FIA didn't look at Verstappen onboard before ruling out investigation

The FIA has revealed that it didn't check onboard footage of Max Verstappen's Turn 4 incident with Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix before ruling out an investigation.

Verstappen was defending from Hamilton on lap 48 of the Interlagos race, when his Mercedes rival managed to pull ahead of him on the run down to Turn 4.

The Red Bull driver braked late on the inside and subsequently ran wide off the track, forcing Hamilton to take evasive action to avoid contact.

While the incident was "noted" by F1 race director Michael Masi, it was subsequently decided that no investigation of the incident was required.

But it has now emerged that the decision was taken without Masi nor race control looking at onboard footage of Verstappen's car, which would offer a better perspective of the Dutchman's intentions.

Asked by Motorsport.com if the FIA had access to the pictures when making the call during the race, Masi confirmed that it did not.

"No, it was only that the cameras that are broadcast, as I've said before, which is basically what we have access to throughout," he said.

Masi said that the footage, plus that from both cars' 360-degree cameras, will only be looked at after the weekend.

"The forward facing, the 360, there's all of the camera angles that we don't get live that will be downloaded and we'll have a look at them post-race," he said. "It hasn't been obtained yet. It's been requested."

Masi conceded that the forward facing footage could be a smoking gun, if, for example, it shows Verstappen steering towards Hamilton.

"Could be, absolutely. Possibly. But no, we didn't have access to it. And obviously, it's being downloaded. And once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we'll have a look."

Let them race

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, battles with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, battles with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

While Mercedes felt that Verstappen's actions were worthy of a penalty for forcing Hamilton off the track, Masi disagreed. He said that, instead, F1's "let them race" principles were applied.

Asked if there was any inconsistency with other recent decisions, Masi replied: "I'd disagree that it's inconsistent. You have a look at it, and as I've said many times before, you judge the incident on its merits, and you have a look at all of it.

"And let's not forget, we have the overall let them race principles, and looking at it all, with all of the angles that we had available, that philosophy was adopted."

Asked why let them race applied in this case, he said: "I think if you look proximity of the cars, getting into the apex, where it is, nature of the corner. The fact that both cars went off, neither car lost position or anything like that, that was probably the general view of it."

When it was suggested that Hamilton would have made the corner had he not been edged wide by Verstappen, Masi added: "If you sort of keep going a little bit further, they're give or take about side on side. So I think for the benefit of everyone, it was let them race, so let them race."

However, Masi did consider giving the black and white warning flag to Verstappen for that incident.

Read Also:

"I did, it certainly came into my mind, and then I sort of looked at it a few more times, and it wasn't far off a black and white flag, to be brutally honest, for Max."

Although Verstappen didn't receive a black and white flag for the Turn 4 incident, he did later receive one for weaving when trying to break Hamilton's tow.

"It's absolutely clear cut," said Masi. "That's something we've discussed last year at the drivers' request, I might add, the weaving in the straight. We said we will crack down on it. And that was very simple."

shares
comments

Related video

10 things we learned from 2021's Brazilian Grand Prix
Previous article

10 things we learned from 2021's Brazilian Grand Prix

Next article

F1 Podcast: Reviewing the turbulent Brazilian GP

F1 Podcast: Reviewing the turbulent Brazilian GP
Load comments
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022