Mercedes Fires Off Protest against Max Verstappen, Red Bull After New Video Surfaces

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Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA - Getty Images
Photo credit: CARL DE SOUZA - Getty Images


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  • Mercedes officials want F1 to take another look at the alleged blocking move that Max Verstappen put on Lewis Hamilton midway through the race in Brazil.

  • The call for Right of Review comes after new Verstappen in-car video evidence has surfaced.

  • It is the third time this season that a Formula 1 team has lodged a right to review, and the previous two attempts failed to result in new penalties.

And so you thought the F1 Brazilian Grand Prix was history.

Well, not just yet. Formula 1’s personnel have already arrived in Doha for this weekend’s inaugural Qatar Grand Prix but on Tuesday came a development.

Lewis Hamilton passed Max Verstappen for victory at Interlagos, but before his successful pass came an attempt that resulted in both cars heading into the run-off. On lap 48 of 71 Verstappen, on the inside, retained the lead against Hamilton, who was on the outside and slightly ahead on the run to turn 4.

Stewards noted the incident but opted not to proceed with an investigation. After the race, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff felt Verstappen’s actions warranted a 5-second time penalty.

Post-race it emerged that the stewards did not have access to Verstappen’s front-facing onboard camera at the time. That’s because while Formula 1 cars have multiple cameras only one is broadcasting live at any one time, and at that particular moment Verstappen’s rear-facing onboard was the active one.

Photo credit: Clive Mason - Formula 1 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Clive Mason - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Formula 1 race director Michael Masi agreed with suggestions that the availability of Verstappen’s front-facing onboard could have been an influencing factor. On Tuesday, that front-facing onboard was made publicly available by Formula 1.

SEE THE NEW VIDEO HERE

A few hours later, Mercedes confirmed that it has requested a Right of Review under Article 14.1.1 of the FIA’s International Sporting Code in relation to the incident “on the basis of new evidence unavailable to the stewards at the time of their decision.”

That is a clause in the ISC that permits a competitor to request a review if new evidence comes to light that was not available when the stewards were making their call. It is now up to the FIA to determine whether Verstappen’s front-facing onboard is a “significant and relevant new element,” and whether there is a case to be held.

It is the third time this season that a Formula 1 team has lodged a right to review.

Red Bull tried to increase the sanction imposed upon Hamilton following his clash with Verstappen at Silverstone, for which he received a 10-second time penalty, but the new evidence was rejected.

Aston Martin attempted to overturn Sebastian Vettel’s exclusion from second place in Hungary due to an insufficient fuel sample, but this too was unsuccessful.

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