The FIA and Formula 1 officials have called for a hearing on Thursday to discuss the matter of the 10-second penalty handed to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after contact between Hamilton’s car and Max Verstappen’s car at Silverstone.
The contact on the first lap of the race sent Verstappen’s Red Bull machine off the track, into a tire barrier and out of the race. Following a red flag period for track cleanup and mending of the safety barrier, Hamilton was assessed a 10-second penalty. The seven-time champion not only made up the 10-second penalty, but he went on to win the F1 British Grand Prix and cut Verstappen’s gap in the championship from 33 points to just eight.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said afterward that the penalty wasn’t nearly enough, and he asked to appeal the penalty. Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko has gone so far as to call for a race ban for Hamilton.
“You can’t (penalize Hamilton) within the normal sporting code,” Marko told Sky Germany. “I don’t know what the maximum penalty is, but such dangerous and reckless behavior should be punished with a suspension or something.”
Hamilton was also on the wrong end of abuse on social media following the incident. Some of the comments led the FIA to post the following on it’s website the day after the race:
“During, and after, yesterday’s British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was subjected to multiple instances of racist abuse on social media following an in-race collision. Formula 1, The FIA and Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team condemn this behavior in the strongest possible terms. These people have no place in our sport and we urge that those responsible should be held accountable for their actions. Formula 1, the FIA, the drivers and the teams are working to build a more diverse and inclusive sport, and such unacceptable instances of online abuse must be highlighted and eliminated.”
Thursday’s hearing will be conducted via a video conference. Each team–Red Bull and Mercedes–are allowed to have three attendees, including the team managers, to state their case.
The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET (17:00 CEST).
“I don’t have much to say on all the media hype and to be honest I am not interested in getting involved in any of that,” Verstappen said. “I know what happened at Silverstone, as I was in the car, and obviously I feel a certain way about how my race ended, but now I’m just focusing on making sure we are the best we can be on track so we can stay ahead in the championship.
“The Team can take care of the official side of things and anything that needs looking into after the crash but my job is the same as always, to be the best I can and try to win on Sunday. I enjoy Hungary as a track and let’s hope there is a little less action on the way to the grid as the mechanics worked some sort of miracle to get my car out for the race last year!”
Glad I’m ok. Very disappointed with being taken out like this. The penalty given does not help us and doesn’t do justice to the dangerous move Lewis made on track. Watching the celebrations while still in hospital is disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior but we move on pic.twitter.com/iCrgyYWYkm
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