F1 stewards to hear new evidence over Verstappen/Hamilton incident

Following Formula 1’s move to reveal the forward-facing camera footage from Verstappen’s car on Tuesday, which stewards didn’t have access to when deciding not to investigate the Red Bull driver appearing to edge his Mercedes rival Hamilton off the Interlagos track during their battle for the lead at Turn 4, Mercedes requested a right to review.

A Mercedes representative is required to report to the FIA via video conference at 17:00 local time on Thursday 18 November, as per a steward document issued on Wednesday ahead of the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix.

The FIA said the hearing is to determine whether Mercedes has the right to review the case, which would depend upon it presenting “a significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”.

F1’s current technology limits just one live feed off each car and, at the time of the incident, Verstappen’s Red Bull was broadcasting its rear facing onboard. The front-facing camera footage of the incident, which occurred on lap 48, was only available to download after the race and finally made public by F1 on Tuesday.

Hamilton later went on to pass Verstappen to win the race, successfully recovering from a five-place grid penalty for an engine change and exclusion from the Friday qualifying session.

The decision by Mercedes to push on with a right to review comes in the wake of Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitting after the Brazil race that his team will pursue a new hardline attitude.

Having been frustrated with the FIA’s decision to exclude Hamilton from qualifying over a DRS infringement, he said it was “laughable” that Verstappen wasn’t investigated.

Hamilton survived the skirmish to pass Verstappen and take victory in Brazil© Hamilton survived the skirmish to pass Verstappen and take victory in Brazil Hamilton survived the skirmish to pass Verstappen and take victory in Brazil Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“I think we’ve just had many, many punches in the face this weekend with decisions that could have swung either side, against us or for us,” he said.

“When always the decisions swing against you, it’s just something that I’m just angry about, and I will defend my team, my drivers to what comes.

“I’ve always been very diplomatic in how I discuss things. But diplomacy has ended today.”

Should the FIA accept that Verstappen was in breach of the sporting rules with his driving, then it is possible that it could hand down a time-penalty for the Brazil race or impose a grid drop for the next event in Qatar.


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