In the late Italian evening of Sunday, the Sunday after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, the race marshals issued an important document with which they formalized the penalty imposed on Max Verstappen following what happened in Jeddah during the most surprising event of the season.
Race marshals Garry Connelly, Silvia Bellot, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Hassan AlAbdali imposed a 10 “penalty on Max Verstappen at the end of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. This decision is important for two reasons.
The first of these is the motivation that led the commissioners to hold the Red Bull driver responsible for what happened during the grand prix, when the Dutchman braked – apparently to be overtaken by Hamilton and surrender the first position held illegally. shortly before after an attack by the Brit – and Lewis ended up rear-ending the number 33 Red Bull RB16B.
At the end of the race, the stewards called Verstappen and Hamilton to hear their reasons for what happened, as well as two representatives of their respective teams. Then they later saw the video of the rear-end collision and the telemetry.
Evidence from this analysis determined that it was Max Verstappen who was most wrong. At Turn 21 Verstappen knew he had to give the position to Hamilton, but as a strategy he started to slow down at Turn 26, so he could immediately take advantage of the DRS and overtake Hamilton again. The Mercedes driver, for his part, understood his rival’s intentions and stayed behind to avoid being overtaken again a few hundred meters ahead.
The two riders then came into contact, but the stewards decided to punish Verstappen because in braking he generated a deceleration of 2.4g, a significant braking to say the least (69 bar). Basically, a real brake test, a braking to induce who is behind to make a mistake, as in fact Hamilton had complained on the radio immediately after the incident.
Verstappen was also punished by the commissioners with 2 license points, bringing the penalty points collected in the last 12 months to 7. He still has 5 of the 12 total available.
The second point, however important, is that the 10 “penalties inflicted on Verstappen do not in any way change the final classification of the penultimate event of the World Championship. Valtteri Bottas, third at the finish line after the sprint finish with Esteban Ocon, reached almost 20 “from the Dutch Red Bull. Basically a decision that had no effect on the World Championship, but which leaves further doubts after a day that was chaotic to say the least for the race direction.