaim position…

    It is all meh. I hope in a few years we can remember whoever wins as a worthy champion..

  39. lexusreliability?
    6th December 2021, 16:36

    Penalty was far too lenient- One really has to wonder what it would take for someone to be black flagged if Max got those slaps on the wrist for dirty driving.

  40. During the “brake test” Incident I initially thought Max was fully to blame. But then after seeing how Lewis slowed down and didn’t try to pass.. My opinion changed. Both Lewis and Bottas were playing games under the safety car periods and that annoyed Max, this finally lead to the contact which Lewis had the chance to avoid. They’re both to blame. So I think the penalty was a little harsh personally.

    Also very confused with the Stewards as they don’t want to get involved when something happens, but they effectively killed the race off at the end when they gave the 5s penalty. The lack of consistency is frustrating.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th December 2021, 19:12

      The stewards did put Max prominently at fault so not totally. So you are correct in that they both have blame just Max more so. Being predominantly at fault hence a 10 second penalty.

  41. I think it was more or less fair, I consider VER should have 1) stuck clearly to one side of the circuit, 2) not applied 2.4g of braking – further lifting off should have been enough,

    But I think it is more important the FIA consider their protocols.
    Firstly, the FIA should inform the following car that they are instructing the other car to let them past, so they can expect it. That was a big mistake from Masi on this circuit!
    Of course the first car might refuse, in that case the message should come that it has gone to the stewards.
    Secondly, they should either clarify the rule about the number of corners that the car cannot re-overtake, or forbid the leading (at this point) car to use its DRS for a full lap (either disable it, or just say it is not allowed, with another penalty if they do use it). This would have made it less useful to try and force the other car to pass just before a DRS detection zone.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      6th December 2021, 17:54

      @tricky Tbh honest the FIA protocols throughout the race were completely messed up. Not just with this incident, but I’m also not entirely sure that under normal protocols Masi has the power to move Verstappen down the grid after a red flag. Not that I disagree with it, it was 100% the right outcome in a sporting sense (although I am less keen of his negotiation tactics, and I expect Alpine are as well), but the regulations do clearly state “In all cases the order will be taken at the last point at which it was possible to determine the position of all cars”.

      Agree about making it so the car who has conceded the position can’t use DRS to immediately re-overtake, or play games with the DRS zone. The alternative is to force the car concede the position in a location where those games can’t take place, for example this weekend turn 1 where there wasn’t a DRS zone immediately afterwards.

      And also the lack of provision for the T1 runoff in the race director’s notes made the whole weekend even more of a shambles, including in F2.

      1. @randommallard

        Masi doesn’t have the power to set a penalty, but he does have the power to refer or not to refer things to the stewards. He used that power to offer a deal to both Red Bull & Mercedes, where he didn’t involve the stewards if they agreed. This is similar to mediation, where the judge doesn’t get involved if the parties agree on a deal.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          6th December 2021, 19:53

          @aapje I get that, but legally Masi technically cannot change the grid order from where they were when the red flag came out. There is no provision for it.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th December 2021, 19:14

      As I was listening I thought exactly the same that the following car should be informed first that he being let passed. Then tell the guilty party that they have to let the follower through.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        6th December 2021, 21:44

        @andyfromsandy Totally agree with that

    3. @tricky

      I agree that the penalty was fair and consistent with previous penalties. Though I would suggest that Verstappen couldn’t really lift off further – he was already completely off-throttle. They were both playing silly buggers with the DRS line, reverse-bicycle-racing towards it in an effort to be the last across, and had he kept coasting, it looked for all intents and purposes that Hamilton was going to do the same thing. Verstappen seems to have misjudged the proximity of Hamilton in his braking manoeuvre.

  42. The very least driver #44 should have got for playing dirty and failing to overtake when ordered is a reprimand

    Which would be the third, meaning 10 grid positions lost for Abu Dhabi

    So the penalty was far too lenient. For #44 of course.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      6th December 2021, 17:56

      failing to overtake when ordered is a reprimand

      No, that’s not how it works. Verstappen was ordered to let Hamilton past. The responsibility is on Max to do so in a sensible location, safely.

