Hamilton: F1 racing rules "not clear" after FIA briefing post-Brazil clash

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1's racing rules are still "not clear" despite the drivers having lengthy discussions with the FIA following Max Verstappen's controversial defence against him in Brazil.

Listen to this article

But Verstappen disagrees, saying that after the drivers' briefing in Qatar ahead of this weekend's inaugural F1 race at the Losail track, which is understood to have lasted over an hour, that the situation "was in the end pretty clear".

After the Sao Paulo event, stewards ruled that Mercedes' request for a right of review into the decision that meant Verstappen's initial defence at Interlagos' Turn 4 did not to be fully investigated, the F1 pack held long talks with race director Michael Masi on Friday night in the usual drivers' briefing slot.

Verstappen said the briefing consisted of drivers "sharing their opinions and then the FIA explaining their process of thought behind it", but F1's two leading drivers were left split on the matter in their comments following qualifying in Qatar on Saturday evening.

After Hamilton had claimed pole but a massive 0.563s over Verstappen, he was asked if it was now clear what defensive driving was acceptable following the Qatar drivers' briefing, to which he replied: "No.

"It's not clear. Every driver, I think, expect for Max, was asking about just for clarity. Most drivers were asking for clarity, but it wasn't very clear.

"So, yeah - it's still not clear what the limits of the track are. It's clearly not the white line any more, so when overtaking. So we just go for it and...

"We just ask for consistency. So, if it's the same as the last race then that should be the same for all of us in those scenarios and then its fine."

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

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

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Verstappen, who answered before Hamilton, said: "Everyone is different, right? And everyone has their own way of racing and defending and overtaking, and of course it's very hard for the FIA as well to get everyone on the same line.

"Of course, they decide, but every driver has a different opinion and then I think yesterday it was all about sharing their opinions and then the FIA explaining their process of thought behind it.

"So, I think we came a long way and it was a very long briefing. So, yeah, I think it was in the end pretty clear."

Hamilton later stated that should he engage in a wheel-to-wheel fight in Sunday's race then he would approach any such situation understanding "that what happened in the last race is OK".

But he then said the drivers had been informed that different stewards could rule differently if the same scenario that occurred in Brazil were to play out again.

"It's not clear, as I said," Hamilton continued. "They said it's going to be different with different stewards. If we had the same ones as last week, this week it is one way - so we'll see."

Valtteri Bottas, who finished third in Qatar qualifying behind the two title contenders, said of the racing rules confusion: "I mean, it is clear in that way that if it's a similar incident [as] in Brazil then that's OK.

Read Also:

"But obviously it's always a fine line, but also the consistency that's the key and for us to know exactly [what is allowed].

"I don't think we got really an explanation like what we actually can do or not.

"So, I mean every overtake, every defending is different, so I'm sure they try to do the best job giving the best penalties or no penalties.

"I don't think it really changes anything, we'll obviously go for it and at least we know that's what Lewis and Max ended up having in Brazil that that is OK. That's a good thing to know."

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc "confused" by Qatar qualifying struggles after Q2 exit
Previous article

Leclerc "confused" by Qatar qualifying struggles after Q2 exit

Next article

FIA conducts extra rear wing checks after Qatar F1 qualifying

FIA conducts extra rear wing checks after Qatar F1 qualifying
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
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

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
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