The bigger mysteries prompted by FIA’s Red Bull F1 rejection

The FIA’s rejection of Red Bull’s request to review the British Grand Prix crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen surprised few in Formula 1.

The bigger mysteries prompted by FIA’s Red Bull F1 rejection

After all, with Hamilton having already been sanctioned for the accident based on video and telemetry data, there was little chance of Red Bull being able to cross the threshold of providing some new 'significant' and 'relevant' evidence to the FIA.

As Ferrari found out to its cost in 2019, when it proposed using a Karun Chandhok Sky TV piece to try to convince the stewards to reopen the investigation over Sebastian Vettel's Canadian GP penalty, the FIA takes no prisoners when it comes to its criteria being fulfilled.

For however strong teams feel that their new elements may be, the FIA is quite strict about what it demands when it comes to getting the stewards back together again.

Read Also:

In this case, the slides that Red Bull produced of the accident, of Hamilton's overtaking of Charles Leclerc as a comparison and a re-enactment of Hamilton's driving line by Alex Albon were not enough to justify a fresh look at the case.

But while the outcome is not a shock to many, the FIA statement surrounding the evidence and Red Bull's actions has prompted some fresh intrigue that has yet to be explained.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

The filming day

One of the key points that emerged from the stewards' ruling was the push by Red Bull to "create" evidence to support its claim, as opposed to discovering evidence.

While Red Bull did present "simulations of the incident", the team went much further: it literally recreated the line that Hamilton took into Copse at Silverstone with one of its cars to prove a point.

The stewards said that Red Bull presented slides "which showed a 're-enactment of Hamilton's Lap 1 line at Silverstone on 22 July 2021..' based on a lap allegedly driven by another driver (Alexander Albon)."

Albon was in action last week for Red Bull in the 2021-spec RB16B car, taking part in the Pirelli tyre test. But all of his running in that was completed on the Tuesday after the British Grand Prix - which was 20 July.

Further Pirelli running took place on 21 July, but 22 July saw Red Bull hold a filming day at the track using its 2019-spec Red Bull RB15.

Video footage of the test that day later emerged.

 

As the RB15 is more than two years old, Red Bull is able complete as much private running as it wishes.

Plus, putting reserve and test driver Albon in the cockpit to stay match sharp hardly seemed like anything of note.

But the stewards' statement revealed that this filming day was at least in part used to try and get Albon to recreate Hamilton's line into Copse, most probably to show that he was never going to make the corner and was carrying far too much speed.

To go as far as using part of a filming day to try and re-enact Hamilton's line shows the lengths - and cost - Red Bull was willing to go to in a bid to fight its case. But was the whole filming day pulled together simply to boost the evidence file?

 

But no matter how realistic Albon's recreation was, Red Bull was never going to find "significant and relevant evidence" by going back on track and attempting to recreate the incident.

As the stewards pointed out, this cannot be deemed a discovery, as is required for the right of review process to move further forward.

The stewards themselves said evidence was "not 'discovered' but created for the purposes of submissions to support the Petition for Review."

There is also an element of irony that it was Albon who completed the re-enactment, given he has twice been involved in collisions with Hamilton (Brazil 2019, Austria 2020).

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B is loaded onto a truck after his crash

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B is loaded onto a truck after his crash

Photo by: Sutton Images

The mystery allegations

Perhaps an even bigger mystery is the direct reference that the FIA made to some 'allegations' that Red Bull put forward in a letter to the governing body.

On July 23, when the team lodged its request for the FIA to review the British GP incident, it appears that Red Bull included some strongly worded claims in a covering letter that supported its hoped-for new evidence.

The FIA statement from the Hungaroring said: "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."

It is not known what these allegations made by Red Bull are, but it is obvious that the team went on the attack.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Sutton Images

In the Mercedes statement issued on Thursday it made reference to Red Bull having attempted to 'tarnish' Hamilton's 'good name and sporting integrity' in these documents.

But while it is understood that Red Bull's anger over Hamilton's driving was an element of the letter, it is more likely that the FIA stewards would only make such a comment were its criticisms directly aimed at the governing body or its officials.

Red Bull had been clear that it felt Hamilton's actions should have warranted a tougher sanction, which suggests it felt the stewards had been too weak in their handling of the matter.

The team also disagreed with the FIA's decision that Hamilton had been 'predominantly' to blame for the accident rather than wholly.

Thursday's FIA ruling should at least mean that the controversy over the British GP incident can move away from being F1's main focus right now and attention switch back to action on the track in Hungary.

But judging by the latest statements from both teams, this is almost certainly not going to be the last battle of their F1 2021 war.

shares
comments

Related video

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'
Previous article

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Next article

Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Hungary F1

Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Hungary F1
Load comments
The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call Prime

The code of conduct debate prompted by the Alonso/Raikkonen marginal call

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen's clash in Austin has thrust the debate about rights and wrongs of wheel-to-wheel combat firmly into the public spotlight, prompting complaints about the Formula 1 rules process. But what can the FIA do to prevent the issue resurfacing?

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

Formula 1
Oct 27, 2021
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021