      1. @randommallard

        Lewis had sufficient opportunity to overtake in a safe location. He chose to slow down along with Max.

        1. Max had sufficient opportunity to be a better driver without reckles and dangerous antics…but hes chosing to be an idiot he is

          1. And so this comment section goes down the drain.

    2. lexusreliability?
      6th December 2021, 18:31

      What are your thoughts on the very least #33 should have got for Brazil?

      1. Nothing happened there, so nothing

        1. Nothing.

        2. lexusreliability?
          7th December 2021, 8:39

          Nothing happened there because Hamilton avoided the collision. Nonetheless had Lewis turned in and they crashed I am sure you would then blame him as well.

  43. Just a thought. If Verstappen had given Hamilton more space at Silverstone he would probably be world champion right now

    1. Good point, and it was fitting that Max didn’t, and will hopefully lose the title because of his tactics.

  44. RandomMallard (@)
    6th December 2021, 17:45

    TLDR: For this incident in isolation, close to the right decision. Perhaps should have been applied as a grid drop in Abu Dhabi.

    My general feeling is that this was probably along the lines of the right decision, but I think it would have been better to apply a grid penalty for the next race. If I consider all the incidents during the race, I think Max should have collected 2 five second penalties for the two incidents at T1. One for the restart for an unsafe re-join (I think being moved back on the grid to nullify the advantage gained was a good call from Masi, probably better than a penalty as he may have just driven off into the sunset and managed to overcome the penalty, but I’m not 100% certain that it was the correct protocol). And then he did receive one for the second incident a bit later on, which was the correct decision, but took way to long to come.

    And then there’s the big one. The collision with Lewis. I generally agree with the stewards report saying that Max is predominantly to blame. He made serious errors of judgement that were the main causes of the incident, but Lewis had opportunities to avoid it as well, notably being 1) passing him immediately, and 2) not sitting directly behind him at a slow speed (part of this was due to the track being way too narrow, but it does seem weird that he chose to sit directly behind him, because at that moment Lewis had no idea why he was slowing, and if something had broken on the car – engine failure or rear wheels locking or similar – then we could have had an incident like Rosberg at Abu Dhabi in 2012. ). Lewis was entitled to both stay behind and to sit behind him, but they were factors that contributed to the collision nonetheless.

    I’m hesitant to say that Max’s intent was to cause a crash. I think it’s acceptable to say that he was giving the place back, but was doing so in an extremely poor way. He should have either braked consistently or only lifted, and been on one side of the circuit instead of right down the middle (again, part of this could be considered down to the circuit being too narrow). He was certainly reckless, but saying it’s deliberate is a very difficult bar to reach.

    In terms of the punishment, I will admit I’m slightly confused, and so it seems, are the stewards. Reading their report, it looks like they don’t really know whether they’re penalising for a dangerous driving or causing a collision. I mean the obvious answer is both but they generally only penalise under one or the other, so having to chose between them seems to have been quite difficult for them. I think there are enough mitigating circumstances to make a DSQ for this incident alone unlikely, but I feel the 10 seconds was probably a touch too lenient (which is the option I chose in the poll btw). I have no problems with the concept of a sporting penalty being undone by a sporting advantage, but feel a drive through penalty (or 20 seconds post-race as I think it would have been), or a grid drop for Abu Dhabi of 10 places would have been the better result, plus one extra penalty point to make that total 3.

    Brief diversion: they really need to sort out the penalty points. They were brought in mainly to prevent dangerous driving. Yet they’re being used more and more for gaining an advantage off track, usually one point, but then only giving 2 to this incident. Gaining an advantage off track is definitely illegal and should be penalised, but unless the re-join is inherently unsafe I don’t think it warrants penalty points. This very much does, and probably more than the stewards gave him.

