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Mercedes seeks 'right of review' of Turn 4 incident

NEWS STORY
16/11/2021

Following the release of onboard footage form Max Verstappen's car of the incident with Lewis Hamilton at Turn 4 on Sunday, Mercedes has called for the 'right of review' of the incident.

The controversial incident happened on Lap 48 when Lewis Hamilton made his initial bid for the lead.

Heading down the back straight towards the left-hander Hamilton drew alongside and then ahead of the Red Bull, but as they braked for the corner the pair ran wide.

The stewards noted the incident but then decided it was a 'racing incident' and not worthy of investigation, much to the frustration of the German team.

However, race director, Michael Masi, while defending the call, subsequently admitted that onboard footage from Verstappen's car had not been available at the time of the decision.

With the stewards unable to see the Dutch driver's hand movements on his steering wheel it was argued that the decision not to investigate was therefore made prematurely without all the available evidence, indeed the most crucial evidence.

Today the onboard footage was made available and Mercedes immediately called for the right to review.

"The Mercedes AMG F1 Team confirms that we have today requested a Right of Review under Article 14.1.1 of the International Sporting Code in relation to the Turn 4 incident involving Car 44 and Car 33 on Lap 48 of the Brazilian Grand Prix, on the basis of new evidence unavailable to the Stewards at the time of their decision," said the championship leaders in a brief statement.

The move comes at a time Red Bull is openly pouring suspicion on the "mind-boggling" speed of the Mercedes.

Article 14.1.1 states that: "If, in Competitions forming part of an FIA Championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series, or of an international series, a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.

“The stewards who have given a ruling or, failing this, those designated by the FIA, may decide to re-examine their decision following a petition for review by:- either one of the parties concerned and/or a party that is directly affected by the decision handed down, or - the Secretary General for Sport of the FIA.

“The stewards must meet (in person or by other means) on a date agreed amongst themselves, summoning the party or parties concerned to hear any relevant explanations and to judge in the light of the facts and elements brought before them.”

With Verstappen finishing just 3.08s ahead of Valtteri Bottas - but 29.444s ahead of fourth-placed Sergio Perez - a 5 or 10s time penalty would drop the Dutchman to third and reduce his lead over Hamilton by a further 3 points to 11.

On the other hand, if the stewards deem that Verstappen did indeed breach the rules, he could be handed a grid penalty at one of the remaining races.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by jcr, 17/11/2021 18:31

"Open to correction. but I don recall reading anywhere about Red Bull protest of Merc wing ???
Personally I believe it was a racing incident, Hammi drove a great race and won,
But I dont agree with a Retrospective penalty,
I would speculate that Max drove to damage limitation after losing the lead,
Hence the gap to Bottas of only 3 seconds."

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

2. Posted by Stitch431, 17/11/2021 10:42

"Contrary to Silverstone Max did not touch with Lewis, and Christian Klien explained that Lewis, with this speed into the corner would have gone straight anyway. On top of that, he explained that Max did a brilliant job keeping his car on track by loosening his break, and then breaking again to get the car straight again. A pure racing incident of the kind that we want to see "on track".Wasn't that what Toto claimed was the way he wanted this Championship to be won? Not that he showed this, when he protested against the rear wing earlier this season). Not behind the green t"

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

3. Posted by Spindoctor, 17/11/2021 10:30

"Horner's whingeing about the Merc's speed & his invocation of Newey & then (heaven forfend) The Laws of Physics are characteristically ridiculous. It's quite likely Mercedes have figured-out some tweak which allows them to have less drag, while maintaining grip - that's what all those smart people & supercomputers are there for. It's unlikely to be illegal, but if it is, I'm sure they'll have the same 3 races to sort it out as did RBR. Being xkph faster than a McLaren down a long straight hardly proves illegality. How many races had the Macca's PU done? What aero & car settings are they using - what have they compromised in speed to gain advantage on the twirly bits?

