Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen penalties can’t be compared, F1 race director insists

The rivals have crashed into one another twice this season

Sarah Rendell
Friday 17 September 2021 15:26
Lewis Hamilton Claims ‘Halo’ Saved His Life At Italian GP

Formula One title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s crash penalties cannot be compared, says race director Michael Masi.

Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty at Silverstone after a collision with the Dutchman in July, and Verstappen has been slapped with a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix following the pair’s second crash of the season, at the Italian GP.

Masi told Autosport.com: “I think one of the things that we’ve generally agreed amongst the teams is that a five-second or a 10-second penalty, give or take, is there or thereabouts between the two of them. So you know, you need to look at it on the basis of if they had continued, it would have been the time penalty in the race. However, they didn’t.

“In Silverstone, you can’t compare them at all, you’ve got two cars taken out in one incident, versus one car taken out in another incident. So you know, as in they stopped, they could not continue to serve the penalty is what I’m trying to explain.

“So a grid penalty, as we’ve seen, as we’ve agreed with all of the teams, is applied for when someone doesn’t continue.”

Verstappen is currently leading Hamilton by five points in the title race and the pair have been warned about not taking it too far to claim the crown.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: “We don’t want to have situations in the future where one loses a position and the only way of stopping the other one scoring is to take him out.

“Both of them need to leave space for each other, race each other hard but avoid accidents.

“It was good fun until now, but we have seen the halo save Lewis’ life on Sunday and Max had a heavy impact in Silverstone, and we don’t want to get to a situation where we intervene because someone gets really hurt.”

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