Lewis Hamilton row heats up as Mercedes accuse Red Bull of trying to ‘tarnish his name’ with the Brit cleared of facing any further action after his crash with rival Max Verstappen in controversial British Grand Prix triumph
- Lewis Hamilton will not face any action over his crash with Max Verstappen
- Hamilton was punished with a 10-second penalty during the race but still went on to win at Silverstone
- Red Bull requested an official review into what they saw as a lenient punishment
- Mercedes accused Red Bull of attempting to ‘tarnish the name’ of Hamilton
Red Bull were accused of an attempt to ‘tarnish the name’ of Lewis Hamilton on Thursday night at the end of an incendiary stewards’ meeting that saw him cleared of further penalty for a crash at the British Grand Prix.
Mercedes were fuming on hearing Red Bull’s statement to an FIA appeal hearing which accused Hamilton of dangerous driving and seeking the collision that led to Max Verstappen being airlifted to hospital.
They regard Red Bull’s supposed new evidence as a personal affront to their driver and issued a strong statement accusing their rivals of attacking Hamilton’s integrity.
Lewis Hamilton will not face any action over his collision with Max Verstappen at Silverstone
Verstappen and Hamilton collided on the opening lap of a thrilling British Grand Prix
The Red Bull star was sent into the crash barriers at a force of 51G in the race this month
Mercedes’ statement welcomed the stewards’ decision: ‘In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton.’
Hamilton has always denied intent over the crash, yet the final paragraph of the FIA verdict indicated the seriousness of Red Bull’s accusations.
It read: ‘The stewards note, with some concern, certain allegations made in the competitor’s letter. Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the stewards if the petition for review had been granted.
‘The stewards may have addressed these allegations directly in any decision that would have followed. The petition having been dismissed, the stewards make no comments on those allegations.’
It means that only if Hamilton had been deemed worthy of a more serious punishment would the stewards have considered Red Bull’s claim of intent.
Hamilton was punished with a 10-second penalty during the race but still went on to win it
Red Bull chief Christian Horner was seeking a ban from racing, which outraged Mercedes
Red Bull’s legal team attempted to prove the collision was deliberate, using graphics explaining the angles and positioning of the two drivers.
And Red Bull’s stance — team principal Christian Horner was seeking a ban from racing — has outraged Mercedes, by implying the most serious charge of all: that Hamilton deliberately risked the safety of another driver, crashing into Verstappen as a race tactic.
Verstappen also threw away an olive branch and renewed his war of words with Hamilton on Thursday. He is still smarting over the Silverstone collision — and Mercedes’ victory celebrations, despite him being airlifted to hospital.
‘It is the whole reaction of the team,’ said Verstappen, speaking before the Hungarian Grand Prix.
‘That is not how you celebrate a win, especially a win in the way they got it. I wouldn’t want to be seen like that. I would have been upset with myself over that move and I definitely could not celebrate.’
The Dutchman was fortunately able to walk away from his car unscathed but went to hospital
Verstappen reignited his war of words with Hamilton ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix