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Hamilton failed to avoid contact say Silverstone stewards

NEWS STORY
18/07/2021

In their investigation of today's controversial first lap clash, the Silverstone stewards say that Lewis Hamilton failed to avoid contact with Max Verstappen.

In all honesty, had it continued, F1 fans of a certain age might have ended up passing out in need of oxygen, such was the frantic action in the opening moments of today's British Grand Prix.

Having learned his lesson from yesterday, when his title rival, Verstappen got the jump on him, world champion Lewis Hamilton was fully prepared second time around.

Though the Dutchman still got away well, Hamilton was with him all the way, and through every corner that followed the pair fought, both using every trick in the book, their every twist and turn cheered on by the huge crowd.

Finally, having pulled alongside Verstappen on the National Straight, as they headed into Copse, Hamilton was on the inside, Verstappen on the outside as they prepared for the Beckets, Maggots complex that follows.

However, as they battled for position, Hamilton caught the right-rear of the Red Bull with his left-front, sending Verstappen spinning off and crashing into the tyre wall backwards at high speed.

While the safety car was initially deployed, shortly after the race was red flagged as Verstappen climbed from his car to be taken to the medical centre.

As the drivers headed back to the pits ahead of the restart, representatives of both Red Bull and Mercedes were bombarding race director Michael Masi.

While Christian Horner laid the blame squarely at Hamilton's door, Helmut Marko went even further, calling for a race ban for the Briton.

The stewards, having reviewed the video and telemetry evidence, deemed that Verstappen and Hamilton entered Turn 9 (Copse) with the Red Bull in the lead and the Mercedes slightly behind and on the inside.

Hamilton was "on a line that did not reach the apex of the corner, with room available to the inside" they said, and when Verstappen "turned into the corner, Car 44 (Hamilton) did not avoid contact and the left front of Car 44 contacted the right rear of Car 33 (Verstappen)".

Finding that Hamilton "is judged predominantly at fault", the Briton was handed a 10s penalty and 2 penalty points.

That is the official finding, no doubt Red Bull and Mercedes have their own view of the incident.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 25/07/2021 22:37

"PS: I thought that Hamilton was very erratic in his racing that first half lap. I didn't view it as good racing at all. "

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2. Posted by elsiebc, 25/07/2021 22:34

"Actually, I find the stewards to be relatively consistent recently. No report was made on air about the two penalty points which would have not been consistent with other recent "failure to give room" events. The severity of the result should not change the penalty for the action, even if emotionally it can reasoned. Personally all of these on track actions of late are racing incidents and penalties should not be applied unless obviously malicious. You can always place blame when you over analyze anything. There will always be an "if only he didn't..." to penalize, no matter how big or inconsequential the action. It's racing, cars are gonna touch, stuff will happen, get over it. "

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3. Posted by Steve W, 20/07/2021 12:00

"Hamilton will always be shown favoritism and not because he's a 7-time champion."

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4. Posted by aroutis, 19/07/2021 7:18

"This decision sets a precedent that if you take out your WDC opponent, you get a 10s penalty, not even superlicence points.

This is what anyone should take out of this. This is why it is so wrong. And yes, Lewis knew exactly what he was doing, where he was doing it and that the way this championship is going, in his mind, he had no choice.
The myth of "clean" driver Lewis, is hereby over."

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5. Posted by Kallie61 , 18/07/2021 22:28

"It’s about time the Stewards got a cohesive punishment schedule. When Russell gets a 3 place grid penalty for hitting Saintz, yet saintz was not punished for driving, back onto the track afterwards unsafely.Then, of course as usual, Hamilton gets a menial punishment for causing a 51g crash, that only by the grace of god caused as it happens mild injuries, although I am sure he’ll feel it more tomorrow.
It doesn’t make sense, except to prove what we all knew is that Hamilton is the favourite.."

Rating: Positive (3)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Batman, 18/07/2021 22:04

"Let's replace Verstappen's name by Mr X and Lewis by Mr Y.
Mr Y knew that he would miss the apex and that the trajectory would widen somewhere and that Mr X would have to conced to avoid colliding.
Mr X knew that Mr Y was inside but on a slow trajectory and that he would have to conced somewhere to avoid colliding.

The corner his wide enough to accept both cars side by side but each one in his one speed and trajectory which at a point inevitably will cross over. With no conceding one another, the result was an invetability.
So I can't see anything more than a race incident were both drivers could well avoided the clash, considering that is a high speed corner. It's hard racing. Don't like it?"

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7. Posted by GreenFlag, 18/07/2021 20:41

"And we all know that the stewards never, ever, make mistakes."

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8. Posted by Mad Matt, 18/07/2021 20:16

"It does seem a bit inconsistent, as far as I could see Max had space on the outside and turned into a space Lewis was occupying. I'm not aware of any obligation to hit an apex, as far as I can see the rules just demand that you leave a car wide space and there was a car wide space.

I'm not saying it was all Max either and I'm no fan of either of them but for me this was just a racing incident.

It was certainly exciting up to the point of the crash, I think Max was even off the track at one point.

I look forward to the Palmer analysis.... he's usually quite insightful these days."

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9. Posted by Obsidian, 18/07/2021 20:09

"I do not agree that Hamilton deserves a ban, but the stewards should take a harder look in situations where someone takes their main championship rival completely out of the race. The penalty should be enough that there is no chance to then go on and win the race as Hamilton did today. A stop and go would have been a better choice."

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10. Posted by flyinglap, 18/07/2021 19:44

"Regrettably, we see a pattern emerging, with Hamilton doing yet another "Albon" and getting away with it with a slap on the wrist. Practically, every time he has another car ahead of him and on the outside, he has license to send the other driver off the track with impunity. Today the sport has been very lucky to escape an extremely serious accident. There was talk of an impact of 51g, which is not a trivial matter and from which Verstappen may still suffer in the future. Mercedes did get the DNF of their opponent that they were hoping (aiming?) for. Indeed, this was a KO. This will sign a turning point for the championship battle, which may turn quite nasty now. Verstappen is known to be a hard racer, but he has matured into an extremely correct driver, particularly so with Hamilton. I will be expecting war on all fronts now on behalf of Verstappen and Red Bull, on and off the track (how about George Russell to Red Bull next year?)"

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11. Posted by Grumpy Grandad, 18/07/2021 19:37

"Anyone but Hamilton and it would have been a ban. Ridiculous decision by the stewards. And this from a now ex Hamilton fan."

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12. Posted by Jet Jockey, 18/07/2021 18:56

"Total racing incident!

Usually on the first few laps of a race this is allowed by the stewards.

This year the decisions from the stewards as been all over the place with no constancies terrible!

Everyone wants exciting racing, everyone one wants to see a great battle between Max and Lewis and if the stewards are going to be so inconstant all the time then we will be in for boring racing."

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