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Red Bull considering legal action over Silverstone stewards

NEWS STORY
21/07/2021

Helmut Marko has admitted that Red Bull is considering its options following Sunday's first lap clash, with the Austrian revealing that legal action is being considered.

Barely had the dust settled following the crash at Copse than Christian Horner was in touch with race director, Michael Masi calling for action over what he considered a deliberate move by Lewis Hamilton.

The stewards subsequently awarded the British driver a 10s time penalty for failing to avoid contact with Max Verstappen, yet despite this the Mercedes driver was able to go on and win the race, thereby taking a huge chunk out Red Bull's lead in both championships.

While Horner continued to express outrage over the incident, Helmut Marko went even further, calling for a race ban for Hamilton.

To that extent, Marko has revealed that the team is looking at its options and isn't ruling out legal action as he questions the stewards decision making process.

"He should check what you could do in such a situation within the framework of the sporting rules," the Austrian is quoted as saying by Kronen Zeitung.

"It was very lucky that nothing serious happened to Max, the car, and probably the engine too, is broken. You can't let that sit on you."

While Michael Masi insists that the stewards merely look at the incident itself and not what the repercussions of their decision might be, Marko believes that perhaps it is time for the process to be overhauled.

"A suspension would be justified," he insists, "but maybe the regulations are also to blame for being relatively restricted. The rules should be revised, including the stewards system. Perez got five seconds twice in Austria because there was marginal contact without anyone flying off.

"You could have given a drive-thru penalty plus ten seconds to Hamilton. But they didn't do that either.

"Max was on his line," he continued. "Where Hamilton was he had to lift off the throttle. You cannot hit your opponent on the rear wheel in one of the fastest corners, the lightest touch has fatal consequences.

"So, an irresponsible action... Hamilton needs to know what the consequences are."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 25/07/2021 23:19

"With this era of cost caps and engine... er, power unit limits brings a whole new factor into the mix. Should teams be allowed to sue other teams for a portion of their costs or power unit allocations? Hmmm...."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Young Slinger, 23/07/2021 18:31

"Red Bull's senior management keep threatening to leave F1 if they cannot get their way. How often did we hear that during the era of Red Bull dominance? Go and take your constant whining with you. Sell the team to someone committed to improving the racing."

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Pavlo, 22/07/2021 13:26

"To all who compares with „old good days“: yes F1 is much safer and evolved in general now and this is exactly the reason of what happened. 50 years ago Max or maybe even both would have been killed in such an incident, therefore neither of them would ever risk to try. There also were no cameras everywhere, so nobody would know what happened in such details, and stewards also had no chance to penalize."

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4. Posted by nmw01223, 22/07/2021 6:12

"All this talk about changing rules just risks emasculating the racing. In the end, except in very blatent cases - and this wasn't one as I see it - one needs to rely on the judgement of the protagonists. Racing judgement is one thing they are paid for. There are already mechanisms in place for blatent cases.

Accidents happen, motor racing is dangerous, it always was. It is much safer than it used to be, but it isn't safe and it never will be. If it is totally sanitised, it won't be racing."

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5. Posted by Pavlo, 21/07/2021 23:11

"There is nothing bad about legal action.
Some time ago Max used to move on breaking when defending, others considered it dangerous and the rules were changed from the next race(!). Max was never penalized for it.
Same story with flex wings.
Same here, it’s totally ok to push for changes of the rules, where what Lewis did would be penalized much harder, even with DQF. But… from the next race, no retroactive penalties."

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6. Posted by Roli, 21/07/2021 20:04

"Its like Brexit. We had a vote, and it was to leave. Then all the ones that wanted to stayed lobbied and complained hoping that in the end it would go their way. Now Red Bull is doing the same. Its simple, just because you didnt like the outcome and/or the penalty, just suck it up. just MOVE ON "

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7. Posted by GreenFlag, 21/07/2021 19:53

"RB is threatening legal action. And they think Mercedes won't vigorously defend and counter-attack?"

