Red Bull considering a protest against Lewis Hamilton’s British GP punishment
Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team are considering a protest against Lewis Hamilton’s punishment in Sunday’s controversial British Grand Prix.
Hamilton was dealt a 10-second penalty following his 190mph collision with Verstappen at Silverstone.
But while the Red Bull driver was forced to retire, his Mercedes rival raced to victory, slashing the championship deficit from 33 points to only eight.
Mercedes are now just three points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.
And the PA news agency understands Red Bull are reviewing whether to lodge an appeal against the stewards’ verdict, which they believe to be too lenient.
If Red Bull decide to protest and are successful, Hamilton could face a points deduction, disqualification from the British GP or even a one-race ban.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “There are rights that are available to us. We will look at it and talk it through.”
Verstappen, 23, was taken to Coventry Hospital, 40 miles outside of Silverstone, for a CT scan and precautionary checks before he was released at 10pm on Sunday night – seven hours after the first-lap accident.
His father Jos, who competed in 106 races and was a former team-mate to Michael Schumacher, said Hamilton should have been disqualified from the race.
Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Verstappen Snr, 49, who travelled with his son to hospital, said: “It is really unacceptable what Hamilton did.
“Max gave him space and was front of him. You cannot overtake on the inside of Copse.
“A 10-second penalty is really ridiculous. As far as I am concerned they should have banned him from the race.”
Verstappen walked away from the spectacular crash – which registered at an extraordinary 51G – with only bruising.
He returned to his home in Monaco on Monday reporting only stiffness, and is expected to be fully fit for the Hungarian Grand Prix – the concluding round before the summer break – next weekend.
Horner was furious with Hamilton’s driving, describing the move as “amateur, desperate and ill-judged”.
But Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff moved to back his star driver’s reputation.
“It is a seven-time world champion, who is defending his legacy, going up against an up-and-coming talented driver,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We have seen that in the past and it can end up in a collision. Like in many other sports, it takes two to tango.
“There is a rule in Formula One that if the front of your car is more than halfway alongside the other car then it is your corner, and Lewis was much further ahead than that, so the other driver should have left him some space.
“But Formula One has always been about gladiators in the fastest machines, it is dangerous, and sometimes we forget that. It can end up in a crash because they fight and in that respect safety is very important.
“Yesterday’s crash could have ended up with a severe injury 10 or 15 years ago, but the driver walked away relatively unharmed.”
Responding to Horner’s criticism of Hamilton, Wolff replied: “When you lose a car, have such a heavy accident, and your driver has to go to hospital for precautionary checks, you are upset, emotions are high, and I respect that.”