Strange that when MV has "scythed through the field" on previous occasions Horner hails him as a great driver, but when anyone else does the same they've got the fastest car and\or are "cheating"

As to "that" incident it's clear that whatever steering angle MV was applying he deliberately braked later\let off the brakes and could never have made that corner on the track. Hamilton, being wise after several previous comings-together, gave him lots of room, compromising his line & braking, so maybe he wouldn't have made the corner either - we'll never know. The facts are that Verstappen hugely exceeded Track Limits; Hamilton had to do likewise, & MV kept the place."

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

4. Posted by Pavlo, 17/11/2021 7:29

"@ian_w: the stewards were definitely aware about the existence of that camera. They could have waited for it and reviewed in the next 10 minutes. Or after the race. Instead they made themselves very explicit that they don’t need it.
It may be “wrong judgement” of the stewards, but it was announced and the rest of the event depended on it."

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

5. Posted by ian_w, 17/11/2021 3:38

"@Pavlo, Sky F1 commentators David Croft (play by play), Martin Brundle (colour) and Anthony Davidson (Sky Race Control) all clearly made reference (I think before the race even finished) to the fact FIA stewards did not have access to MV front facing camera or the steering wheel camera (no explanation given); the live feed was the back camera, and would have to wait until video data retrieved from the car, post-race .

@Roli, In the first clip of the video (front facing camera), one can see MV begins the turn , then has the tiniest ( < -5 degree), briefest unwinding of the wheel, before applying full left lock, but it's a ways longer and well across the track before the car seems to react to the inputs. Could well be he felt no grip until further braking. Regardless, FIA should have had the real-time steering position telemetry to assess, even if there was no video.

But it does not matter. Per Toto, the outcome was decided on track.

Nevertheless, a review should be conducted to establish why the other onboard feeds were not relayed in real-time to FIA stewards. That does not need to be requested by MB and they probably already know what happened technically; just have Masi explain it."

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6. Posted by TokyoAussie, 17/11/2021 3:19

"After watching the steering wheel, I don't see any malice by Verstappen. They both went in too deep under brakes. But Verstappen probably should have got a penalty. In the end, the battle sorted itself out."

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

7. Posted by kenji, 17/11/2021 0:50

"@Ian_W... Very well said. I fully agree with your final summary."

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

8. Posted by kenji, 17/11/2021 0:48

"@ Roli...are we looking at the same video? I have not seen, and no else has to my knowledge,Verstappen 'open up his steering wheel'. I have seen nothing in that video that would make me change my mind regards the existing verdict. It was a racing incident IMO. At the very limit a warning should have been sufficient. It's time now for Red Bull to demand a 'like for like 'revisit of the forward looking cameras from Hamilton's car at Silverstone for comparative purposes.

@ Suoerbird70...Yes, we share the same observations to a certain extent. The RB cracked rear wing was seen by the Red Bull team and they immediately requested the FIA to allow a fix which was duly done. The damage was deemed to be dangerous to all concerned. The difference here was that MB did not call in the FIA to give them clearance to effect a fix!! It was only acted on after the FIA received evidence of illegality hence the imposition of a penalty. To accept MB's arguments one has to believe that MB did not know that their rear wing was not in compliance. I find that difficult to accept given the Teutonic dictum relating to excellence..... This whole issue is becoming quite ugly and needs to sorted soon as MB are trying desperately to undermine the authority of Michael Masi as he refuses to be intimidated by Wolff. Masi operates, IMO, in a non partisan manner as he should. Wolff's intimation that Masi discriminates against MB must cease otherwise the series will suffer."

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

9. Posted by ian_w, 17/11/2021 0:42

"There's two things that are missing from the F1 video, though at least now all the camera angles are presented.

The first thing that's missing is a synchronous timestamp across all the camera angles. I'm sure it's on the video data track, just not show on screen.

The second thing that's missing and is alluded to in other's comments is a comparison to how MV and LH drove that corner every other time.

