Mercedes has requested a right of review of the incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Hamilton was attempting to overtake Verstappen on the run to Turn 4 and had pulled almost a full car length ahead on the racing line using DRS, with Verstappen defending the inside. The Red Bull driver then tried to outbrake Hamilton but didn’t make the corner, forcing both drivers off the track.
After Verstappen retained the lead and FIA race director Michael Masi decided there was no investigation necessary, Toto Wolff described the lack of punishment as “laughable”. At the time, the live feed of Verstappen’s onboard camera cut from a front-facing to rear-facing view with Hamilton attacking, but the cockpit camera was released on Tuesday and has led to Mercedes lodging an attempted appeal.
“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas 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 between Car 44 and Car 33 on lap 48 of the 2021 Brazilian Grand Prix, on the basis of new evidence unavailable to the Stewards at the time of their decision,” said a statement issued by the team.
While it’s true that the forward-facing cockpit camera was only available once downloaded from Verstappen’s car after the race, the stewards themselves never made a decision as Masi did not refer the incident to them for investigation.
Should the right of review be approved, Mercedes will need to prove the evidence is “a significant and relevant new element” to then get the FIA to look into the incident once again.
Mercedes would stand to benefit if Verstappen was handed a retrospective time penalty, as Valtteri Bottas finished third in Brazil, three seconds behind the championship leader.