Almost a fortnight down the line, what happened between Hamilton and Verstappen in the Brazilian Grand Prix, and the actions taken by F1 afterwards, is still subject to criticism.
Many were surprised that Verstappen got away so leniently, among them fellow drivers, as revealed by Mercedes team CEO Toto Wolff. “All the drivers that spoke up said that it was…surprising…still surprising for everybody that’s in the car and for us too,” Toto admitted.
The involved parties, Hamilton and Verstappen had differing opinions about the clarity of racing rules. While the former said they weren’t clear, the latter opposed, and F1 race director has reacted to the two’s responses.
Michael Masi disagreed with the seven-time champion’s claim, saying that every driver had the regulations clearly explained to him and any action taken thereafter didn’t breach any directive.
“I think it’s been made clear to them what is expected…each and every case will be judged on its merits,” Masi explained, denying the belief that F1 was becoming lenient after they let off Max in Brazil. “We’re not more relaxed… There’s a panel…they determine if it’s worth investigation,” the Australian argued.
The defending champion said apart from Verstappen, everyone else was still unclear on what to do or what was expected of them. “Every driver-I think, except Max-was was asking for clarity but it wasn’t very clear.”
It’s now unclear whether Verstappen and Masi were right, or if the Dutchman’s opinion was based on his own personal interests. If the latter is the case, Masi’s stand will probably leave other drivers in a disadvantageous position or cause further race indiscipline as Wolff thinks.