Red Bull appealed to the FIA after Max Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for an unsafe release, which would have cost him victory in the Belgian Grand Prix. The decision was overturned, but the fight between Hamilton and Verstappen has continued with both drivers accusing each other of dangerous driving.
The f1 news is the latest in the ongoing feud between Red Bull and Formula 1. Red Bull filed an appeal against Max Verstappen’s penalty, but it was rejected by the FIA.
HUNGARY’S BUDAPEST — Since their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, collided on the track during the British Grand Prix earlier this month, F1’s top two teams, Mercedes and Red Bull, have been engaged in a war of words.
Off the track, emotions reached a climax on Thursday as Red Bull’s demand for a stiffer punishment for Hamilton for the accident became heated before being denied by the sport’s governing body, the FIA.
Here’s all you need to know about the continuing dispute and why it’s left both teams and the FIA bitter.
What’s the backstory here?
Red Bull has a chance to win the Formula One championship for the first time in seven years, and its best driver, Max Verstappen, is in the lead. He’ll face seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who has possessed the quickest vehicle for the last seven years but is suddenly facing an external challenge to his Formula One dominance.
Verstappen had been gaining ground before to the collision at Silverstone, and had won three races in a row when he arrived at Hamilton’s home event. Hamilton needed to battle back in Great Britain to remain in the championship chase, and he did it — although with a very contentious result. Hamilton and Verstappen collided on the first lap of the British Grand Prix while battling for the lead, after coming near to colliding during races in Italy, Portugal, and Spain earlier this year. Hamilton made touch with Verstappen’s right-rear tyre as he tried to overtake him on the inside of the 180mph Copse turn, putting the Dutchman into the barriers and out of the race.
On contact with the crash barrier, Verstappen was subjected to 51 times the force of gravity and was transported to the hospital for precautionary tests before being granted a clean bill of health later that evening. The FIA’s stewards — basically F1’s referees — examined the incident, and Hamilton was handed a 10-second time penalty for being “predominantly” to fault for the mishap.
Hamilton served his penalty at a pit stop during the race and, despite falling to fourth position, battled back to win at home and earn 25 points in the championship, reducing the deficit to Verstappen to eight points. Hamilton said he had no need to apologize after the race, while Verstappen said Hamilton was “disrespectful” for celebrating while still in the hospital, and Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, called Hamilton a “amateur” and “desperate.”
Red Bull used its right to apply for a review of the stewards’ decision in the week after the race, a right that is open to all teams if they feel information that was not previously examined by the stewards has subsequently come to light.
-Verstappen: At Silverstone, Mercedes revealed their real colors.
-Red Bull’s criticism of Hamilton was “below the belt,” according to Wolff.
What did Red Bull want to accomplish?
After the British Grand Prix, Max Verstappen accused Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes of rudeness. Getty Images/Mark Thompson
Simply put, Red Bull was attempting to persuade the stewards to rethink their decision and impose a stiffer punishment. Horner was clearly angry with the result after the collision, and Red Bull’s senior adviser, Helmut Marko, even asked for Hamilton to be banned for one race.
A ten-second penalty, the second-lightest punishment possible to the stewards, was not enough for Red Bull, particularly because Hamilton went on to win the race for Mercedes while Red Bull was left with a driver in the hospital and a $1.8 million repair cost.
However, in order for the stewards to reconsider their judgment, Red Bull had to provide fresh information that had not been examined at the time and was strong enough to reopen the inquiry. It was revealed on Thursday evening that the team went to considerable measures to attempt to do so, including staging a re-enactment of Hamilton’s path around the turn using its reserve driver Alexander Albon and a two-year-old vehicle during a filming day at Silverstone last Thursday.
The goal was to show that Hamilton’s entrance speed and angle into the corner were inevitably going to result in a collision, bolstering the argument that Hamilton was entirely to fault (rather than mostly) for the accident and deserved a heavier punishment.
While it is common for teams to examine major incidents in order to better understand their causes, it is unusual for a team to do a physical re-enactment of one side of an event in order to persuade stewards to alter their minds. However, the Albon filming day at Silverstone, which the team had planned to conduct anyway, was primarily meant to supplement simulations and in-race data that the team had collected as its primary case for a heavier punishment.
“Because it was a promotional filming day with clearly a two-year-old vehicle, the test was pre-planned from the beginning,” Horner said. “It’s a means of keeping our backup driver fresh and race-ready as well.” That day had been planned for a while, and it wasn’t only for the re-enactment.