    In a more general picture, was a DSQ based on the sheer number of incidents a possibility? Yes, I think it was, and with any more incidents I’m pretty sure that would have been the outcome. But it’s been so long since anyone was black flagged for driving standards that no one really knows where that line should be drawn any more. And for those of you calling for race bans, I’ll leave it at this: that’s not up to the stewards. They can only impose penalties ‘up to and including the disqualification of the driver involved’. A race ban case is normally heard higher up in the FIA, at a hearing or tribunal. I suppose they could instantly issue the 8 penalty points that would have led to a ban for Max, but I expect Red Bull would have appealed this to a hearing at the FIA Court of Appeal anyway.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th December 2021, 19:20

      But it’s been so long since anyone was black flagged for driving standards… no one knows where it is!

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        6th December 2021, 21:58

        @andyfromsandy Probably still at Silverstone, stuck in 1994 in a perpetual loop of Schumacher ignoring drive through penalties, lapping again and again, with seemingly infinite fuel and tyre life, with no intention of ever pitting, completing laps, going on for eternity.

        And then Damon woke up and realised it was all a bad dream.

        /end sarcasm

    2. I agree. If Lewis hadn’t lingered behind, and Max had still brake tested him, then it should have been an easy DQ and also race bans for deliberate attempt to cause a collision, but because of the mitigating circumstance, Max can hide behind the confusion and plead ignorance. It’s harder to prove intent this way, though we all know his intentions.

  45. It wasn’t a brake test. Hamilton in his comments later on was acutely aware that Verstappen wanted to let him pass before the DRS detection so stayed behind. After that, it’s as simple as on the road, drive into the back of someone and its predominantly your fault. Pretty crazy ruling to penalized Max. Can set it as “race incident” as not one of them really gained or lost anything. Max still let him past. Weirdest FIA junk show ever…

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th December 2021, 19:23

      If someone in front of you braked with the same force that Max did and you hit them you would be quite within your rights to claim they were the one driving dangerously. It is illegal on the roads of Britain to deliberately brake test.

      1. Keep your distance then.

        1. Keep your distance. Remember everyone.

  46. Totally unacceptable, dangerous driving worthy of a ban.

    Note how he gave the place back in Bahrain.

    Max is simply a dangerous driver and the FIA need to take the correct action before someone gets hurt or worse, this is a dangerous sport .

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      6th December 2021, 19:25

      Note how he gave the place back in Bahrain.

      He wasn’t keen on doing it believing he could pull that gap to nullify an expected 5 second penalty.

  47. Lots of new F1 fans hear, if you think Max was hard done by, watch Belgium 2008.

  48. To answer your poll question, of course this is a massively lenient penalty for dirty and dangerous driving.

    Verstappen is looking in his mirrors, moving around the track and then brake tests Hamilton who he knows full-well is right behind him. Verstappen knows that if both cars DNF it is to his advantage.

    Note in Bahrain, how he behaves when told to give the place back, he does so off the racing line by lifting and doesn’t try to immediately attack and get the place back.

    Belgium 2008, Hamilton is forced wide by Raikonnen and overtakes off the track, then gives the place back and retakes the lead again into the next corner. Kimi then crashes before the end of the race, Hamilton received a 25 second penalty that cost him a race win and almost the title.

    I suspect had Hamilton had to retire due to the damage the 10 second penalty would have been harsher.

    Verstappen will crash into Hamilton in the next race if he sees a chance and feels he cannot beat him.

    1. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      7th December 2021, 13:56

      @davidjwest it should be said that when Hamilton gave up the place to Raikkonen there were mitigating circumstances: (1) there was no DRS back then, so he just gave the place back immediately instead of waiting for the most advantageous point on the track; (2) it was very wet, Hamilton got better traction on the straight and overtook, there was no gamesmanship, he simply got a better drive; (3) the precedent didn’t exist back then: Hamilton had complied with the letter of the rules, the FIA changed the rules and applied them retrospectively – with Mosley’s legal training he was aware that doing so broke the tenets of good jurisprudence.

      Spa 2008 deserved to be a Hamilton win, it was one of his best races.

  49. Interesting how on this site the majority seem to think the penalty was too lenient and other places the majority think it was a bad call. I think a lot of people are letting their biases affect their judgment.

  50. Way to harsh and given to the wrong person.
    If Lewis really did not know it was an option to regain his position, then its very strange he did not do the simpler thibg: pass inmediatly.
    If max had a malfunction he should have reacted by passing.
    So the conclusion, Lewis knew very well he should have passed but did not wanted to do so. Its ridiculous that he needed three options to pass and even then screwed up.

