The great mystery of the FIA’s rejection of Red Bull’s claim

After all, with Hamilton already penalized for the accident based on the video and telemetry data, there was little chance that Red Bull You may be successful in trying to provide some “significant” and “relevant” new evidence to the FIA.

As Ferrari discovered in 2019, when it proposed to use a Karun Chandhok piece on Sky TV to try to convince the stewards to reopen the investigation into Sebastian Vettel’s penalty at the Canadian GP, ​​the FIA ​​takes no prisoners when it comes to complying. your criteria.

As much as the teams consider their new elements to be strong, the FIA ​​is quite strict with what it demands when it comes to an issue in which the stewards are asked to meet again to try to change a decision.

In this case, the slides Red Bull presented of the accident, of Hamilton’s overtaking of Charles Leclerc for comparison, and a recreation of Hamilton’s driving line by Alex Albon they were not sufficient to warrant a reexamination of the decisions already made at Silverstone.

But while the result is not a surprise to many, the FIA ​​statement regarding the tests and Red Bull’s actions has sparked a new intrigue that has yet to be explained.

Alexander Albon, Red Bull Racing RB15

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Filming day

One of the key points emerging from the stewards’ ruling is Red Bull’s efforts to “create” evidence to support its claim, rather than discover it.

Although Red Bull presented “simulations of the incident”, the team went much further: it literally recreated the line that Hamilton took at Copse, Silverstone, with one of his cars with the intention of proving a point.

Stewards said Red Bull presented slides “showing a ‘recreation of the line that Hamilton drew on the first lap at Silverstone on July 22, 2021 – based on a lap allegedly driven by another driver (Alexander Albon).”

Albon was in action last week for Red Bull participating in the Pirelli tire test with a car with RB16B specs. However, all of their on-track action was completed on the Tuesday after the British Grand Prix, which was on July 20.

Further testing with Pirelli took place on July 21, but on July 22 Red Bull celebrated a day of filming on the track in its 2019-spec Red Bull RB15.

Images of the test from that day were released later.

With the RB15 being over two years old, Red Bull is free to take on as many off-tracks as it wants.

In addition, putting Albon, the reserve and test driver, in the cockpit to keep up with the circumstances does not seem like anything to write home about.

But the stewards’ statement revealed that this filming day was used, at least in part, to try to get Albon to recreate Hamilton’s line at Copse, most likely to show that he was never going to take the curve and was carrying too much speed.

Getting to use part of a day of filming to try to recreate the line of Hamilton shows how far Red Bull was willing to go – and the cost – to defend its case. But was the entire filming day organized simply to add to the evidence in the case?

But as realistic as Albon’s recreation was, Red Bull was never going to find “significant and relevant evidence” by getting back on track and attempting to recreate the incident.

As the curators noted, this cannot be considered a discovery, as is required for the right to review process to proceed.

The commissioners themselves said that the evidence “was not” discovered “, but created in order to present it to support the Petition for Review.”

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

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, is taken to the pits after the accident.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, is taken to the pits after the accident.

Photo by: Sutton Images

The mysterious allegations

Perhaps an even greater mystery is the direct reference that the FIA ​​made to some “allegations” that Red Bull presented in a letter delivered to the governing body.

On July 23, when the team submitted its request for the FIA ​​to review the British GP incident, Red Bull appears to have included some strong claims in a cover letter that supported what they considered new evidence.

The FIA ​​statement from the Hungaroring read: “The stewards take note, with some concern, of certain allegations made in the competitor’s letter mentioned above.

“Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the commissioners if the request for review had been accepted.

“The stewards could have addressed these allegations directly in any subsequent decision. As the petition was dismissed, the stewards do not comment on those allegations.”

It is not known what those allegations from Red Bull are, but it is clear that the team went into attack mode.

The statement issued by Mercedes on Thursday referred to Red Bull attempting to “smear” Hamilton’s “good name and sporting integrity” in these documents.

But while Red Bull’s anger at Hamilton’s driving is understood to be an element of the letter, it is more likely that the FIA ​​stewards would only make such a comment if their criticism was directed directly at the governing body or its officials.

Red Bull had made it clear that it considered Hamilton’s actions should have merited a harsher sanction, suggesting that they thought the stewards had been too lenient in dealing with the matter.

The team also disagrees with the FIA’s decision that the fault for the accident was “predominantly” on Hamilton and not entirely.

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Thursday’s FIA decision should at least mean that the controversy over the British GP incident can shift away from F1’s main focus of attention right now and refocus on the action on the track in Hungary.

But judging from the latest statements from both teams, this will almost certainly not be the last battle in their war for the 2021 F1 title.

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