Saturday, November 13th, 2021
Tampering and breaking the rules
Verstappen and Hamilton face a lot of trouble
Even before the sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the two rivals for the world championship title in Formula 1 are in trouble. The race stewards are investigating two incidents relating to qualifying on Friday. Both front runner Max Verstappen and world champion Lewis Hamilton have to expect a penalty.
After world champion Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 front runner Max Verstappen is also threatened with trouble with the race stewards at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver was summoned for an interrogation on Saturday because he was accused of violating the rules. It is investigated whether Verstappen has violated the provisions of the so-called parc fermé, according to which no changes or repairs are allowed to the cars after qualification.
After the start chase, Verstappen could be seen touching the rear wing of his car and then the wing on Hamilton’s Mercedes. The race stewards could ask for an explanation for this. To what extent Verstappen could face a penalty and how high it could be was initially open.
The world federation Fia had previously accused the Mercedes team of bending the rear wing on the Silver Arrow too much. Hamilton faces a penalty because the so-called Drag Reduction System (DRS) could have given him an illegal advantage. The decision on sanctions was postponed after an initial review, as the Fia does not expect further information until Saturday morning (local time), the Mercedes team announced on Twitter during the night.
Too much time missing
Hamilton had already been punished with a five-place penalty for the race on Sunday. The reason: an irregular engine change. In qualifying, the 36-year-old then distanced World Cup leader Verstappen by more than four tenths. In the overall standings, before the last four races of the season, Verstappen is 19 points ahead of Hamilton.
In the sprint race on Saturday, the German drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher start from the back of the ranks. “I actually felt very comfortable, but there was too much time missing,” said Vettel after his twelfth place. As the penultimate, Schumacher only left his Haas stable rival Nikita Mazepin behind.