Red Bull and Mercedes summoned to FIA hearing on review of Sao Paulo incident

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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[raceweekendpromotion]An FIA hearing will take place tomorrow to decide whether an incident which occured between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the Sao Paulo Grand Prix will be reviewed.

Representatives of the Mercedes and Red Bull teams have been summoned to attend a meeting at 5pm local time in Qatar at the Losail International Circuit where this weekend’s race is being held.

Mercedes submitted its request to review the incident yesterday, claiming new evidence relevant to the incident had emerged.

The two championship contenders ran wide at Descida do Lago – turn four – in the incident on lap 48 of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. At the time, stewards made the decision not to investigate it, although FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi later admitted they did not have access to forward-facing onboard footage from Verstappen’s car at the time.

The footage from that camera was released yesterday. Mercedes is expected to use this to press for a review of the decision not to investigate. The team manager and up to three witnesses relevant to the incident may also attend, from both Mercedes and Red Bull.

“In accordance with [article] 14 ISC, this hearing is to determine whether the Right of Review exists in this case, i.e. whether ‘a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.’,” said a statement from the sport’s governing body.

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2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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98 comments on “Red Bull and Mercedes summoned to FIA hearing on review of Sao Paulo incident”

  1. If they don’t even review it then their bias is clear. The video and telemetry is clear new evidence and needs to be investigated.

    Find him guilty or not guilty after that, but they need to open a review or else they shoot themselves in the foot going forward.

    There’s precedent of them opening new investigations based on new onboard footage, so that needs to continue. Why couldn’t they just avoid all this and actually investigate it during or even after the race?! F1 is so poorly run sometimes.

    1. I wouldn’t hold your breath. I’ve just heard the official written response from the FIA to Mercedes now refers to Turn 4 as the Verstappen Straight.

    2. Not so sure. I’ve just heard the official response from the FIA to Mercedes now refers to Turn 4 as the Verstappen Straight.

    3. I don’t understand Mercedes right to review appeal very well. Hamilton was ultimately unaffected by this incident and if Max had a 5 second penalty during the race, he would have kept Bottas 5 seconds behind him to keep 2nd place safe. Toto says he wants to see the battle resolved on the tarmac and not in the stewards office.
      For a right of review you have to come up with new evidence, but are those onboard videos really new evidence? Even without the onboard video you could see that Max did not turned in immediately and that he pushed Lewis out. Apparently Michael Masi didn’t think that was worth a punishment so if that is the case then that won’t change with those onboard videos so you can’t speak of completely new evidence so the right to review should already be rejected for this reason alone.

      1. Yes, he did not turn in and pushed Lewis out… The video makes that abundantly clear. So, that is illegal and has been penalized many times this season. Are you saying Max needs a different set of rules applied to him? Are you saying that it’s okay to risk a crash with another driver is acceptable? I mean let’s not even talk about the weaving under braking. With the “tell them I said hi” response. When you break the rules you get a penalty even if that rule was broken by 0.2 mm. :)

      2. BTW Lewis was given a 10 second penalty for a similar type of incident. Horner was screaming bloody murder. But when it’s Max doing it, it’s only letting them race. See the problem?

        1. Hamilton was given a 10 second penalty for “causing a collision.” Whatever your views on the merits of the incident, no collision occurred in Brazil so it cannot be viewed as comparable.

          1. @red-andy because Hamilton backed out of the overtake. Had he kept his natural line, there would’ve been a collision. And, as Masi himself has stated before, “it is a long-held convention for motor sport stewards to base their decisions on the incident alone, and not its consequences”.

            I think this image (taken from Jolyon Palmer’s analysis posted yesterday on YouTube) speaks for itself:

            How can anyone think that going this far off track while defending an overtake and keeping the position is “let them race”? I’m sorry, I just don’t understand it.

