Mercedes files case to review Verstappen without penalty

Mercedes files case to review Verstappen without penalty

Paris Mercedes will defend on Thursday to review its decision not to penalize Formula One leader Max Verstappen at the Brazilian Grand Prix for an accident in which Lewis Hamilton derailed while trying to pass for the lead.

Mercedes has won the right to review the accident in which Verstappen appeared to have forced the seven-time champion off the track, the FIA ​​said on Wednesday. The hosts noted the accident at the time, but ruled it a racing accident and took no action against the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton pulled off the race-winning pass 11 laps later to beat Interlagos on Sunday. Verstappen’s lead in the standings has been reduced to 14 points, with three races remaining.

Despite Hamilton’s win, Mercedes believes Verstappen should have been punished.

Thursday’s hearing before the opening of the Qatar Grand Prix will determine whether Mercedes has met the review criteria. Mercedes based its challenge on “new evidence not available to the hosts at the time of their decision”. It is believed that on board the camera were footage of the accident from both cars.

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If the stewards find that Verstappen should be penalized, he could receive a five-second penalty applied to last Sunday’s race. He finished second, ahead of Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas, and the time penalty would drop him to third. He will cut his lead from 14 points to 11.

The 36-year-old is chasing an eighth world title to break the tie for the most times with Michael Schumacher. The 24-year-old Verstappen is pursuing his first goal.

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