FIA Mercedes/Verstappen hearing deferred to Austin

The FIA's hearing into the Mercedes protest over Max Verstappen's defensive driving in Japan has been deferred until the United States Grand Prix.

FIA Mercedes/Verstappen hearing deferred to Austin
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB12
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
Race winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates the Constructors' title with Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director, and the team

Mercedes complained that Verstappen had driven in a dangerous manner with the way he moved under braking against Hamilton in their penultimate lap battle.

It lodged an official protest following the Suzuka race, which has left the results of the event provisional.

The race stewards, who had earlier held informal talks with Verstappen about the incident, met in the evening but decided that it would be better to wait before making a decision on the matter.

A statement issued by them said: "At the commencement of the hearing the Stewards noted that neither driver was in attendance and hence was unable to give or refute any evidence.

"After hearing initial comments by representatives of Mercedes, the Stewards decide that in order to ensure fairness and afford both drivers the opportunity to be heard, the matter should be deferre and in accordance with Article 11.9.2.s of the International Sporting Code, the Stewards delegate their authority to the Stewards of the 2016 United States Formula One Grand Prix.

"Both team representatives agreed to this."

The matter will now likely be discussed on the Thursday of the Austin event, where both Hamilton and Verstappen will be able to present their side of the incident.

Hamilton was forced up the escape road at the final chicane after taking avoiding action to prevent a clash with Verstappen, who had moved to defend the inside line.

 

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