          2. the no collision occurred, is not thanks to Max.. that was LH using his brains to avoid a conflict..

            by your argument, Max could’ve avoided that collision in silverstone by running on to the gravel.. he had that option.. see? that makes no sense does it..

            same way, there is now evidence for what was known as a fact.. so that means, investigation and penalty (if needed )is necessary

      3. Apparently Michael Masi didn’t think that was worth a punishment

        At the very least, we’ll all learn how the stewarding works in F1. Michael Masi doesn’t decide if something is worth a penalty or not. Masi noted the incident and sent it to the stewards for review. The stewards then decided it was not worth even investigating, and Masi duly notified their decision (and had to argue with the teams).

        Like or loathe Masi (I’m not exactly his biggest fan), this decision had nothing to do with him, even if his voice is the only one we hear.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          18th November 2021, 7:00

          @warheart Yep that correct. Finally someone who understands the (albeit very confusing) difference between the race director and stewards.

      4. @kavu it’s not just the video footage, but also the telemetry data from Max’s car that could be drawn upon – that has been released, but we also know from Masi that the stewards didn’t look at that at the time either.

        As for the argument “well, he was unaffected, so they shouldn’t bother investigating” – considering that other drivers have been investigated and penalised for similar incidents even if the driver chasing them did eventually get past them, why should it be any different with Max?

      5. They need to clarify the rules as the FIA/Stewards are basically saying rules don’t apply if you’re “racing hard” – say hi!

  2. No thanks to steward intervention, tough racing with 4 races to go. Imagine verstappen is penalised for it after Hamilton went unpunished at Silverstone

    1. @scuderia29 Wake up. Hamilton was penalized at Silverstone.

    2. @scuderia29 Hamilton was penalized at Silverstone.

    3. @david-br Wake up. Hamilton was punished at Silverstone.

    4. @scuderia29 Hamilton did receive a penality. Apologies if all the other ‘pending’ replies also appear at some time in the distant future :(

    5. Hamilton received and served a 10 second penalty during the race in Silverstone

    6. Imagine if Verstappen isn’t penalised for it after Hamilton was penalised 10 seconds in Silverstone.

    7. @scuderia29 Hamilton got a 10 second penalty in Silverstone. Try again.

    8. @scuderia29 Hamilton received a 10 second penalty during the race.

    9. Wasnt “unpunished”. Got 10 sec penalty!!

    10. “after Hamilton went unpunished at Silverstone”

      Huh! I beg your pardon?

      You must have been watching a different Silverstone Grand Prix from the multiverse

    11. Um Ben,
      Hamilton got a ten second penalty at Silverstone, check your memory old chap.

    12. There are 3 races left, every point counts, thats why red bull are making much more noise to get mercedes distracted banned or penalized in every sneeze… i think it is time they get same due treatment.
      ham was penalized and yet max isnt and blatantly saying nothing to investigate?
      One thing is let them race, other is dont decide/effect wdc with penalties… how is not penalizing an punishable event is not gonna effect wdc? extremely illogical! max gained a lasting advantage and could also cause a serious accident but lewis avoided it max did try to cause it! every scenario about that move involves max having the advantage… crash dnf both he keeps point advantage, force ham off, keep position and maybe finish ahead (lewis finished ahead anyway is not excuse or right way to argue about it!!!!) by not getting a penalty at all, he kept extra 3 points, if he was given 10 sec penalty maybe perez would not really pit himself? maybe he would drop behind perez? and loose further points? how is this not effecting race result is not effecting race result? it is only benefiting the guilty driver and giving all sort of wrong messages about him getting away with it while keeping the points too.

    13. “Hamilton went unpunished at Silverstone”

      Please don’t post falsehoods. Lewis received a 10 second stop penalty at Silverstone, which is equivalent to a 30 second time penalty.

      1. That’s the stop and go… he got a 10 sec time penalty which is 1\3 of a stop and go, and furthermore it was irrelevant to the result, he went unpunished.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          17th November 2021, 21:56

          @esploratore1 Hamilton was punished for Silverstone, but he overcame that punishment and won the race. Nothing wrong with that. I could concede a penalty in a football game and the opposition could score but if I then score a hat-trick at the other end we could still win.

          Similarly, Verstappen’s 3 place grid penalty for Russia was essentially nullified by his engine penalty that Red Bull were expecting to take at some point in the season anyway.

