Red Bull’s request for a reassessment of the penalty imposed on Lewis Hamilton at the British Grand Prix has been rejected by Formula 1 officials.
The Mercedes driver was deemed “mainly to blame” for a first-round collision with rival Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
Hamilton was fined 10 seconds.
The stewards in place for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix have decided that there is no significant additional evidence to consider.
Verstappen, 23, crashed out of the race, while Hamilton recovered to claim a spectacular victory.
The decision leaves Verstappen eight points ahead of Hamilton, 36, in the championship ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the last before a three-week summer break for F1.
Mercedes “welcomed” the decision but called the appeal and the submitted documents “a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good reputation and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton”.
What did Red Bull argue?
Red Bull presented a range of information they considered new evidence to the hearing, including GPS data from cars showing their positioning.
They also featured similar data, car speeds and simulation information from Ferrari’s Hamilton and Charles Leclerc in the maneuver in which the Mercedes driver took the lead with two laps to go.
Red Bull used Leclerc’s pass to claim Hamilton would have made contact in this move as well – had he been on the same line at the same speed as in the Verstappen incident.
Their goal was to establish ground rules after the collision for the remainder of the season, as the title battle between the two men comes to a head.
Red Bull also wanted to understand how the decision was made after such a serious accident.
Verstappen suffered a 51G impact when he struck the barriers at Copse’s corner at 190 mph and was rushed to hospital for testing. He was released later that evening unharmed except for bruising and aches.
Why was the case dismissed?
In order to reassess the matter, the Commissioners should have considered the evidence to be “new, important and relevant”; that it had been “discovered” rather than created and that it was not available at the time of the decision.
They ruled that there was nothing unavailable to the parties requesting the review at the time.
And they said the GPS data submissions were “created on the basis of evidence available at the time of the decision.”
The stewards said they “noted with some concern certain allegations” raised by Red Bull. They declined to comment further, and Mercedes also declined to respond to what Hamilton had been accused of by Red Bull.
The two drivers held their press conferences on Thursday – ahead of the hearing – and the media asked them further questions about the incident.
Hamilton said he called Verstappen in the days following the crash.
“I called Max to check he was okay,” Hamilton said. “And to let him know that the respect is still there.” Obviously, it may not be reciprocal, but that’s okay. “
And he said he didn’t regret the move.
“I would do it exactly like I did last time around,” Hamilton said. “In terms of how I looked or analyzed it, in all of my experience. And my experience over the years says it all. I wouldn’t change it. “
Hamilton has dismissed accusations made by Verstappen on the night of the incident and again on Thursday that he and the Mercedes team disrespected in celebrating their victory while the Dutchman was still being checked at the hospital.
“I don’t think our behavior was disrespectful,” Hamilton said, “but it’s one thing to know and then celebrate what happened and one thing not to know and celebrate. And I was not aware [he was in hospital].
“The emotions were high. It was not an intentional celebration. It was just the joy of seeing so many people together and celebrating. It was natural emotion. I will not hide my emotion. “
Verstappen’s point of view
Verstappen said: “One guy is in the hospital and the other is waving a flag like it’s okay after pushing a guy against a wall with 51Gs. Not only that, but the whole team reaction besides that.
“That’s not how you celebrate a win, especially how they got it. It shows what they really are. It comes out after a pressured situation. But I wouldn’t want to be seen like that. “
Verstappen said he thought Hamilton had “just misjudged the moment in this corner” and added that he would not change his approach to racing in Hamilton after the incident.
“Of course people easily say I’m an aggressive rider or whatever, which I don’t think I am.
“I’m a tough driver, I run tough but I think I know pretty well how to position my car. “
Verstappen reiterated that he still thinks the penalty should have been more severe, but added: “We are runners and we just keep moving forward.
“Of course, I’m not happy with what happened there. But keep pushing. We are still fighting for this championship together. I will run in the best way. “