The father of world championship leader Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton should have been disqualified from the British Grand Prix for the accident which eliminated the Red Bull driver from the race.
Verstappen was taken to hospital after suffering a 51G impact with the wall, following a collision with Hamilton at the fastest corner on the Silverstone circuit.
Copse corner is a right-hander taken at around 300km/h. Hamilton’s front left tyre made contact with Verstappen’s right rear, sending the Red Bull into the barriers.
The Mercedes driver was handed a 10-second penalty by the stewards but was still able to win the race and cut Verstappen’s championship lead to just eight points.
Jos Verstappen, who started in 106 races from 1994-2003, told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that the punishment was inadequate.
“I think a 10-second time penalty is really ridiculous,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, they could have disqualified him from the race.
“Max gave him space and just sat in front of him, so you can’t overtake on the inside.”
With the race red-flagged immediately after the accident to allow the tyre barrier to be rebuilt, Wolff and Horner argued the case for their respective drivers.
Horner, however, says that is not on.
“I don’t think stewards should be interfered with,” Horner said.
“They need to be clear-headed to make those decisions, I went to see them because I heard Toto was up there, presenting a case.
“You want it to be fair and balanced, I don’t think anyone should be allowed to see them during the course of the GP.”
What Horner wasn’t aware of was that Wolff had been told to see the stewards by none other than F1 race director Michael Masi.
In team radio transmissions that were broadcast during the red flag period, Wolff was heard trying to mount a case for Hamilton’s defence direct to Masi.
“Michael, I just sent you an email with the diagrams where the cars should be, did you receive it?” Wolff asked.
“Toto, I don’t access my emails during the race, deliberately, to concentrate on the race,” Masi replied.
“I suggest if you want to, Toto, feel free to go upstairs and see the stewards directly.”
Masi has also since clarified that the consequences of the crash are not taken into account when determining a punishment.
The Australian said the fact that the crash eliminated the world championship leader and resulted in him being sent to hospital wasn’t considered by the stewards.
“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, is that you should not consider the consequences in an incident,” Masi said.
“So, when they judge an incident, they judge the incident itself and the merits of the incident, not what happens afterwards as a consequence. And that’s been something that the stewards have done for many years.
“And have been advised to do from top down. And I’m talking team involvement and so forth. So, that’s the way that the stewards judge it because start taking consequences into account, there’s so many variables, rather than judging the incident itself on its merits.”
Writing for the-race.com, former Jordan technical director Gary Anderson highlighted the cost to Red Bull for the accident, a huge setback for the team now that a cost cap has been introduced. While teams will have budgeted for repairs, the size of the bill will likely mean Red Bull has to compromise elsewhere to pay for it.
“To be judged at fault and to get only a time penalty for pushing another driver off the track just shows that the penalty system is not adequate and doesn’t fit the crime,” Anderson wrote.
“For Red Bull, this accident damage has cost it probably in excess of ($1.8m) in damage and all it prompted was a 10-second penalty.”
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