PARIS (AP) – Mercedes will argue Thursday for a reconsideration of the decision not to penalize Formula One Championship leader Max Verstappen at the Brazilian Grand Prix for an incident in which Lewis Hamilton deflected as he attempted a pass for the head.
The FIA ââsaid on Wednesday Mercedes had been granted the right to review the incident in which Verstappen appeared to force the seven-time champion off the track. The stewards noted the incident at the time, but ruled it as a racing incident and took no action against the Red Bull driver.
Hamilton crossed the winners’ milestone 11 laps later to win Sunday at Interlagos. This reduced Verstappen’s lead in the standings to 14 points with three races remaining.
Even though Hamilton won, Mercedes thinks Verstappen should have been penalized.
Thursday’s hearing ahead of the inaugural Qatar GP is to determine whether Mercedes has met the criteria for a review. Mercedes based its challenge on “new evidence not available to the stewards at the time of their decision”. These are believed to be on-board camera footage of the two-car incident.
If the marshals decide that Verstappen should be penalized, he could receive a five-second penalty applied to last Sunday’s race. He finished second ahead of Hamilton teammate Valtteri Bottas, and the time penalty would drop him back to third place. That would reduce his lead from 14 to 11.
Hamilton, 36, is aiming for an eighth world title to break the tie with Michael Schumacher. 24-year-old Verstappen is looking for his prime.
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