“What we did during the test was ask Alex to drive a comparable route to back up the simulations that we ran in our simulation tools, including the driver simulator, to show the result of driving that line and the importance of knowing where your braking point should be.”
“We couldn’t match Lewis’s pace on that stretch of road. In terms of circumstances, it was clearly quite comparable. And it was simply a piece of information that confirmed what we’d observed in all of our simulations.”
Comparisons of GPS data between Hamilton’s attempted move on Verstappen on lap one and his successful overtake on Charles Leclerc at the same corner on lap 50 of the same race were included in Red Bull’s final dossier. The goal was to demonstrate how different Hamilton’s attitude was on both instances, in an effort to transfer more responsibility for the Verstappen incident onto Hamilton.
Red Bull believed that the evidence it collected, as well as simulations based on that data to demonstrate what was feasible based on Hamilton’s position and speed approaching the turn, would persuade the stewards to reconsider their judgment. It said Hamilton slammed the brakes 23 metres too late to avoid colliding with Verstappen, but Horner said it stopped short of saying Hamilton intentionally crashed with Verstappen.
“We presented that data to the stewards, and they gave us a fair hearing yesterday where we talked through that data, the positioning of the cars, the speed of the cars, the fact that Lewis would have had to brake 23 metres earlier to even make the corner, the fact that Max was on the same trajectory as Charles Leclerc, and that Charles’ result would have been identical had L been on the same trajectory as L had L been on the same trajectory as L had L been on the same trajectory as L had L been “We provided the facts, and we believe we were given a fair hearing. Because the stewards did not believe there was fresh evidence under the rules, it was not opened to a new hearing. That is something we accept.”
What were the stewards’ reasons for rejecting it?
The same four stewards needed to be persuaded that Red Bull had provided fresh evidence that was “substantial and relevant” to the event, “found (as opposed to manufactured)” and “unavailable at the time of the decision” in order to restart their inquiry. They concluded that the slides provided in the paper accomplished nothing of the kind after reading over Red Bull’s dossier and summoning representatives from both Red Bull and Mercedes.
“What was submitted to the stewards was not a substantial and important new element,” the stewards said in their summary, adding “the slides… relied on as new evidence were not ‘found,’ but manufactured for the purposes of submissions to support the petition for review.”
In summary, nothing in Red Bull’s dossier convinced the stewards that the inquiry should be reopened.
However, the stewards’ report ended on an intriguing note, stating that there was “some worry” about allegations in Red Bull’s dossier.
“The stewards take notice of some accusations stated in the competitor’s aforesaid letter with considerable concern. If the petition for review had been granted, such accusations may or might not have been relevant to the stewards.
“In any subsequent judgment, the stewards may have explicitly addressed these accusations. The stewards make no comment on the accusations since the petition was rejected.”
Although it was not mentioned in the summary, it seems that the stewards were irritated by Red Bull’s inquiries throughout the review process about whether they were influenced by Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff before making their judgment at Silverstone. During the red-flag period after the collision on the first lap of the British Grand Prix, Wolff wrote an email to FIA race director Michael Masi explaining why Hamilton’s maneuver was acceptable, according to the FIA’s own stewarding records.
From the pit wall intercom, Wolff followed up on the email by radioing Masi and asked whether the email had been received. During the red-flag halt, Masi instructed Wolff to take whatever evidence he had related to the event straight to the stewards, who operate independently from Masi.
Drivers and team representatives are encouraged to provide evidence to the stewards in post-race penalty scenarios, but it seems that Red Bull believed Mercedes was surrounding the referee in this case.
After the request for a review was denied on Friday at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Horner claimed Red Bull was just trying to figure out what was permitted in terms of contact with the stewards and had not, in his judgment, indicated the stewards had been influenced by Wolff.
“We spoke about the process of contacting the stewards throughout the course of an event in the submission, and I believe the FIA has clearly defined the procedure for that today, which we’re happy with and glad for,” Horner added. “So it was one of the most important, relevant grounds [for the review request].”
“At no time did we doubt the FIA’s impartiality.” We believed that we had fresh evidence that we wanted them to examine, so we utilized the right of appeal that other teams have used as well — I believe both guys on my left and right have used it before. We thought they were being objective about it.
