Mercedes and Red Bull, have been engaged in a war of words since their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, clashed on track at the British Grand Prix earlier this month. Off track, tensions reached a boiling point on Thursday when Red Bull’s push for Hamilton to receive a harsher penalty for the collision got heated before being rejected by the sport’s governing body, the FIA.
In Silverstone Hamilton served his penalty during a pit stop in the race and, despite dropping to fourth place, fought back to take a home victory and secure 25 points in the championship — closing the gap to Verstappen to eight points. The rhetoric after the race was highly charged, with Hamilton saying he had no reason to apologise, Verstappen saying Hamilton was “disrespectful” for celebrating while he was still in hospital and Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, calling Hamilton an “amateur” and “desperate”.
In the week that followed the race, Red Bull exercised its right to petition a review of the stewards’ decision — a right that is available to all teams if they believe evidence that was not previously considered by the stewards had since come to light.
Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto was also asked about a possible a harsher penalty and, without going into the specifics of the crash between Verstappen and Hamilton from two weeks ago, explained:
“Our personal view on the size of penalties is, it should not be based on the outcome of the accident. That would be wrong. You should judge the maneuvers in itself. The same maneuver can be different in different corners based on the safety of the corner itself. What we felt is that such maneuvers made in Copse is certainly high danger for the safety itself. That’s why eventually the size of the penalty can be judged differently based on where you do it. That’s a discussion we may have between team principals, FIA, Formula 1 commission, to make sure at least for the future, we are doing different or better if needed something .”