        2. According to that logic he wasn’t punished for a faulty DRS in Brazil either then, because he won that race too.

        3. Finally, some sense on here.

        4. @esploratore1 So there are penalties and punishments. It’s all a bit religiously medieval, the ‘punishment’ bit…

          1. Some people are really funny. It is almost like football, u get a penalty and goalkeeper saves it, u go back and complain it doesn’t count because goal is not achieved, so penalty is irrelevant as punishment is not fulfilled…

            I really hope Mercedes does not back down, as it would really legitimize max move and disrespect everyone who received a penalty in exact same situation if not much less intent. Ham has been bumped off the road far too many times by max and not penalised for it is already damaging the image of f1.

        5. @esploratore1 Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    14. Well this is awkward..

    15. To the clones, yes hambo was not penalised for Silverstone. Ten second slap on the wrist in the dominant car when you’ve knocked your only competitor out isn’t even worth mentioning.

      If you want to punish Max for Brazil with a small penalty then hambo should have been given a race ban at the minimum

    16. I think you mean Lewis wasn’t correct penaultized causing a collision. He should have a stop and go for the punishment because Max was send into the barriers (with total damage) The problem is the rules doesn’t factor these little but very important things.

      Very strange there wasn’t any penaulties so why are they talking about revising that i thought you could only ask for revising on penaulties.

  3. My guess they will look at the incident – the video is compelling enough.

    The outcome? Tough one, either nothing or a 3 place grid drop, which at that point RB will likely fit a new engine.

    1. I’m guessing nothing. I cannot recall Masi ever admitting to being wrong about something, so my guess is he will not be willing to change the decision, because that would amount to and admission of fault.

      Hope I’m wrong though – MV has been getting away with these sort of dangerous, unsportsmanlike tactics for far too long.

    2. Time penalty applied to them at the next grand prix. It’s the only answer

  4. It doesn’t matter. The season is over. Mercedes is going to put a new engine in every race. But if the engine makes that much difference, then who won the last six WC? The engine, or the driver? Well played, Mercedes.

    1. Maybe well played but poor for the sport. If Mercedes Wins again….I will find an other sport to watch, and a lot with me. LH becomes boring and yes he can drive but that car does 75% of the job. I would like to see JR in this car and see what he does ict Lewis almighty. An other speech would also be appreciated. Every week the same story: greatest crowd ever, fans here ( wherever he is) are amazing…bla bla. Sounds really fake to me. Sorry, thats just how I feel.

      1. If Lewis wins this year then you wont see George Russel in the car next year because you wont be watching F1?

    2. and Max Verstappen is pedalling the RB ala Flintstones?


    4. If I had a penny for every time someone said “the season is over” this year.. Then I could buy Haas

      1. Haas isn’t worth THAT much!

      2. And if I would get a penny for each article on this matter I could buy Hamilton a new rear wing and Michael Masi some new glasses.

    5. lexusreliability?
      17th November 2021, 22:30

      @Honest John

      But if the engine makes that much difference, then who won the last six WC

      F1 has always been about the car (and driver). You only waking up to this fact now? I think it has to be asked how long you have actually been watching F1. You will struggle to find a driver who won the championship without a constructors winning car.

      1. incidentally, the last one who did it is Lewis!!

    6. It will be lewis as driver and Mercedes as constructor. Its the way of f1. Or wait verstappen can jump on a rock and. Make it go let alone win hey such is the talent of everyone except Lewis.

    7. Remember 2019 when Ferrari had the best engine? But their drivers kept crashing and fighting over team orders? There is really a lot more to it than just the engine.

      Besides the only times that Hamilton got near enough to Verstappen was when Verstappen made big mistakes in the Senna S (ie falling for HAmilton’s dummy)

    8. That is what i am afraid off too if the engine is so strong and the new engine penaulty is so little. I think Engines should be incluced in the budget soon.

  5. Its a tricky one. I don’t really see why footage was so lacking on this one. Normally the race director would ask Red Bull to give the place to Hamilton within a few laps or risk investigation.

