Ten days have now passed since the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. The Losail race was also held since the event in Brazil, which further closed the gap in the fight for the world championship between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton – but the minds of many experts seem to have remained at the Interlagos weekend. In particular, it is the drivers who are still firm on the most discussed episode of the Brazilian race: Max Verstappen’s ‘wide-elbowed’ defense against his direct rival for the title. The duel was useless for the final result, given that the Mercedes driver still won that race, but it opened the door to a hive of controversy.
Mercedes insisted on the matter, demanding the right of review, which was rejected – as expected – by the race marshals. But Toto Wolff has achieved his real goal: to point the finger at a precedent that can only generate debate. During the Losail weekend and in the days immediately following, many drivers commented on the incident, appearing perplexed by the lack of a penalty for #33. The main ‘complaint’ concerns the lack of consistency of those who have to judge. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc summed up this thought, declaring that he is ready to adapt to even more aggressive duels, citing the precedent of the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix. “If it had happened on the last lap, I’m pretty sure it would have received a penalty”, George Russell said.
“We have too many gray areas – agreed Fernando Alonso, third at the finish line during the Qatar weekend – once you benefit from it, the next time you turn badly“. Carlos Sainz’s thought was very direct and detailed, with some interesting questions, asking for clarity. “During the winter we will really have to clarify what is acceptable when attacking and defending ourselves. Can I push my opponent off the track? If so, how often? Just once? Many times? Are we given warnings? We wanted some answers – added the Ferrari driver, referring to the meeting held by the drivers with Race Director Michael Masi – but part of the problem is that we don’t always have the same stewards ” – the Scuderia Ferrari Spanish driver concluded.