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'Hamilton's action on Verstappen was in accordance with FIA guidelines'

'Hamilton's action on Verstappen was in accordance with FIA guidelines'

21-07-2021 16:44 Last update: 17:40


It remains a yes/no story when it comes to the collision between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone Sunday. Almost all F1 analysts have given their opinion by now and Mercedes-engineer James Allison has added his own.

Guidelines of the FIA

Verstappen went home with zero points, while Hamilton took the win despite a ten-second time penalty. Mercedes engineer James Allison closely followed the discussion on whether or not to punish Hamilton, even while waiting for the restart already. According to him, he was mainly curious whether the stewards would act correctly. "We wanted to make sure the stewards had read and followed the FIA's internal guidelines on the rights and obligations of overtaking," he told the Mercedes Race Debrief. "Because as far as we are concerned, the manoeuvre that Lewis performed was absolutely in line with the FIA's overtaking guidelines."

For completeness, Allison explains the exact rules during overtaking in the video. "If you are overtaking on the inside of a corner, the guideline requires that you are substantially alongside the other driver as you enter the corner. Lewis was certainly substantially alongside. He had his front axle well past the centre of Verstappen's car. There is also a requirement that you must be able to make the corner. So you can't leave track or lose control. Then the corner is yours. The other car then has a duty to prevent contact."

Too harsh penalty for Hamilton

Based on these guidelines, Allison, therefore, sees nothing wrong with Hamilton's action and the ten-second time penalty he feels is too harsh. "I know not everyone agrees with that, but I still think it is. And I certainly think it makes no difference whether Copse is a fast corner or a slow corner. This is about what the rules are with overtaking and I haven't seen Lewis do anything wrong in relation to those rules. So personally I think it's a hard decision."

"I get that some people don't understand that you're not required to hit the apex of the corner or that you don't have to have your whole car in front of the other person when overtaking," Allison continued. "I can understand that if you look at it from that perspective, you might think that the car behind has some kind of obligation to make sure there are no crashes." In the end, the penalty didn't hurt Mercedes and Hamilton, as the seven-time world champion was still able to drive to victory.

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