Red Bull is weighing up whether to request a review into Lewis Hamilton’s punishment for causing Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen’s heavy crash at the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton tried to pass Verstappen into Copse on the opening lap at Silverstone but hit the right rear of the Red Bull and sent Verstappen into the barriers at a force of 51G.
Red Bull raged over the incident afterwards and team officials made it clear they felt Hamilton’s 10-second time penalty – from which he recovered and still won the race – was insufficient after Verstappen was put out on the spot and also ended up in hospital for precautionary checks.
It was even hinted that Hamilton’s actions may merit a race ban.
After the race, team principal Christian Horner had acknowledged the right to review existed but indicated it was unlikely to be pursued.
However, it was revealed on Friday that Red Bull is still considering the option.
“It is no secret that we felt at the time, and still feel, that Hamilton was given a light penalty for this type of incident,” said Horner in his post-British GP column on Red Bull Racing’s website.
“Given the severity of the incident and the lenient penalty, we are reviewing all data and have the right to request a review.
“We are therefore still looking at the evidence and considering all of our sporting options.”
In addition to the impact on Verstappen’s race and the team’s championship leads, Horner also claimed the crash, which was so violent it broke Verstappen’s seat, cost Red Bull approximately $1.8m.
He admitted that has “massive ramifications in a budget cap era”.
Teams can invoke the right of review enshrined in Article 14 of the FIA’s international sporting code.
To lead successfully to the stewards reviewing the incident and potentially considering a fresh penalty, the ISC demands “a significant and relevant new element which was unavailable to the parties seeking the preview at the time of the decision concerned”.
It is difficult to determine what Red Bull will try to argue is new information, although Verstappen’s own testimony may be a valid route.
Alternatively Red Bull may think Hamilton’s entry speed into Copse on subsequent laps of the grand prix post-incident, and analysis of his successful passes on Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc at the same corner, merit new evidence that the stewards would obviously have not been able to consider at the time.
If Red Bull does pursue its right to review, which is open for 14 days after the race, the stewards must meet either in person or remotely to be presented with the new evidence for consideration.
If it is deemed to satisfy the requirement for new information, then the stewards can reconsider the incident.
The right to review was most recently utilised by Alfa Romeo to earn a fresh hearing into the time penalty that cost Kimi Raikkonen ninth place in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. While the new evidence was accepted, it did not lead to any change in the penalty.
Famously, Ferrari also attempted to invoke the right to review to have the time penalty for unsafely rejoining that cost Sebastian Vettel the 2019 Canadian Grand Prix, but this was rejected give the supposed new evidence presented was unsuitable.