F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?
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The FIA race director Michael Masi has outlined why the stewards believed Lewis Hamilton was ‘predominantly to blame’ for the high-speed crash with Max Verstappen as the two battled it out for the lead of the race at the British Grand Prix.
With Verstappen on pole, Hamilton piled on the pressure for the opening eight corners, trying to find a way around his main title rival, before making contact with the Dutchman at high speed, spearing the Red Bull driver into the barriers at Turn Nine.
Subsequently, the British driver was handed a ten-second time penalty, with Red Bull left fuming it should’ve been a more severe punishment.
Asked what the stewards believed Hamilton should have done differently to avoid the incident, Masi replied: “I don’t know that they express a view of what he should have done but having looked at it all, their view was that he was predominantly to blame for that.
“I haven’t had the opportunity, because I have been going through a whole load of other things to actually read the decision in full, but the big part was, similar to what happened with Charles [Leclerc] later on, he could have, say, tucked further to the apex.
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“That was where they found – the wording was quite clear as per the regulations – that he was predominantly to blame.
“He wasn’t seen as wholly to blame for it but he was seen as predominantly to blame. He could have tucked in further and that could have changed the outcome but we don’t know, we judge it on the incident itself.”
Hamilton then went on to win the Grand Prix, despite rejoining fifth after taking his time penalty in the put stop, sweeping past the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in front of a cheering home crowd.
And Masi was clear on his stance on a driver being handed such a penalty, but continuing on to take victory.
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“One of the big parts that has been a mainstay for many many years, and this came through discussions prior to my time between all of the teams, the FIA and F1, and the team principals were all quite adamant, you should not consider the consequences in an incident,” stated Masi.
“So when they are judging incidents, they judge the incident itself and the narrative of the incident and not what happens afterwards as a consequence.
“That is something the stewards have done for many years and have been advised from the top down.
“That’s the way the stewards judge it because if you start taking consequences into account there are so many variables instead of judging the incident itself on its merit.”
Verstappen leads the driver standings, but by just eight points heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix.
After the incident, the Dutchman was taken to a local hospital but was released a few hours later after the race on Sunday.
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