Mercedes’s petition for the Lap 48 incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton to be reviewed has been denied by the stewards despite bringing new evidence to them.
The team’s right to appeal comes after last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix where Verstappen and Hamilton nearly collided on Lap 48, with Verstappen escaping with no penalty, much to the disgust of Mercedes’ sporting director Ron Meadows who complained to race director Michael Masi about the Dutchman’s defending and the fact that Masi hadn’t given a penalty to the championship leader.
However, on Tuesday, previously unseen footage of Verstappen’s onboard camera came to light and within hours of that footage being released, Mercedes launched a right to appeal the Lap 48 incident with a hearing set for Thursday before Practice began.
But after two video calls with Masi and Mercedes & Red Bull representatives, the stewards adjourned for the day, with no verdict being reached for that particular day.
“Following today’s hearing with representatives from Mercedes and Red Bull, the stewards are now considering the matter and will publish their decision tomorrow.”
After the opening Practice session at Losail, the stewards reached a verdict. The five stewards concluded that although the new footage was relevant, it wasn’t significant to warrant a penalty for Verstappen.
“The Competitor proposed that the footage was relevant because it was the only footage that allowed the overall position of the cars, the steering inputs of the driver of Car 33, the heading of the cars and the proximity of the cars to be analaysed together.”
“While the stewards often have to make a decision with a limited set of facts, it is true that in making the review, the front facing camera was one of the angles that the stewards looked for. The Footage is a direct view of the incident, is not extraneous and is therefore, in the Stewards opinion Relevent.”
“However the Stewards determine that the footage shows nothing exceptional that is particularly different from the other angles that were available to them at the time, or that particularly changes their decision that was based on the originally available footage. Unlike the 2020 Austria case, in the judgement of the Stewards, there is nothing in the footage that fundamentally changes the facts. Nor even, does this show anything that wasn’t considered by the Stewards at the time.”
“Thus, the stewards determine that the footage, here, is not “Significant”.”