Red Bull has lodged a formal petition to review the penalty that Lewis Hamilton received at the British Grand Prix following his collision with Max Verstappen.
The contact between the two cars on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix resulted in Verstappen crashing out of the race at over 180 mph and going to hospital for precautionary checks.
Hamilton was given a 10-second time penalty by the stewards for causing the collision, but went on to win the race regardless.
Red Bull later revealed that the accident would cost the team $1.8 million due to the damage to Verstappen’s car.
On July 23 Red Bull issued a formal petition to review the decision reached by the stewards and on Tuesday (July 27), F1’s governing body, the FIA, summoned representatives from both teams to a video conference with the British Grand Prix stewards on Thursday (July 29) at 4 p.m. central European time.
An official FIA document read: “In accordance with Art. 14 of the International Sporting Code, and following the petition for review by Red Bull Racing Honda, lodged on the 23 July 2021, the team manager and such witnesses as the competitor may request, up to three attendees in total including the team manager, are required to appear via video conference at 16:00hrs CEST on Thursday, 29 July 2021.”
In an article published on Red Bull’s website last week, team principal Christian Horner said the team was considering its options around an appeal.
“It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident,” Horner said. “Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty, we are reviewing all data and have the right to request a review.”
It is rare that a stewards’ decision is overturned in Formula One and usually requires new evidence that was not considered by the stewards at the time. In the hearing on Thursday, the stewards will have the sole discretion over whether any new evidence or argument is valid and was something that was not considered before the initial decision.
If the evidence is considered admissible, a secondary hearing will be held in which the stewards’ decision will be reviewed in light of the new evidence.
Although Mercedes has not called for a review of the penalty, chief technical officer James Allison presented his team’s belief that no penalty should have been given in a YouTube video last week.
“We were concerned after the incident and prior to the restart to make sure that the stewards had read and were following the FIA’s internal guidance to stewards on the rights and wrongs of overtaking,” Allison said. “Because as far as we are concerned, the manoeuvre that Lewis did was absolutely in line with the FIA’s overtaking guide.
“If you are on the inside of the corner, overtaking on the inside of the corner, then the guidance requires that you are substantially alongside. It’s not required that you are ahead, it requires that you are substantially alongside as you arrive at the corner. Lewis definitely was substantially alongside. He had his front axle well beyond the midpoint of Verstappen’s car.
“[Also,] you must be able to make the corner. By make the corner it means go round the corner and not leave the track or lose control of the car. Those are the things you need to satisfy. If you can go round the corner, if you are substantially alongside the other car then the corner is yours… you do not have to cede your position, you do not have to back off, and the other car has a duty to avoid hitting you.”
“I did feel that it was harsh to get the penalty,” Allison added. “I realise not everyone agrees with that, but I still believe that to be the case.”