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Mercedes review rejected, Verstappen avoids penalty

Mercedes review rejected, Verstappen avoids penalty

Mercedes review rejected, Verstappen avoids penalty

Mercedes review rejected, Verstappen avoids penalty

Max Verstappen has avoided a penalty for his São Paulo Grand Prix defence against Lewis Hamilton after the stewards rejected Mercedes' review.

The stewards met with representatives from Mercedes and Red Bull on Thursday to discuss Verstappen's defensive manoeuvre against Hamilton on lap 48 of the 71-lap race at Interlagos.

Despite a four-hour session across two periods, the stewards opted to deliberate on their verdict overnight

The announcement comes after Mercedes opted for its right to review the incident unfolded between seven-time F1 champion Hamilton and Verstappen.

Challenging for the lead, Hamilton attempted an overtake on the outside of turn four at Interlagos, only for both drivers to run wide.

The stewards opted not to open an investigation during the race, with race director Michael Masi surprisingly later revealing not all footage was available at the time.

Once footage from Verstappen's front-facing onboard camera emerged, particularly highlighting the Dutch driver's steering wheel movements, Mercedes launched its right to review.

Its belief was the camera angle satisfied the criteria required in that "a significant and relevant new element" had materialised that was "unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned".

The stewards' conclusion was that while the footage was new, unavailable at the time and relevant, it was not, however, significant.

Determining why it was not significant, a stewards' report read:

"Whether this footage is 'significant' is really a question of whether or not it is likely to change the initial decision of the stewards.

"In the pertinent example brought forward by the competitor from Austria in 2020, none of the footage available and viewed at the time of the decision showed a yellow flag visible to the driver [Lewis Hamilton].

"However, the new and previously unavailable 360⁰ camera footage, which was downloaded the next day, clearly showed that the yellow flag was visible from the car and the driver was penalised for failing to slow down.

"In that case, the footage absolutely changed the decision of the stewards and was thus significant.

"During the hearing, the competitor asked that if the stewards were unconvinced of the significance of the footage, to be given the opportunity to present its view in that respect.

"Following the initial part of the hearing, the stewards gave the competitor the opportunity to do so, there being precedent for this.

"The previously unavailable footage was played, and the competitor also presented the footage in a side‐by‐side comparison with the previous lap. "As noted above, the stewards often must make a decision quickly and on a limited set of information.

"At the time of the decision, the stewards felt they had sufficient information to make a decision, which subsequently broadly aligned with the immediate post‐race comments of both drivers involved.

"Had they felt that the forward‐facing camera video from car 33 [Verstappen] was crucial in order to take a decision, they would simply have placed the incident under investigation - to be investigated after the race - and rendered a decision after this video was available. They saw no need to do so.

"The competitor’s position is that this new footage provides sufficient information for the stewardst o come to an altogether different conclusion than they did previously.

"However, the stewards determine that the footage shows nothing exceptional that is particularly different from the other angles that were available to them at the time, or that particularly changes their decision that was based on the originally available footage.

"Unlike the 2020 Austria case, in the judgement of the stewards, there is nothing in the footage that fundamentally changes the facts. Nor even, does this show anything that wasn’t considered by the stewards at the time.

"Thus, the stewards determine that the footage, here, is not 'Significant'."

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