“I believe the one point we made was that impartiality may be tainted if you’re swayed by having a rival come in with statistics before making a judgment. And I believe that… we were told that we had no impact on the decision-making, and I believe that the explanations that have come out recently about visiting the stewards’ office during a grand prix clearly address that, and we’re more than happy with that.”
What was the source of Mercedes’ dissatisfaction?
Toto Wolff, the CEO of Mercedes, was displeased with Lewis Hamilton’s post-race comments. Mercedes
Mercedes released the following statement after the stewards denied Red Bull’s request for a review on Thursday evening, expressing its own reservations over Red Bull’s conduct.
“In addition to putting a stop to this event, we hope that this judgment will signal the end of a deliberate effort by Red Bull Racing’s senior management to smear Lewis Hamilton’s good reputation and sports integrity, including in the papers filed for their failed right of review.”
“Now we look forward to racing this weekend and continuing our hard-fought race for the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2021.”
When questioned by ESPN what precisely was in the papers that had tainted Hamilton’s reputation, Wolff said: “I believe the comments made during and after the Silverstone Grand Prix were simply expanded upon in the document. Instead of focusing only on the event, take a broader view of it. That was a step too far, among other things.”
He said, ” “I believe that everyone must determine whether or not to apologize. We believed that remarks made during and after the race, both in written declarations and during the meeting, were unprofessional. It’s not up to me to demand apologies, and it’s not something Lewis would desire.” Despite Wolff’s decision not to make a direct reference to the substance of Red Bull’s papers presented to the stewards, Mercedes obviously believed Horner’s post-race remarks were repeated in the accident dossier. Horner, on the other hand, maintained that his team was just working in its own best interests and had no intention of tarnishing Hamilton’s image.
“First and foremost, it was not a personal assault on Lewis Hamilton,” he said. “Lewis Hamilton is a seven-time world champion, and his accomplishments speak for themselves.
“If there had been any other rival on the grid, we would have handled the situation the same way.” I believe that I, like everyone else, have a right have an opinion on the event.
“Obviously, emotions are running high at the moment. We’d lost the vehicle in its entirety under a budget cap situation for something the stewards didn’t consider to be Max’s fault, and we’d lost the driver who needed to be brought to the hospital for precautionary tests following an accident that would have certainly knocked out your ordinary human being.
“So it’s not personal, but even a seven-time world champion is capable of making errors or misjudgments. It’s just a reality of life. This has never been a personal matter for Lewis, and it would have been the same for any other driver or team on the grid.”
So, what’s next?
The rivalry between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton has taken on a new dimension as a result of the events that occurred during and after the British Grand Prix. Getty Images/Dan Istitene/Formula 1/Formula 1
The only thing the two sides seemed to agree on ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend was that it was time to de-escalate tensions and move on. During press conferences on Thursday and Friday, barbs were still hurled, but Red Bull has said that it would not pursue the matter further via the FIA’s official procedure.
“We performed simulations, and of course, given the magnitude of the event, we will always undertake a comprehensive investigation,” Horner added. “I mean, a 51G hit that sends a driver to the hospital and completely destroys a vehicle is something we’ll always take very seriously, and the driver’s safety is our first priority.”
“Of course, we looked at GPS data, car speeds, relative lines at various points throughout the race, the overtake on the same corner with Charles later in the race, what would have happened if Lewis had approached it in the same way, and obviously, taking all of that data into account, we felt this was relevant and new evidence with the simulations as well,” he said.
“We thought there was clearly enough; it was our right as competitors, and of course, this is a sport where every marginal gain counts, so it is absolutely our responsibility as a team fighting for the world championship to leave no stone unturned.” We thought it deserved a review — a fair evaluation — and although it wasn’t the reaction we had hoped for, we accept it and end the chapter.
Horner said, “I believe we’re in for an interesting second half of the year.” “I believe it is inevitable that these two drivers would start within close proximity in the next 12 or 13 races; we’ve seen the result of this event and now similar occurrences, and I just hope that doesn’t play a part in the championship’s outcome and future races.”
“I believe Formula One need substance, and controversy, as long as it revolves around the sport, can be very interesting,” Wolff said.
“However, there are some limits we must respect, and the sport should unify rather than polarize, particularly in a sport that cannot be proud of its diversity and equality at this point, and we just need to get the words right, so let’s strive to de-escalate rather than fuel.”
The Hungarian Grand Prix will be broadcast live on ESPN on September 1 from 8.55 a.m. (ET).
- red bull honda