Red Bull's call for harsher Hamilton penalty rejected

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BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Red Bull's attempt to convince the FIA's stewards to issue a harsher penalty against Lewis Hamilton for colliding with Max Verstappen at the British Grand Prix has been rejected.

Hamilton was found predominantly to blame for the incident on July 18 and was given a ten-second time penalty and two points on his superlicence for causing a collision. Despite the penalty, Hamilton went on to win the race by over three seconds from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc while Verstappen's race ended against the crash barriers.

Red Bull made clear after the race that it felt Hamilton's penalty was too lenient given the circumstances and, last Friday, lodged a petition to review the stewards' decision.

Ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, the FIA invited representatives from Mercedes and Red Bull to attend an online hearing to review any new evidence brought by Red Bull. But in order for the decision to be considered for review, the stewards needed to be convinced Red Bull had produced new evidence that was "significant and relevant" to the incident, "discovered (as opposed to created)" and "unavailable at the time of the decision".

Remarkably, as part of its evidence, Red Bull attempted what the stewards called "a re-enactment" of Hamilton's positioning on the track during a private filming day at Silverstone on July 22, with reserve driver Alexander Albon behind the wheel of a two-year-old car. The re-enactment tried to prove that Hamilton's line was in some way more dangerous than the stewards had accounted for in the original decision.

The data from the filming day was submitted as "new" evidence along with computer simulations of potential lines through the corner and comparisons between the GPS tracking of Hamilton's move on Verstappen on lap one of the British Grand Prix and his successful overtake without contact on Charles Leclerc at the same corner on lap 50.

However, after reviewing the documents submitted by Red Bull, the stewards determined that "a) what was presented to the stewards was not 'a significant and relevant new element ... which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned'."

And "b) the slides ... relied upon as New Evidence were not 'discovered' but created for the purposes of submissions to support the petition for review. And they were created based on evidence that was available to the Competitor at the time of the decision (namely the GPS data). That clearly does not satisfy the requirements of Article 14."

As a result, Red Bull's attempt to force a review of the ten-second penalty was dismissed.

The stewards added in their report that Red Bull had made "certain allegations" that were of "some concern", but did not go into detail.

"The stewards note, with some concern, certain allegations made in the competitor's above letter. Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the stewards if the petition for review had been granted.

"The stewards may have addressed these allegations directly in any decision that would have followed. The petition having been dismissed, the stewards make no comments on those allegations."

Mercedes issued the following statement in response to the stewards' decision: "The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team welcomes the decision of the stewards to reject Red Bull Racing's right to review.

"In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including in the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review.

"We now look forward to going racing this weekend and to continuing our hard-fought competition for the 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship."

The next round of the Formula One season takes place this weekend in Hungary and is live on ESPN at 8.55AM (ET) on Aug. 1.