    1. Yes great tactics by Max.
      Ordered to give back position.
      Do so in a place on the track where you can just blast back past using DRS, effectively not having any disadvantage from causing the original misdemeanour.
      From now on all drivers ordered to give back a place can slow brake do what ever they want to make your opponent go by just before the DRS activation line.

    2. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      7th December 2021, 9:52

      You’re conveniently ignoring a lot of the facts, but with your form around here that’s not surprising.

    3. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      7th December 2021, 10:05

      I don’t know if a hand can be seen from the back but it is etiquette to raise a hand if you are stopping on track.

  51. It takes two to tango.
    I believe in an unprofessional and avoidable accident like that the FIA need to look at both cars.
    Verstappen: if consistency was applied I think that should have been a 25seconds penalty. My only (slight) hesitancy about it is that the intent of the brake should have been more sinister rather than a desperate move to get Hamilton to pass him to make it worth the full 25sec. Plus 3 penalty points.
    Hamilton: a simple reprimand plus 1 penalty point for also slowing down along with verstappen twice in his dangerous manner. He may not have caused an accident but fact is he also slowed to a crawling pace too on the racing line… what if a back marker was rounding that corner at speed? The strategic reason to slow down with verstappen (twice) is moot.
    The only scenarios where a driver can slow down significantly like that on a green flag track without scrutiny is for a safety reason (such as avoiding a crash that happened right in front of him) or a mechanical issue or a freak incident like an injury etc..

    1. Ipsom,

      Let’s go race in Abu Dhabi. Stop complaining. May the best win!



      1. Best or dirtiest? Maybe if you like max’s driving you better off watching some redneck dirtraces or nascar?

  52. One observation – in order to answer this poll, you need to provide the array of penalty options that there are available for breaking article 2(e) of chapter four, appendix L of the International Sporting Code
    Is a 10-second penalty the harshest option they had available for breaking this article ? The most lenient ? In the middle? This is probably available somewhere.
    it doesn’t make sense to do a poll just like they could invent a penalty, like giving Max community service hours, or chopping a hand given it happened in Saudi Arabia. They need to follow the rulebook, which normally specifies the range of penalties applicable.

    The alternate poll would be:
    Do you agree that Max broke article 2(e) of chapter four, appendix L of the International Sporting Code which states: “It is not permitted to drive any car unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time.”?
    This doesn’t make sense either, because no reader of this site has the data available to critically review the stewards decision.
    These polls are good for fan engagement but personally I find the “sofa expert” flavour a bit inadequate for a site with high quality content like Racefans

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      7th December 2021, 10:07

      The decision was predominantly to blame. When predominantly is used it seems 10 seconds is the penalty.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      7th December 2021, 11:03

      They need to follow the rulebook, which normally specifies the range of penalties applicable.

      The rulebook notes that the stewards can apply any penalty they deem fit

      18.1 The stewards may inflict the penalties specifically set out in these Sporting Regulations in
      addition to or instead of any other penalties available to them under the Code.

      They will try to be consistent though. So similar offences will usually get similar penalties.

  53. I have read a lot of the comments, but sorry not them all – clearly people find this an important issue. Max had been told to be strategic about where he let Lewis through, so clearly he decided his strategy would be to let him through, then get DRS to repass. This was really not in the spirit of giving a place back. The problem for Lewis was, even if he had worked out that Max was giving him the place back, it was not at all clear that Max would allow him to keep the advantage. Although he knew that previously it had not been allowed to immediatley regain a place after letting someone through (he had fallen foul of this himslef as a young racer); the stewards have been so inconsistent this year he had no firm belief that Max would have been penalised for this. In this case his best bet was to stay close behind Max until he could pass him after the DRS detection line and prevent this being an issue.
    In all honesty Max had no real intention of giving Lewis back the advantage – as he showed the first time that Lewis actually passed him – and that is blatant cheating.

    1. Spot on Caroline.

      Part of rule 27.3

      “At the absolute discretion of the Race Director a driver may be given the opportunity to give back the whole of any advantage he gained by leaving the track.”

