Red Bull’s bid to have a review of the 10-second penalty Lewis Hamilton received for colliding with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix has been rejected – while Mercedes have responded by accusing their rivals of trying to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity” of their lead driver.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton was handed the penalty at Silverstone for being “predominantly” – according to the stewards – to blame for the collision at Copse corner, which sent Verstappen into the barriers at 180mph.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was furious and his team submitted a ‘petition for review’ on Friday, which was discussed by stewards and representatives from both Mercedes and Red Bull via video conference on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The FIA’s International Sporting Code permits such requests for a review if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.”
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Red Bull submitted four pieces of evidence, which were all slides created by the team, to show:
- GPS data available to them of both Hamilton and Verstappen’s car
- GPS data drawing “various alleged comparisons” with the line taken by Hamilton when passing Charles Leclerc for the lead later in the race at the same corner
- Alleged lap simulations of the incident
- What was described as a “re-enactment” of Hamilton’s lap one line at Silverstone based on a lap allegedly driven by Alex Albon
The final piece of evidence was gathered during a filming day the team conducted with their reserve driver at Silverstone last Thursday.
After looking at the information presented to them, the stewards deemed it did not qualify as a “significant and relevant new element”.
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They added that some of the slides were “not ‘discovered’ but created for the purposes of submissions to support the petition for review. And they were created based on evidence that was available at the time of the decisions. That clearly does not satisfy the requirements of Article 14.”
As a result they dismissed the request for a review, which means Hamilton’s penalty stands, as does his victory.
They added: “The Stewards note, with some concern, certain allegations [which have not been made public] made in the Competitor’s above letter. Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the Stewards if the Petition for Review had been granted. The Stewards may have addressed these allegations directly in any decision that would have followed. The Petition having been dismissed, the Stewards make no comments on those allegations.”
After the decision was announced, Mercedes released a statement accusing Red Bull of trying to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton.”
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After welcoming the stewards decision, the statement went on to say: “In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review.
“We now look forward to going racing this weekend and to continuing our hard-fought competition for the 2021 Formula One World Championship.”
Red Bull have yet to comment publicly on the stewards’ decision.