F1 explains why Hamilton’s penalty was so lenient

On the day after the Grand Prix, the discussions about the clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton during the Formula 1 British Grand Prix continue to rumble on.

In addition to the question of who was to blame, the 10-second penalty handed out to Hamilton by the race stewards is also a big topic.



For Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, the penalty was too lenient.

“If you win, it’s not a penalty,” was the feeling of the team boss, and he is not alone in this opinion.

FIA race director Michael Masi now rejects this criticism.

“One of the most important elements in the assessment of such situations is that the stewards do not have to assess the consequences of an accident,” Masi explains.

The stewards would only assess the incident and the actions that led to it, “but not what happens afterwards as a consequence of the incident.”

This has been the practice “for many years” and was also decided “from the top down” when it was introduced. “This was discussed before my time,” Masi notes.

“The FIA, Formula One and the team bosses were always very clear and united on this point.

Let us know who you feel was to blame, or if it was simply a racing incident.


9 responses to “F1 explains why Hamilton’s penalty was so lenient

  1. The stewards would only assess the incident and the actions that led to it, “but not what happens afterwards as a consequence of the incident.”

    Like most regulations that come from the FIA they seem to be mainly made up on the fly as situations arise. The Hamilton – Verstappen incident is a perfect illustration. The stewards declared that Hamilton was principally the cause of the accident and assessed Hamilton a 10 second penalty. The reality was it was no penalty. Hamilton was second when he hit Verstappen and even after the penalty, getting by Norris was easy and Bottas was told to let him through. Had he not caught Leclerc, Hamilton would have finished where he started. Verstappen, who was the victim, lost either 25 or 18 points, as there wasn’t much doubt he would have finished first or second. Red Bull lost a million $ plus chassis that they’ve have to replace in a budget-capped F1 world. But more importantly, Verstappen is likely to have to use a new engine in Hungary, 4 / 5 races before he should have and the likelihood is Verstappen will have to use a 4th engine and start a race from the back of the grid at some point. If the FIA don’t review this it’s pretty clear the FIA are in M-B’s back pocket. I wonder though what would have happened if it was Verstappen that took out Hamilton? A 10 second penalty – I doubt it.

  2. First, I think this was a first lap racing incident…period. All this nonsense about suspensions, etc is ridiculous. Anyone here remember a couple of guys named Senna and Prost…they raced, didn’t just parade around the track.

  3. The Penalties awarded in Austria and the one George Russell received on the Saturday were all totally unnecessary so a penalty for Hamilton was coming purely because of the need for consistency. Personally I’m asking the question over the need for the red flag. Neither Hamilton and Verstappen were prepared to give way and as a result both were out of the grand prix but the red flag was thrown. In years gone by the British track Marshall’s were more than capable of removing the car and rebinding the tyres during a live event under a safety car in quick fire time. The red flag is the real cause of Redbull’s much aligned anger and it would have been far more fitting for both drivers to have been sat on the fence after lap 1 looking at a broken car as Leclerc drove past leading the GP. I have no sympathy for either of them but i question the time it took the crew to recover the Redbull and why on earth we had a red flag.

  4. Why doesnt the FIA look to the Mercs frontwing compared to the Bulls rearwing …
    In the end Toto and Lewis got lost by the absence of Niki. They just seem to be very poor losers.

  5. Hamilton is world champion and black, so he will never receive an appropriate penalty. If Verstappen had taken out Hamilton, I’m sure he would be facing a suspension.

    • A very racist remark. You should be ashamed of this. You thin FIA don’t know how to apply their own rules? Go re-write it fir them.

      • How can my comment be described as racist; it is merely a comment on the BLM woke driven society we live in. Everyone is afraid of being called a racist, I think you have made my point.

      • I don’t see how my post can be considered racist; it is merely a comment on the Black Lives Matter fuelled woke society that we live in. Everyone (including F1 stewards) are afraid of being accused of racism. I think you have proved my point.

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