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Did the FIA get it wrong with Verstappen in Brazil?

Did the FIA get it wrong with Verstappen in Brazil?

Did the FIA get it wrong with Verstappen in Brazil?

Did the FIA get it wrong with Verstappen in Brazil?
GPFans Staff

Max Verstappen put up a stern defence against Lewis Hamilton in Brazil but was the FIA correct not to penalise the Red Bull driver?

The GPFans Global team put their heads together following the Interlagos race and gave their verdict over the FIA's handling of Verstappen's lap 48 incident with Hamilton.

You can listen to the full São Paulo GP episode here.

Ian Parkes - GPFans Global editor in chief

"There's this 'let them race' policy because it's the world title. How many incidents have we seen gone punished, five-second time penalties or whatever, so far this season where a driver has been forced off track the way Lewis was forced off track by Max? Numerous.

"Now, all of a sudden, Christian Horner [Red Bull team principal] is saying 'Let them race'. Jonathan Wheatley [team manager] went on the radio to Michael Masi [FIA race director] saying 'Let them race'.

"We want to let them race, but if you are going to apply the letter of the law, if you are going to hand down these time penalties during grands prix as we have seen so far this season, you have to have one rule for all.

"Consistency is what we're after here, and that is what we're not getting."

Sam Hall - GPFans Global deputy editor

"Sporting regulation 27.3: 'Drivers must make every reasonable effort to use the track at all times and may not leave the track without a justifiable reason.'

"This says to me, if it wasn't even investigated, if it was just noted, the stewards or Masi must have had a reason to believe that Max had a 'justifiable reason' to leave the track.

"I can't see that he did have a justifiable reason other than the fact he wanted to keep the lead which you could easily argue was a lasting advantage gained by leaving the track."

Ewan Gale - GPFans Global F1 writer

"Everything about that decision is just so wrong to me. That decision, compared to stuff that has happened this year already, you don't need the camera to see if he opened the wheel or not. He was going straight on at the apex.

"It was a disgrace for me because we're talking about the five-second penalties that Lando Norris and Sergio Perez had in Austria for, really, pushing people slightly beyond the white line.

"We said at the time, is this going to be because there was gravel there, if it was run off, would they have given it? Well, clearly, they wouldn't have given the penalty and that's not right."

Should the FIA have penalised Verstappen for forcing Hamilton wide?

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