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.

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 factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021