There’s probably nothing left to say about the controversial coming together of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at this year’s British Grand Prix a week ago, but that doesn’t mean that Red Bull isn’t out here still saying things.
It was revealed Tuesday that Red Bull requested that the FIA review the incident, according to Formula1.com, with a conference set for Thursday on the matter in Budapest ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. It will be attended by Red Bull and Mercedes representatives as well as the stewards. Red Bull apparently has some kind of new evidence about the Verstappen’s crash, which occurred when Hamilton’s left-front tire touched Verstappen’s right rear, sending Verstappen spinning into the wall.
The FIA’s International Sporting Code permits a right to review if “a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned”.
If Red Bull do not meet that criteria - and it is unknown at this time what they intend to present - the request will be rejected. Should the stewards feel it meets the criteria, the investigation will be reopened.
Formula1.com also says that the review was requested on Friday, the same day that Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner published a bitter letter on Red Bull’s website. Horner had this to say about the stewards in that letter:
The stewards themselves are, and always have been, a totally independent body and during the 16 and a half seasons I have been Team Principal, I have never walked into the stewards’ room in the middle of a race or session.
It was brought to my attention through the TV broadcast that Toto was going to see the stewards with information he had tried to email to Michael before they had ruled on a penalty. It is a little bit like trying to lobby a jury while they make their final verdict. The Stewards are locked away to ensure they are independent of external influence in order to reach their own conclusions.
So having heard that Toto was lobbying the stewards, I went up to see them and raised the point that neither of us should be there and it was not appropriate for anyone to interfere while the decision making process was underway. It is also detailed in the sporting code that this is not acceptable and I am now pleased to see that the FIA have clarified that this sort of lobbying will not be tolerated in the future as it may well pressure the stewards into a decision that is not wholly fair or impartial.
It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident
Horner said that the crash cost Red Bull $1.8 million, an amount that, “has massive ramifications in the budget cap era,” which is probably true. Still, every time Red Bull talks about the crash, it makes me more and more certain that Verstappen had some culpability; it would probably be best for everyone just to move on. Now, that won’t be happening till Thursday at the earliest. I hope that the crash has exactly zero ramifications on who wins the title, as otherwise we may never stop hearing about it.