      Giving it back after you have just made your opponent cross the DRS so you now have full use of DRS is not giving back the whole of any advantage. You have illegitimately gained an advantage ie use of DRS which you didn’t have before. Just like weaving under breaking the FIA are going to have make a “Verstappen” rule to clarify it.

    2. Indeed and the precedent here is Belgium 2008 where Hamilton got a 25 second penalty.

      Since then drivers clearly know you cannot give the place back and immediately take it back again.

      Well, most drivers know that.

      1. For most drivers, the rules actually apply to them (mostly).

        One of the drivers never bothered with the rule book. F1 is now reaping the consequences for a mistake years ago when he was put into F1 far too early.

      2. The rules that were in place in 2008 (specifically the penalties) are no longer in place now. Quite possibly because of the opprobrium levelled at the FIA for that particular decision. The standard penalty was applied in this case.

    3. Wow. Hamilton was playing the famous schwalbe. You really should have a look at the data. Hamilton was breaking as hard as Max and did not want to pass Max. So, what did you expect to happen?

      Let’s go race in Abu Dhabi. Stop complaining. May the best win!



      1. Lewis was behind, so his braking had no impact on Max – Max braking erratically caused the collision – that is not really open to argument. ‘May the best (cheat) win’ – Is that what you really want?

    4. Not overtaking when you can opens a whole new can of worms. It could mean you wait so long nr 3 will overtake you. (Almost like Lewis did to Nico in 2016 in Abu Dhabi?)

      Lewis should have overtaken max there and then and trusting in the stewards to give an other penalty if Max used the DRS at the next straight to regain the position.

      Lewis can not be the one who is deciding when to overtake, nor should max.

      Race control should be able to talk to the drivers directly and simultaneously and instruct when and where. They could even tell nr3 not to attack before the swap.

      Problem solved. No (dis)advantages.

      1. trusting in the stewards

        Maybe they would have done a deal…

  54. Brake checking is deliberately creating risk of collision in bad faith.

    Very dangerous and very unsporting, must be a heavy deterrent.

    Incredible to me that such malicious disregard for safety isn’t a huge penalty like disqualification or a huge time penalty.

  55. Would eliminating DRS and the two-compound rule in favor of simply making the races longer than a single fuel tank’s range obviate many of these issues?

  56. So they did prove that max was trying to deliberately break test hamilton but he gets only 10 sec?
    I remember people getting penalized for less…remeber spa with hamilton and raikkonen?

  57. geoffgroom44 (@)
    6th December 2021, 22:39

    time after time we have been told that the stewards do not consider the after effects of their decision but simply take a decision based upon the facts of the incident itself.
    On this basis and given that we have now been informed of data available to the stewards showing acute braking (2-9 g) any objective,objective, opinion must conclude that this was calculated dangerous driving.As such it should have received a much harsher punishment.
    The fact that this may have influenced the outcome of the championship is something the ‘convicted’ driver should have taken into account prior to the offence, an offence deliberately initiated.
    If this kind of behaviour is not adequately policed, then F1 wil deteriorate into stock car racing !

    1. I think it might have already done so Geoff.

  58. Verstappen and RB have taken the sport to a new low. But that’s the result of a driver who has been couched to win at any cost, and a team that exists only to promote a softdrink.

  59. So after all this as it stands they are equal on points going into the final race. Well not quite if they both DNF I believe that VER will be WDC as he has more wins than HAM, something to contemplate!

  60. Obviously, not this was DSQ worthy. Uhhh damn… this is one of those things you wanna hide under the carpet to forget they ever happened. This and Brazil were too obvious.

    Martin Brundle is so charmed by Verstappen lol… I just saw the race highlights and he is trying to defend him every bit. Even though it’s wrong it’s nice to see the professionals in this business showing emotion.

  61. Seann Sheriland
    7th December 2021, 1:35

    It seems that Max has taken lessons, from Schumacher and Senna. If you can’t beat them then take them out. Glad that Schumacher lost out because he took out his rival deliberately.

    Max is a very good driver, but he is starting to take over Schumacher’s records, of the most dirty moves in an F1 race.