MV is quoted as saying "We both, of course, tried to be ahead into the corner and so I braked a bit later to try and keep the position. The tyres were already a bit worn, so I was really on the edge of grip. That's why I think I was already not fully on the apex, so then it's a safer way of just running a bit wide there."

Those claims can be backed up or invalidated by video analysis.

But it doesn't really matter ... Toto: "We want to win this the right way: on track ...". Race is over; LH won the race. Racing incident.
MV should however, have been given a warning for exceeding track limits and probably shown the black/white flag, but then so should have a lot of other drivers and incidents this season. Still won't change the outcome.
"

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10. Posted by Superbird70, 16/11/2021 23:24

"Wasn't the wing issue more of RB seeing something was out of specification and asking permission from the stewards to effect repairs? MB was in the unfortunate position of having gone through a whole race weekend not noticing (or caring to notice) that their wing was out of specification. MB only became aware of the problem when the actual compliance testing was being conducted. "

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

11. Posted by Great_white_shark, 16/11/2021 22:44

"@stich431 Let's try to remain objective here and not let emotions taker over. For 3 races in a row Red Bull made changes to their rear wing in Parc Ferme conditions. Mercedes did not protest it because they understand that you can suffer from wear and tear or unexpected damage and it is a bit of a gentlemen's agreement that they let it slide until now.

Now that Red Bull have protested against their wing which is the same wing they used all season, I think it's only fair that Mercedes are feeling angered by this especially since they couldn't look at it, let alone rectify the issue. It's a bit rich to now ask them to keep this on the track and act like they are the ones who chose to play "dirty""

Rating: Negative (-5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

12. Posted by a fan !?, 16/11/2021 22:32

"Time and again throughout his F1 career LH has 'opened' the steering when inside another car effectively forcing the competitor to leave the track allowing for a pass to be completed.

At Silverstone LH left the race track on the exit of Stowe because his entry line too tight to make the apex and stay on track. Had there not been contact the same situation as Brazil both cars leaving the track on the exit - but with LH forcing MV off the track.
"

Rating: Positive (5)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

13. Posted by Pavlo, 16/11/2021 22:01

"Article 14.1.1. says "was not available", it doesn't say "was not considered". Does MB has any new video? Because onboard was definitely available.
This sounds very subtle difference but it's very substantial. In all sports, if the steward made a mistake, one can demand a penalty for that steward, but can't overrule the already made decision and the event result. Unless, as in 14.1.1, something like doping probes or usage of illegal equipment is "newly discovered" and "was not known to the stewards before".
This makes the sport in principle watchable. Otherwise what for to turn on the TV if I anyway will need to wait for the stewards?

To remind, RB request in Silverstone was discarded because they didn't provide additional unknown facts, they just asked to check their not-considered-before interpretation. The request from MB is exactly the same, so accepting it automatically gives RB right to review the Silverstone again.
Whatever is your opinion on both events, in the interest of the sport this should be just settled.
One may ask to penalize Mr. Masi. But not to review the result that was confirmed by the very explicit decision of the stewards."

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

14. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 16/11/2021 21:13

"I am sure there are many in the Paddock who are asking whether a fresh engine is really worth an extra 20-30 kph in speed, Zak Brown for one given McLaren's battle with Ferrari, or whether Mercedes have done something with Lewis' chassis.

Either way, I would not be surprised to see Mr Newey taking a very close interest."

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

15. Posted by flyinglap, 16/11/2021 20:40

"Sir Lewis has not made it into the corner essentially due to his very high straightline speed and his positioning on the extreme right of the track upon entry, and he would not have made it in any case regardless of Verstappen being there or not. Sure, Verstappen did leave the track as well due to his extremely late defensive braking (and astute driving), but that was not a determining factor in Hamilton's excursion. Indeed, Hamilton may have taken such exaggerated evasive action fearing actual payback for causing Verstappen to heavily crash at Silverstone. In any case, no harm was done. The protestations of Mercedes and Toto Wolff are baseless, and effectively aiming to divert the attention from their car. With three races left, we have yet a lot to look forward to!"

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