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

8. Posted by Oil Leak77, 21/07/2021 19:24

"Guys the system is rigged. "

Rating: Negative (-2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 21/07/2021 19:24

"Every time I start to think Red Bull are becoming worth cheering on they pull crap like this. Having seen the incident, it was not far off from 50/50 blame. I'd say maybe 60/40 with Hamilton being the 60. They both were being aggressive, both were being unyielding, and Hamilton understeered just a little more than he probably thought he would and they touched. It wasn't an especially hard hit, and I don't see how anyone could say he intentionally hit Max. Really, it was a matter of neither being willing to yield and being OK with the possibility of contact as a result if the other also refused to yield.

The 10 second penalty for Hamilton was probably the right call, though calling it a racing incident with no further action would have been understandable too. And had it not been the title protagonists fighting for the race lead, say Giovinazzi vs Latiffi, nobody would find the 10 second penalty overly lenient in an otherwise identical crash. Red Bull calling for a race ban for Hamilton and threatening legal action is over the top hysterics. They don't like that what was shaping up to be a sizable lead in the championship is now a rather small lead. "

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10. Posted by f1khun, 21/07/2021 16:18

"Look at the penalties that were handed out in Austria, and then in Silverstone. The difference? These were different offences with the same penalties. That's wrong. Other then that, I hope this was an unforced error and not a deliberate touch. Things happen. But the penalty was too light. There IS a difference, where you either terminate your competitor for the lead, or where you pass a white line with more then 2 wheels. That difference should be felt by the penalty given."

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11. Posted by kenji, 21/07/2021 13:51

"@ Max Noble...Yes, when the status quo is in disequilbrium we need to get some guidance and understanding. It is most difficult to remain totally clinical due the disruptive elements of bias. I've been through all those times in the past with the likes of Shumacher and Senna...two drivers who could dish out the dirt and did so on many occasions. Hamilton is not anywhere close to their league though. I certainly don't discount the influence of Wolff either. His disdain for all including the 'wingman' is seen is his quote last week that 'all other drivers in F1 [ other than Hamilton ] are one trick ponies'. Says it all really....."

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12. Posted by Spindoctor, 21/07/2021 13:43

"@kenji
Just FYI this is supposedly a "Sport". Your largely baseless assertions & implication that Hamilton is a "dirty" driver are patently ludicrous. As one of the older drivers on the grid & the most successful by far, he has driven more races than most & the vast majority of those without incident. Like every other driver including & especially Verstappen, he has occasionally clashed - nobody is perfect & Hamilton would never claim otherwise. In this instance the "British Press" are merely reflecting what FIA & many people including a large number of other drivers believe to be the case: It was a Racing Incident & Hamilton was found at fault & penalised. Case closed.

Until very recently the likes of Marko & Horner, along with assorted pundits & talking-heads, were calling for much LESS interference by stewards & FIA in the Racing. Maybe this is because both their favoured driver & their car like to push rules to their limits & sometimes perhaps, beyond?
RBR have a long history of ex-perambulating their toys whenever things don't go their way or that of their "chosen one". Both Horner & Marko make a lot of sound & fury, generally signifying nothing - other than sour grapes. Given Max's well-known aggressive driving style these demands for severe punishment based on "possible" outcomes from Horner & Marko might turn-out to be a case of "careful what you wish for".

I'm pretty sure that legally the "decisions of the Stewards are final" is written into the Teams' contracts\Sporting code\etc. If you're in favour of retrospective punishment. Maybe Williams \ Damon Hill want a few historical results changed?

If Marko wants the Rules changed, that's another matter, though I wouldn't have thought more subjectively-based Regulation\punishment is something F1 needs at present."

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13. Posted by rtw1951, 21/07/2021 13:40

"Cry me a river, Marko."

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14. Posted by Hobgoblin, 21/07/2021 13:04

"Red Bull are certainly giving wings to that 'spat dummy'."

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15. Posted by Hobgoblin, 21/07/2021 12:47

"Red Bull are certainly giving wings to that 'spat dummy'."

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