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"Lewis did nothing wrong", says Allison

NEWS STORY
21/07/2021

Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison insists that Lewis Hamilton's move on Max Verstappen at Silverstone was within the rules, and that consequently the Briton's 10s time penalty was harsh.

The veteran technical director is the latest to join the debate, and unsurprisingly he comes down in favour of his team's driver.

"There was no need for him to cede any ground so I did feel that it was harsh to get the penalty," says Allison in the latest video debrief from Mercedes. "As far as we are concerned, the manoeuvre Lewis did was absolutely in line with the FIA's overtaking guide."

Allison argues that the FIA's own guidelines make clear Hamilton had the right to challenge Max Verstappen for the corner and not give way.

"If you are overtaking on the inside of the corner, then the guidance requires that you are substantially alongside as you arrive at the corner. It is not required that you are ahead," says Allison.

"Lewis was definitely substantially alongside," he continues. "He had his front axle well beyond the midpoint of Verstappen's car. And it requires that you must be able to make the corner. By 'make the corner', it means go round the corner and not leave the track or lose control of the car. If you can go round the corner, if you are substantially alongside the other car, then the corner is yours.

"What that means is not that you have to emerge in the lead," he adds, "it means that you do not have to cede your position, you do not have to back off and the other car has a duty to avoid hitting you.

"So, if you follow the notes that are provided to the FIA stewards and you look frame by frame at what happened with Lewis, he was substantially alongside, he absolutely would have made the corner and indeed did make the corner and therefore there was no need for him to cede any ground."

Insisting that the speed involved at Copse, which is taken at around 190 mph, "makes no difference", Allison argues: "Lewis made two further overtakes at Copse using exactly the same guidance and there wasn't a contact in either of those cases."

Referring to the stewards ruling that Hamilton "did not reach the apex of the corner, with room available to the inside" and "did not avoid contact", Allison says: "I can understand people, who maybe don't understand there is no obligation on you to hit the apex of the corner, that you don't have to have your whole car in front of the other car.

"I can understand that, if you are seeing it from that perspective, you might think that the car coming from behind has some sort of obligation to make sure that no crashes take place. But if you look at the stewarding document then I think that Lewis did nothing wrong."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 23/07/2021 10:56

"The only thing for sure you can say is it certainly gave F1 the media coverage Liberty craves for, time to move on, cannot wait."

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

2. Posted by Hannes, 22/07/2021 19:35

"Max was leading by 30 points, he has everything to lose and almost nothing to gain in that corner. The championship isn't won on corner 9 of lap 1 at Silverstone, but you can certainly lose it there. Hopefully he learned something. "

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

3. Posted by Max Noble, 22/07/2021 9:54

"It’s so cool that Italy won on penalties - because that is what the rules allow. All systems have boundaries… and when they work against one you tend to push back.

I mean - how often have you read about how much the Titanic ploughing into that Iceberg really hurt the Iceberg? Shaved ice everywhere, thousands of tons of weight lost in moments. Sitting minding one’s own business in the Western Atlantic, and all of a sudden a thousand tons of English steel up your nose!

Nope - It’s all about the ship…. Recentring on someone else’s world view is a very complex mental capability… The second half of this season is going to be a blinder… Simply cannot wait…"

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Mad Matt, 22/07/2021 9:13

"While it's fun to paint Max as the Red Baron and Lewis as Snoopy the reality is that neither of them would give way with the consequences we've seen.

I found Jolyan Palmer's analysis quite interesting as he pointed out that Lewis's normal line didn't involve hitting the perceived apex on most laps.

So, in the end I don't think we can say that Lewis did nothing wrong but perhaps it's better phrased as "he did no more wrong than Max".

It's not the first time in F1 history that we've seen two championship protagonists heading into a corner with neither one willing to give an inch is it?"

Rating: Positive (6)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by equator180, 22/07/2021 5:08

"Would anyone expect Allison to say anything different why print it, the minds have been made up two days ago."

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

6. Posted by Great_white_shark, 22/07/2021 3:46

"@kenji I feel you may be projecting your own feelings onto Charles here. He had the best seat to witness the incident and he said it was a racing incident and Lewis was not to blame. It's just that Charles and Norris are not as reckless and aggressive as Max who has a history of playing chicken with all the other drivers as he expects them to back off because until now it has paid off. Nothing to do with Charles being scared to get taken out by a dangerous Lewis Hamilton"

Rating: Positive (7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by kenji, 22/07/2021 0:18

"The reason Hamilton didn't crash into Leclerc is because Leclerc took massive avoiding action after realising that Hamilton had already run Verstappen off and into the wall ...and he didn't trust that it wouldn't happen again!!!"

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

8. Posted by Kkiirmki, 22/07/2021 0:05

"If it was an inch or so the other way, it could have resulted in Hamilton crashing out, and we’d be hearing Mercedes banging on about it instead of Red Bull. Then they’d (Red Bull) be saying the same things defending Verstappen. Enough already, time for both parties to shut up and move on. It’s not the first time this has happened before and it won’t be the last."

Rating: Positive (11)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

9. Posted by Pavlo, 21/07/2021 22:49

"Sorry, but he just said that “Lewis is guilty”. According to the rules, Max also didn’t have to cede and “the other car” had to avoid him as well, as Max was “substantially alongside” in front. According to the rules, Max had to “leave one car width” to another car but definitely there is nothing in the rules that requires anyone to completely move out of the way for the car behind.
I expected Mercedes to say that Lewis would hit the apex, as the crash happened before, so we can’t say for sure.
I don’t really see it this way, but if Mercedes claims Lewis was not going to meet the apex, this makes him solely guilty of “pushing another driver off track with significant risk”, which deserves a race ban and/or DQF in Silverstone."

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

10. Posted by Roli, 21/07/2021 20:02

"Lets face it, Max knew that Lewis was there and he was daring him to take the line, just as the previous 3 corners. This time he took a tighter line hoping that Lewis would lift. He didnt. Racing incident. PERIOD. Maybe Max will use more sense next time and not assume that his competitor will cede. Fat chance of that."

Rating: Positive (7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

11. Posted by GreenFlag, 21/07/2021 19:45

"This is Max’s 7th year in F1 but the first time he’s got a real chance for the championship. He’d better start boxing smart or his hopes will end up in a bin full of carbon fibre shards."

Rating: Positive (9)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by Oil Leak77, 21/07/2021 19:23

"This morning they found a glove at the scene, which was too small to fit Lewis. So he's innocent."

Rating: Negative (-7)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

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