    With the no message like this it has put Verstappen at risk of losing second place. I don’t think he was driving flat out to keep 5 seconds ahead of Bottas but maybe he was and didn’t have the pace at that stage. However if he just had to give the place over to Hamilton 2nd place would have been guaranteed.

  6. I think the best outcome would be if the stewards decide to lock Horner and Woolf in a soundproof room until next Monday.

    1. That would be bliss. If they could make it Monday 13th of December, I’d never complain about a stewards’ decision again.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        17th November 2021, 21:58

        @mrfill and @neilosjames Yep. Both of them. Add Marko, Jonathan Wheatley and Ron Meadows as well please.

    2. Mwahahaha just excellent 😁😁
      You rock man ! Lmao 😁

  7. Davethechicken
    17th November 2021, 19:27

    Max will lose a lot of kudos with RBR if this attracts a penalty that ultimately loses the WDC or WCC. There was absolutely no need for it, nor the weaving that gave him a black and white flag for unsporting to conduct. Either way these are actions he will be remembered for in the years to come.

    1. Horner loved it, Helmut too. They’re all cut from the same cloth.

  8. The one thing that MUST come out of this at the very least is clarification.

    EITHER the stewards deem that this new evidence adds nothing to the case, and that Max’s role in the incident remains acceptable, then they will need to provide clarity as to:
    – Why this type of incident does not warrant an investigation or penalty.
    – How this type of incident differs from other similar incidents for which drivers have been penalised.

    OR if the use of new evidence leads the stewards to change their ruling and impose a penalty, then they must explain:
    – Why this new evidence is the game-changer.
    – Why they originally chose to not investigate in the first place despite knowing that key evidence which was not available at the time would eventually become available to them after the race.

    1. The sort of already said so though. No contact no incident. So when Hamilton chooses not to crash then Verstappen gets away with it. When Verstappen turns in extra sharp in Silverstone (you can see him do this from the on-board) and goes for the collision then Hamilton gets the penalty.

      1. That was my take on Silverstone – Max was fully aware of where Lewis was, yet still turns further right causing the incident, because Lewis is only half alongside the INSIDE of Max, the crash happens and Lewis gets the 10 second penalty. In Sau Paolo (and in other Races!!) Lewis steers to avoid the collision with Max, gets disadvantaged and Max goes without penalty. While the stewards fail to reprimand Max for his driving “style” he’ll keep doing it until someone gets seriously injured… And before I get the expected reply’s from the Lewis haters – I do think that Max is a very good driver (as with Lewis) that in combination with his car consistently outperforms his team mate in the same equipment.

  9. I do believe Mercedes just putting new engines in with Lewis overcoming the resulting penalty, makes a mockery of the intent of the rule.

    Why don’t budget caps come into play? These engines are not cheap.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      17th November 2021, 21:59

      @psynrg You’ve answered your own question there is a way. The engines are so expensive that trying to budget cap them would be almost impossible. There’s a limit on how much manufacturers can charge customers for engines, but I don’t think a cap on how much manufacturers can spend on them

    2. @psynrg It’s funny (or rather depressing) how many people simply lap up the nonsensical propaganda coming out of Marko and Horner’s mouths as if actually holds any truth at all. Or perhaps they just don’t understand poor corner exits onto a straight have an effect on straight line speed.

      Just check the maximum speeds as posted by the FIA for each session. Hamilton is not fastest. In fact Gasly is faster than Hamilton through most of the speed traps.

      Verstappen is near the bottom through most speed traps, but that’s his own choice to go for maximum downforce.

      While Hamilton would have his car set up for overtaking so indeed it should have a higher straight line speed.

      As Ferrari commented, then engine will have an effect, but it’s not the reason why Hamilton was doing so well.

      1. @f1osaurus Are you suggesting that the new engine didn’t give Hamilton a straight line advantage at Brazil? Mercedes played it very well in Brazil, the new engine was more an advantage than the 5 place grid drop was a disadvantage. I don’t understand why you get upset when people @psynrg are questioning the engine rules. Not every criticism towards the engin