The race director Michael Masi stated that the race marshals assess the accident, but not the consequences. Yet, on the occasion of the contact between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Copse, the feeling is that the consequences have been taken into consideration and not the accident. Several insiders called the episode a race accident, not the stewards who punished Lewis Hamilton with a ten-second penalty. A Pilates sanction according to Bernie Ecclestone, who believes that one had to opt either for the ‘no further action’ as this is a race accident or for a heavier sanction if you really wanted to try to take into account the consequences of the accident, or a Max Verstappen knocked out against a Lewis Hamilton free to pursue the success – later obtained – also thanks to the red flag.
A Pilates sanction
In 2019 Sebastian Vettel collided at Vale Max Verstappen who had just passed the German from Ferrari to Stowe. A decidedly more obvious mistake than what happened at the Copse on Sunday. Yet the penalty was the same. The technical director of Mercedes James Allison in the usual debrief published by Mercedes on Youtube he stressed that the regulation speaks clearly and does not show any culpability on Hamilton’s part. Judging from the radio communications, this is exactly what the famous email sent by Toto Wolff to the race director Michael Masi was about. “If you are inside the curve, trying to overtake using the trajectory inside the curve, then the regulation requires you to be basically on the side. It is not required to be in front – Allison’s words – so, if you follow the notes that are given to the FIA commissioners and look frame by frame what happened with Lewis, he was basically on the side, he would have absolutely made the curve and in fact he did the curve and therefore there is no some land needed to be given to Verstappen. Personally I think it was a tough decision. If you look at the document in the hands of the commissioners then I think Lewis has done nothing wrong ”.