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Verstappen gets grid penalty

NEWS STORY
12/09/2021

Max Verstappen has been handed a 3-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix after Monza stewards deemed that he caused today's collision with Lewis Hamilton.

The stewards having heard from both drivers, their team representatives and having reviewed the video evidence, determined that the Dutch driver was predominantly to blame for the collision at Turn 2.

Hamilton was exiting the pits and Verstappen was on the main straight. At the 50m board before Turn 1, Hamilton was significantly ahead of the Red Bull.

Verstappen braked late and started to move alongside the Mercedes, although at no point in the sequence did he get any further forward than just behind the front wheel of of the world champion's car.

During the hearing Verstappen asserted that the cause of the incident was Hamilton opening the steering after Turn 1 and "squeezing" him to the apex of turn 2.

Hamilton asserted that Verstappen attempted to pass very late and should have given up the corner either by backing off sooner or by turning left behind the kerb.

The stewards observed on CCTV footage that Hamilton was driving an avoiding line, although his position caused Verstappen to go onto the kerb.

But further, the stewards observed that Verstappen was not at all alongside Hamilton until significantly into the entry into Turn 1.

In the opinion of the stewards, this manoeuvre was attempted too late for Verstappen to have "the right to racing room".

While Hamilton could have steered further from the kerb to avoid the incident, the stewards determined that his position was reasonable and therefore find that Verstappen was predominantly to blame.

As a result, Verstappen has a 3-place grid drop at the next event, the Russian Grand Prix, and 2 penalty points imposed.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Monza, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by elsiebc, 16/09/2021 15:57

"Rehe****d. What's wrong with "rehe****d"?"

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

2. Posted by elsiebc, 15/09/2021 15:54

"I wonder if the interview of the drivers doesn't bear most heavily on the investigation. I imagine Max to be more blunt and truthful and Lewis to be more measured and rehe****d."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by kenji, 15/09/2021 3:30

"@ Mad Matt...Your Mum would most likely be correct. Palmer equivocates and finally comes out 51/49 in favour of Hamilton. That's not unexpected given his predilection towards sovereignty."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Mad Matt, 13/09/2021 18:32

"@Pavlo: I don't claim to be right, I'm just speculating as to what the stewards saw that we didn't. That's why I'm interested to see what Jolyon has to say as he usually gets access to the graphs showing braking and acceleration etc.

As for the blue flags: My understanding is that a driver may not cross the white line on exiting the pit lane and that "Moreover, the blue flag is also shown at the exit of the pit lane to warn the driver of a faster car present on the racing line.", so it was to warn Lewis that a faster car (Max) was coming which may be why Lewis didn't pull all the way to the left at corner entry.

Again, without the stewards statement I would have said it was a racing incident with what my mother would call "6 of one and half a dozen of the other" :-)"

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

5. Posted by Pavlo, 13/09/2021 18:02

"@Mad Max - if Lewis was on full brakes, what was the meaning of the blue flags on the exit of the pitlane? It’s weird to say someone has to leave place on the entry of the corner, but can squeeze on the exit."

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

6. Posted by Mad Matt, 13/09/2021 15:58

"At first glance I thought it was more a racing incident with neither driver willing to give way... a little too aggressive by Lewis closing the gap and a little too optimistic from Max trying for a space which was never really going to be there.

The stewards decision was therefore somewhat surprising. I can only think that they are seeing something in the data which we can't see. Perhaps it's simply that Lewis was already fully on the brakes when Max came next to his back wheel meaning that Lewis was already at maximum braking and couldn't do any more. They've talked a lot in the past about not being able to change in the braking zone.

Thinking about it, in my road car I've always got something in hand, so I could brake harder for a corner, or change my line to avoid something. It's different when racing, the whole point is to brake to the maximum and turn at the limit of adhesion so adjustment possibilities are extremely limited once you start braking.

Having said all of that, I'll be interested to see Jolyon Palmer's analysis as hr gets access to more of the data than we do."

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

7. Posted by Rock Doc, 13/09/2021 12:58

"Racing incident fullstop. They are fighting for the championship and race hard. That is what we want to see.

It continues to feel like the rules are stacked in favour of one team and has been for years."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

8. Posted by stackvideo, 13/09/2021 12:55

"And Sir Lewis can do no wrong.

"

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

9. Posted by pap_pap_c, 13/09/2021 12:44

"If Lewis had done what Max did then the race would have ended for both drivers with a collision at Turn 4 on Lap 1. Because there was a collision, the stewards were compelled to investigate. Because the collision was so dramatic and Max simply got out of his car and showed absolutely no regard for whether Lewis was injured, he was penalized."

Rating: Negative (-4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

10. Posted by Tardis40, 13/09/2021 12:22

"You've got to be kidding? Max was ahead, Hamilton would not yield. Hamilton has been like this since he was clashing with Alonso at McLaren."

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

11. Posted by ian_w, 13/09/2021 11:02

"Aside from all the gaffes that led up to these two even being at the same spot of the track at the same time, ws there really enough track from pit exit for LH to get up to speed to have a proper racing speed and braking point come into play? If so, then why the blue flag? The sausage curb should also be given a penalty; 2 minutes for interference.. no wait, that's ice hockey!"

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by Lapps, 13/09/2021 4:54

"Lewis hits Max = 10 sec penalty

Max hits Lewis = 3 grid place penalty!

Makes you think!"

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13. Posted by kenji, 13/09/2021 4:20

"Having viewed the footage many times I am of the opinion that, if anything, it was a racing incident. My understanding of the rules was that if the passing car has a substantial overlap alongside, that the passing car has the right to space. Obviously we haven't seen all the footage that the stewards have so I cannot fully justify whether or not that was the case, but it certainly looked as though Verstappen was squeezed unfairly. For Wolff to suggest that it was a purpose led crash just shows how far he's prepared to go to protect his domain. There are certainly cracks appearing and it shows when they're under pressure. "

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

14. Posted by [Insert Formula], 13/09/2021 4:04

"I agree with this penalty. You have to admit Lewis Hamilton came into the turn in the lead. He was following the racing line and squeezing Max as a good driver would. Despite the squeezing, he still left enough space for Verstappen to avoid a crash. For example, Hamilton left more space there than Verstappen did during their earlier collision. Not to mention, Verstappen knew the risks of taking the curb that way. If he took safety first he would have backed down to Hamilton's good defense, instead, he ran the curb in such an amateur way that sent his car flying and nearly hurt Hamilton if it weren't for the halo.

Besides, the grid penalty is only fair. If it weren't for Verstappen refusing to back down and driving too aggressively, Hamilton would have gained more points for the championship. Because of that crash, they're back to where they were before which certainly doesn't hurt Red Bull but is definitely unfair for Hamilton. "

Rating: Positive (4)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

15. Posted by C5, 13/09/2021 0:14

"Definitely a racing incident. Like others, I don't get the reason for the penalty.

As they were going into the corner I actually said aloud that Hamilton better be damn sure to leave room or there will be a crash because Verstappen [being worked up by the poor pitstop] is sure not going to yield the corner. And given where the cars were, unlike the stewards I don't think he should have had to.

It would have been prudent, but when you have nothing to lose and much to gain, prudence isn't a luxury you care for. It would also have been prudent of Hamilton to make sure there was plenty of space, but he also chose to give it maximum squeeze even though he had just come out of the pits.

Unstoppable force, meet immovable object.
"

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