Mercedes double down in their defence of Lewis Hamilton by insisting his move that ended Max Verstappen’s British Grand Prix was ‘absolutely in line’ with FIA rules after Brit was accused of ‘dangerous driving’
- Mercedes reiterate their defence of Hamilton after his crash with Verstappen
- Verstappen accused Hamilton of being dangerous after their 190mph collision
- The incident immediately ended the Red Bull driver’s British Grand Prix
- Meanwhile, Hamilton was handed a 10-second penalty but still won the race
- Mercedes have again said Hamilton was not in the wrong for Sunday’s collision
Mercedes have reiterated their defence of Lewis Hamilton in the wake of Sunday’s controversial British Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen accused Hamilton of being dangerous, disrespectful and unsportsmanlike following their 190mph collision at Silverstone.
While the incident forced the Red Bull driver to retire from the race, his British rival was handed a 10-second penalty and subsequently raced to victory, slashing his championship deficit from 33 points to only eight.
Lewis Hamilton was accused of being ‘dangerous, disrespectful and unsportsmanlike’ by Max Verstappen after a collision during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix on Sunday
The championship rivals came together, causing Verstappen to suffer a high-speed crash
Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison is adamant Hamilton did nothing wrong
Mercedes are now just three points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings, although Red Bull are still weighing up whether to lodge an appeal against the stewards’ verdict.
But Mercedes chief technical officer James Allison has given a detailed explanation of Hamilton’s manoeuvre and remains adamant that seven-time world champion did nothing wrong.
‘There was quite a lot of discussion live on camera while we waited to restart the race about who is right and who is wrong and that discussion rages on today,’ said Allison in a video on the team website.
Hamilton was dealt a 10-second penalty for the accident but went on to win the race
‘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 because, as far as we are concerned, the manoeuvre that took place, 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 is 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.
Red Bull chief Christian Horner said Hamilton put Verstappen’s life in danger at Silverstone
‘It requires you are substantially alongside and it requires that 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.
‘What that means is not that you have to emerge in the lead, what it means is that 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.
‘So, if you follow the notes that are provided to the FIA stewards and you look frame by frame at what happened with Lewis, he was substantially alongside, he absolutely would have made the corner and indeed did make the corner and therefore there was no need for him to cede any ground.
The race was red-flagged while Verstappen was taken away and the barrier damage was fixed
‘So I did feel that it was harsh to get the penalty. I realise not everyone agrees with that, but I still believe that to be the case and I certainly think that whether Copse is a fast corner or a slow corner makes no difference.
‘This is about what are the rules to do with overtaking and I didn’t see that Lewis did anything wrong with respect to those rules.’