    If you can’t win honestly they don’t try to claim you won, because you didn’t. When Max first started out he would constantly take out other drivers by being, the snow plow in the storm.

    If you win through nefarious tactics, you are not worthy of the title.

  62. It’s probably fair, but they were both playing the same game and knew exactly what the other was doing, so you could maybe argue they both deserved the same punishment for being clumsy. Max’s intention when hitting the brakes obviously wasn’t to create a dangerous situation for either of them, but to have Lewis shoot ahead and hit the DRS line first. In Canada 2013, Lewis pumped the brakes in an acceleration zone trying to exactly what Max tried to do in Jeddah, but as Alonso had pulled out to the side, contact was avoided. I think what happened in Jeddah is nothing more than another instance of the same tactics being used by both drivers. DRS is an artificial gimmick and it has created this exact scenario on several other occasions in the past.

    1. @commonmonsoon

      Yep – agreed on all points. Get rid of DRS and this doesn’t happen.

    2. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      7th December 2021, 9:48

      Agreed. It takes two to tango, and tangle they did. In the transaction that was to be Max handing the position back to Lewis, they both had other intentions.

  63. It was a mess of an incident from start to finish.

    From the FIA communication to Max’s efforts to making it happen. I don’t think you can attach too much blame to Lewis given he had no idea what was happening with the place being handed back to him until it happened.

    I’m fairly sure it wasn’t a deliberate ‘brake test’ to force contact, To me, it’s a misunderstanding, Max is trying to hand the place back strategically (as he was told by his team), is looking in the mirrors and wondering why Lewis isn’t passing, probably thinks it’s game playing, then no doubt tries to force the issue to get him to pass there by a dab on the brakes, but ultimately, that’s still a bad call amounting to the same thing. So the penalty is fair enough. It is ultimately causing a collision and an erratic movement, so hard to say on any level the penalty is too harsh regardless of the communication mess from the FIA.

    It only becomes too lenient if it was a deliberate act to induce contact, which it doesn’t seem to be.

    1. @mrcento

      This seems like the most likely scenario to me. I’m not sure where some commenters get the idea the Verstappen is Ed Gein in an open-wheeler.

  64. It’s hard to look at the brake test outside the context of the race. Not once but twice Hamilton had to jump out of the way to avoid verstappen driving off the track. Then having been foiled twice he had to literally try to trap him into a collision or at least create a dangerous situation that would most charitably construed be an attempt to (illegally) negate giving the position back. A that point nothing but a DQ would do and I’m certain we were only spared a later proper torpedo move because Verstappens tires gave out.

    It also really put silverstone into perspective and should put a end to RBRs complaints about that. We didn’t know it then but we have been playing under the I win or we crash rules and so the driver being passed got the benefit of the doubt there. But it turns out that this was really the only time verstappen got what he deserved for his general approach and lost the advantage it yields. His penalty in Monza was really a tactical advantage in that race and cost him nothing in Sochi.

    I think the good thing is that we have 2021 Hamilton not 2011 Hamilton when we would have heaps of broken chassis on both sides by now and a more sour season.

    1. And it’s not like Max doesn’t know how to hand a place back safely. He did just that in Bahrain. Slowed down sensibly off line and let Lewis through. I don’t blame Lewis for being cautious given the earlier incidents in the Saudi race.

      1. @tommy-c Max himself handed the place back safely a few laps later. Same race, same track, which reflects even worse on his first attempt.

  65. I hope maax loses this championships fight next week. Only because he should realise he could have easily won it had he actually driven a cleaner crash free season. Silverstone, Saudi, brazil where ever. He relies more on crashing than on actually being the better driver in the better car wgich he could have been. Should have been. But ultimately was not. So He will lose this championship. And he has only himaelf and redbull to blame for not controlling him where they ahould have. The prestige is the drivers championship as per Horner. Not the dirty defending or passing.

  66. @keithcollantine Show us the nationalities of who voted “far to lenient”. I’ll bet you that 90% is English. Poll is not based on logic, but on favoritism.

    1. Still brits have more racing history and knowledge than beer dinkig netherland teens

      1. The amount of solid counter arguments on this website is admirable. Maybe Liberty has finally drawn in their target audience

  67. Looking at the telemetry data this shows once again there is zero value in the outcome of this years championship. Lewis throttle line goes up twice. He was deliberately trying to stay behind the drs line as well. Therefore the penalty is not only harsh but injustified. The length every one has gone through, to let Lewis have this year again is comparable to the Prost Senna days. First he needed years of the best car and no competition, now he has 1 single car challenging him and their answer is to destroy this person off track, get some favours tyre wise, pitstop wise and wings wise. Still not enough, so we also bump him off twice… This has nothing to do with sports or a fair competition. I’ve been watching since the 70s and frankly this is a new low point after the Suzuka incidents with Prost & Senna. Utterly corrupt environment that has become blatantly clear. Alonso was not so far from the truth about this not really being an international competition.

    1. Nell (@imabouttogoham)
      7th December 2021, 9:46

      This post is “old man yells at cloud” stuff, unbelievable.

      1. Good counter argument. Makes me considering changing my view on this. Thanks for that

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      7th December 2021, 10:20

      Is this your last time here now that F1 is corrupt against your preferred driver?

      There is no point in carrying on telling us how it is as no-one at the FIA cares anymore for Max and RBR. Is that how you see it?

      Both rhetorical questions of course.

      1. I have no preferred driver watching since the 70s. I have some I like better than others (Mansell, Senna, Lewis, Max). I used to love Hamilton before his true nature came out when fighting Rosberg. On top of that I started to dislike him more and more since he and his followers seem not able to reflect on the amount of luck and help he has had from an unprecedented dominance of the Mercedes car for a full regulatory period. But if you point at that people just start harassing you and calling names. Kind of confirms the situation, won’t you think?

  68. VER’s dirty driving is not discriminatory to anyone driver. Classic is RIC @ Baku. He weaves under braking, but dives right in front of his team-mate knowingly taking significant air from RIC. Yet, the stewards failed to state him as the predominant cause. Their lack of responsible action has effectively given VER license to continue. Brazil, where VER did flick the car 3/4 thru the corner, the stewards made a call without telemetry.
    Then refused Merc appeal which tendered telemetry. By refusing the appeal, the telemetry [that should have been included in their original decision] was still not used.
    At Jeddah, telemetry was used to determine the sudden braking, whilst in the middle of the track. His action later in letting HAM passed in a professional manner [no sudden movement & moving over to the side] clearly demonstrates he knew exactly what he was doing @ Turn 27.
    I understand it is alleged VER has since made a comment “in Brazil it was fine and now suddenly I get a penalty for it.” If it is correct, I have a little empathy for VER, The real problem for his confusion is clearly woeful stewarding in Brazil.
    FIA shouid ensure their stewards are their most experienced @ YAS – they may well be pivital.

  69. Ok, my take on this, though some have already posted similar: I feel the penalty is just about justified, because it’s impossible to determine what the thoughts of the drivers were, the amount of information they had and how they acted upon it. Brake testing is usually followed by the stake and eternal damnation, but seeing the footage it’s not as clear cut.

    For me it’s obvious they were both being strategic and that ultimately led to a collision. Both had more than enough opportunity to avoid this and both chose not to. My feeling is that Max in his mind feels like he has to race on and over the line to keep the Merc behind (at least when it’s driven by Lewis, Bottas again was too slow in that car). Being the leader he can afford a collision with both DNF. Lewis (to me!) came across as playing his game and was almost daring Max to hit the brakes, get a soft touch and cry foul to the world. But no one will know for sure.

    Problem is of course that stewarding has been inconsistent all season. Starting in Bahrain, RBR felt that the stewards who let Lewis ignore track limits for most of the race (though Lewis knew he shouldn’t and could get penalized but decided to go with it for as long as he would get away with it) all of a sudden thought it was a problem when RBR told Max he could do it too (I still remember when Lewis was told he said “I’ve been racing there all day, man”). Then when Max had to give up the position it was clear he wanted to use the rules without any regard of the situation. He was ready to take 5 seconds instead of giving up the position. That for me was a clear indication that both of these great drivers would (and will) do anything to win.

