Mercedes has confirmed it has requested a “right of review” in relation to the incident involving Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen during Formula 1’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Verstappen appeared to have forced Hamilton wide as the Briton attacked into Turn 4 on Lap 48. Both drivers left the track as a result and Verstappen retained the lead of the race, before Hamilton eventually passed for the lead on Lap 59.
The incident was noted by the stewards, but they chose not to investigate it, despite later admitting it didn’t have access to Verstappen’s onboard front-facing footage.
F1 race director Michael Masi admitted after the race that the onboard footage could “potentially” provide a crucial piece of information but that “we didn’t have access to it.”
On Tuesday, two days after the incident, F1 finally released that footage, and Mercedes believe this new evidence could change the outcome of the stewards decision, and have therefore requested a review of the incident.
“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.”
Article 14.1.1 allows a competitor to request a review if new evidence that wasn’t available at the time is presented.
“If, in Competitions forming part of an FIA Championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series, or of an international series, a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned.
“The stewards who have given a ruling or, failing this, those designated by the FIA, may decide to re-examine their decision following a petition for review by:- either one of the parties concerned and/or a party that is directly affected by the decision handed down, or – the Secretary General for Sport of the FIA.
“The stewards must meet (in person or by other means) on a date agreed amongst themselves, summoning the party or parties concerned to hear any relevant explanations and to judge in the light of the facts and elements brought before them.”
It is now up to the FIA to determine whether the new evidence is worth being formally examined, in order to grant the review, and then taken further.
Similar incidents in the past have resulted in five-second time penalties for a driver; Verstappen finished the grand prix three seconds ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.