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Formula 1

F1 world awaits stewards' verdict on Verstappen/Hamilton case

Tensions at the Qatar Grand Prix are being heightened by the stewards' deliberations into the contentious Max Verstappen/Lewis Hamilton incident in Brazil.

Verstappen Hamilton Brazil
Article
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

The stewards' verdict on whether Mercedes are entitled to a full review of the incident between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in Brazil is expected at some point on Friday morning, ahead of practice for the Qatar Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Verstappen went wheel-to-wheel on Lap 48/71 of the race at Interlagos, with Verstappen's defence seeing him claim the inside line at Turn 4. As they accelerated through the corner, Verstappen appeared to run Hamilton out of space and both drivers went off into the escape area before resuming.

On the day, the stewards decided no investigation into the incident was necessary. But with Verstappen's onboard camera footage being released by FOM (Formula One Management) on Tuesday, Mercedes opted to request a right of review.

The first step in that process is that the stewards meet with representatives of the teams involved, with Mercedes required to present new and relevant evidence that the stewards wouldn't have had available at the time of the deliberations.

Verstappen's onboard footage represents this new evidence, and it is now the responsibility of the stewards to rule on whether this is sufficient to trigger a full review of the original decision.

Deliberations are ongoing

The stewards met with representatives from both Red Bull and Mercedes on Thursday evening in Qatar, but opted against announcing their verdict.

Instead, deliberations have gone on into Friday morning, but the ruling is expected to be revealed before the first practice session at Losail.

If the stewards do decide that a full review is required, there will be several options available to them with regards to potential penalties for Verstappen.

These punishments can include time and grid penalties. If Verstappen is given a five-second penalty, he would drop from second to third - behind Valtteri Bottas - in the Brazilian GP results. This would cost him three points of his current 14-point lead over Hamilton, and also give Mercedes an extra three points in the Constructors' standings, with Red Bull deducted the same number.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Could Mercedes' pace in Brazil spell the end for Red Bull?

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was simply unstoppable in Brazil, forcing his way past Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Is momentum coming back towards Mercedes in the 2021 title fight?

F1 2021 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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