    I have no doubt that this will continue in Abu Dhabi. I hope it doesn’t end in the first corner, and I’m sure Max will try to win without any incidents, but I’m also sure Max will do anything (and I do mean anything!) to keep his lead and Lewis will do anything to take it from him. Both drivers have been bending and breaking the rules, although in the last few weeks Max has had the luxury the last races that he has a points advantage in the championship. He drives accordingly where double DNF’s don’t hurt him as much as his opponent. They should have stopped that behaviour in Brazil, but didn’t.

  70. Stupid decision:

    Erratic driving is the keyword.

    Facts: – They both drive to complete the race fastest.
    – one slows down to let the other pass by
    – the other decides not to pass because of DRS detection point
    – Lewis drives into the back of the preceding car

    It is already erratic when you do not want to overtake. That is why it is called racing. And for winning you need to overtake.

    Suppose the gearbox failed on Max car? Or the brake disk slams jammed. Lewis would have hit the preceding car also. He was to close. And the erratic began already when one does not want to overtake the other…..

    He could drive alongside , Lewis had options to. And Max was determined to let him by. So he slowed down even more.

    Since both cars were damaged and there was no sensible way to continue to race in a fair way unless you stop the complete race was to disqualify BOTH drivers for erratical driving. And by regulations this is possible as well.

    The result: no points taken or given away

    1. Don’t understand why this is not clear either.

  71. It is not permitted to drive any car unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time.”

    That being said, where’re the penalty for HAM? He obviously did not have any reason to drive slower, plus enough free space to the left or right to overtake.

    1. I read just now Red Bull are contemplating a protest and want Lewis penalized also. My guess is an offer to Mercedes of a 5 second penalty.

  72. You’d have to be a special kind of idiot to think that any F1 driver would purposely want another driver to hit their car.

    Whatever you think of Max as a person, why logically would on a world stage with millions watching his every move, in multi camera angles, purposely want Ham to hit him?

    Confuse ham yes, but certainly not be hit by him. Max knew he had a great chance of winning, the car was strong and even a second place would have been worth it. Trying to have another car hit yours is far too risky and just as likely to ruin your car as your opponents. Maybe even more so as front wings can be changed, rear wings in race basically not.

    I really think some of you have let your hate for Max cloud your rational thinking.

  73. What I’m puzzled with is the lack of comments on the actions of Max when he was supposed to be giving the place up… The fact that as soon as he had brake checked Lewis, he floored the throttle and shot off into the distance – hardly the actions of someone giving up a place! And shouldn’t that have also incurred yet another penalty for not relinquishing the position as instructed?

    1. You’re right, it looked a little weird, but if you think more, that’s the thing to do if you ask me. I mean, when you’re hit you want to go away from the accident if you can still continue the race. Then, maybe HAM would have had to retire the car, VER would have got a penalty (10s, 20s, black flag…. don’t know), but that would have followed in the next laps. For sure in the following few seconds he had no idea what the real situation was, the only thing to do is keep driving if you ask me. Also, at the restart, he was accused of overtaking while going off-track… Well, the way I see it he tried to overtake, he was side by side with HAM and had 2 wheels off-track, then HAM pushed him off-track. The best thing to in that case is to continue and give the place back later. Braking just to keep it within the white lines and not make an illegal overtaking would have been a lot riskier: big chances to be hit from behind and maybe even retire from the race.

  74. I genuinely find it remarkable that this question marked such consternation – I mean, its not exactly controversial or debateable that he slammed on in front of Hamilton…

  75. On the evidence they had the stewards decided that Verstappen did brake test Hamilton and yet they give him a completely meaningless punishment of a ten second penalty that did nothing, they knew the final classification and the time gaps so they knew that the penalty wasn’t even a punishment for Verstappen.

    Any true F1 fan would say the penalty was far too lenient.

    If someone had said before the race that the telemetry showed the stewards that someone had brake tested another driver leading to a collision I would be thinking the punishment might even be a disqualification not a slap on the wrist.

    The stewards repeated failure to punish Verstappen when he breaks the rules has only encouraged him and led to this sort of behaviour.

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