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McLaren confirms talks with FIA over potential Verstappen guidelines breach

The ball is now in the court of the FIA and whether it feels it needs to act further.

To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has confirmed holding talks with the FIA to clarify their "initial opinions" that Max Verstappen breached the Driving Standards Guidelines during the Austrian Grand Prix.

The furore surrounding the collision between Lando Norris and Verstappen, and the incidents in the build-up to the punctures that wrecked their races, has continued unabated over the past week.

At the heart of the debate is whether Verstappen moved under braking in defending from Norris, a manoeuvre the three-time F1 champion has insisted did not happen.

The Guidelines, relating to on-track etiquette not yet enshrined in the regulations, specifically state that: "When defending, there must be no change in direction by the defending car, after the deceleration phase has commenced, except to follow the racing line."

There are, however, a number of mitigating circumstances that are open to interpretation by the stewards, such as whether the move was late or optimistic, the type of corner, the age of the tyres, and how the cars arrived at any incident in question.

Addressing the issue again on Sky Sports F1 following Friday practice for the British Grand Prix, team principal Stella said: "For me, there is data, videos, facts, analysis, GPS data, which we spent quite a lot of time trying to confirm our initial opinions, and I have to say that our initial opinions were confirmed."

McLaren insist 'nothing personal' with Red Bull

As to whether that related to Verstappen turning under braking, Stella replied: "Yes, definitely. And like I said, straight after the race, if these manoeuvres had been addressed immediately, with a warning, with a black-and-white flag, there would have been no escalation. This is clear, and this is clear to the stewards as well.

"Now is the time to move on, to learn as much as possible from the opportunities that we had, and there was a lot of information coming from Austria, to put Formula 1 in a better position in terms of policy and enforcing the regulations that are already in place as to how you go racing."

Stella then confirmed raising the matter with the FIA, rather than approaching Red Bull, but making clear there is no animosity towards their F1 rivals on this contentious matter.

"Our counterpart in this kind of conversation is the FIA," said Stella. "Okay, there's nothing personal, there's nothing polarised.

"I think I said immediately [after the race] that we have a lot of respect for Red Bull, for Max, for what they have achieved, but our counterpart is the FIA and the stewards.

"We sought clarification, and we were satisfied with the answer we received from the stewards and the FIA."

RacingNews365 has approached the FIA for comment and is awaiting a response.

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