Lewis Hamilton insists he has not been involved with Mercedes’ request for a right to review the incident with Max Verstappen in Brazil, instead focusing on the Qatar Grand Prix.
Verstappen went unpunished for running wide at Turn 4 on lap 48 that saw Hamilton also have to go off the track as he looked set to take the lead, allowing the Red Bull driver to remain ahead. FIA race director Michael Masi at the time opted against referring the incident to the stewards, but since further onboard angles have emerged Mercedes has requested a right to review and needs to prove there is significant and relevant new evidence that was unavailable at the time.
“Honestly it’s not something that I really want to dive too much more into,” Hamilton said. “I didn’t mean I have looked at all the different angles, (but) I have seen the onboard footage for example that came out.
“Last race I was just trying to focus on the fact that we did something that was quite remarkable which wasn’t expected. Just trying not to focus on any negatives. The team, I know, are in discussion at this point so I am just leaving them to it.
“I have just been focusing, sitting with Bono (race engineer Pete Bonnington) and the engineers. We’ve got to really start this weekend, got to make sure we bring the fight to them.
“I’ve not really been a part of it. Of course I’m aware of it and I’m fully supportive of my team, but as I said, I literally just tried to give all my energy to this weekend and making sure we arrive and hit the ground running. I have no idea where they are going with the discussion or what could be the outcome, I’ve just not given it any energy at all.”
Immediately after Sunday’s race, Hamilton — who managed to overtake Verstappen later on to win — said the fight was “fine,” adding: “This is what a world championship battle should look like.”
Asked if he had any further thoughts now Mercedes is attempting an appeal, Hamilton says his view has changed compared to his initial reaction.
“I think the reason at the time I said that is because that’s the mentality you have to take, right? If you sit in the car, in the moment and complain, it will only hold you back so in the moment I just had to keep moving forwards. Also it’s difficult to judge something that you’ve not seen all the angles.
“(I’ve) re-looked at it, and have a different viewpoint naturally now but as I said I am just putting all of my energy to setting up the car and making sure I am in the right head space this weekend so I haven’t really given anything to it.”