After the scary Sunday in Silverstone, where Red Bull saw Max Verstappen DNF, caused by the much-discussed incident with Lewis Hamilton at Copse, Red Bull returned on the British track last Thursday, with Alex Albon, for a filming day with the RB15 (2019).
The 10-second penalty with which the FIA decided to punish Lewis Hamilton, during his home GP, seemed too small for the Milton Keynes team, which last July 23 asked to exercise the right of review.
In order for the appeal to be simply taken into consideration by the stewards, new significant elements, that were not available to the stewards at the time of the decision taken during the race, had to emerge.
The FIA yesterday rejected the appeal without taking it into consideration, because the new elements brought by Red Bull were not valid.
Christian Horner defended himself and the team, however, explaining that the filming day had already been organized for some time and that it had nothing to do with the Hamilton - Verstappen incident.
“The test was pre-planned from prior to the event because it was a promotional filming day with obviously a two-year-old car,” - he explained - “It's a way of keeping our reserve driver also sharp and race-ready. That day had been planned for some time, it wasn't put on specifically for the re-enactment.
“What we did during the course of the test was ask Alex to drive a similar line to back up the simulations that we conducted within our simulation tools, including the driver simulator, to demonstrate the outcome of driving that line and the necessity to where your braking point would need to be.
“We couldn't achieve the speed that Lewis did on that line. In terms of conditions, obviously it was pretty similar. And it was just a useful piece of data to reaffirm what we'd seen in all of our simulations.”
“We felt that having looked at the data from the accident, and the severity of the accident, that there was data that wasn't available at the time of the stewards making their decision,” - he said - “So we presented that data to the stewards.
“They gave us a fair hearing yesterday where we talked through that data, the positioning of the cars, the speed of the cars; the fact that Lewis would have had to have braked 23 meters earlier to have even made the corner, the fact that Max was on the same trajectory and identical to that of Charles Leclerc - and that the result with Charles would have been identical had Lewis taken the same approach."
“So we presented that data, we feel that we had a fair hearing. The stewards felt that it wasn't new evidence under the confines of the regulations and so it wasn't opened into another hearing - so we accept that.
“This competition is all about marginal gains and leaving no stone unturned. Of course when you have an accident of that velocity and impact, then, of course, you're going to make a full investigation."
It is understandable why Mercedes published such a harsh announcement against Red Bull rivals yesterday evening:
“But as far as we're concerned, the chapter is now closed, the stewards have made their ruling, and we will now very much focus on this weekend and the remaining part of the championship,” Horner concluded.