Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton: Brazilian Grand Prix stewards did not see key footage in incident

Max Verstappen, right, congratulates Lewis Hamilton

Stewards at the Brazilian Grand Prix did not have access to a key piece of video footage which would have shone a light on the controversial incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on lap 48.

Hamilton was forced off the track as he tried to overtake a stubborn Verstappen, who was leading the race at the time. Hamilton eventually passed the Red Bull later in the race to win and close the gap at the top of the drivers’ standings to 14 points with three races to go.

Stewards assessed the incident and decided Verstappen should not be punished – the latest contentious moment in a fiery weekend which saw Hamilton disqualified from qualifying over a rear-wing infringement and Vertsappen fined for inspecting the Mercedes car.

But FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi later confirmed the stewards did not have access to the front-facing camera on Verstappen’s car, which would have shown whether he manipulated his steering wheel to deliberately force Hamilton off the track.

“It hasn’t been obtained yet,” Masi said of the footage after the race. “It’s been requested. It’s only the cameras that are broadcast is basically what we have access to throughout the week.

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“It could be [significant], absolutely. But no, we didn’t have access to it. Obviously it’s been downloaded and once we do, and once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we’ll have a look. The forward-facing , the 360 [degree angle], all of the camera angles that we don’t get live will be downloaded and we’ll have a look at them post-race.”

Masi added that F1’s ‘let them race’ policy this season guided the decision not to punish Verstappen. “You judge the incident on its merits and you have a look at all of it. And let’s not forget, we have the overall ‘let them race’ principles, and looking at it all, with all of the angles that we had available, it was that philosophy was adopted.

“They’re, give or take, about side-on-side. So I think that for the benefit of everyone, it was the ‘let them race’ and [we] let them race.”

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