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FIA hint at behind-closed-doors talks with Hamilton and Verstappen

FIA hint at behind-closed-doors talks with Hamilton and Verstappen

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Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

FIA race director Michael Masi has hinted at the possibility of holding behind-closed-doors discussions with Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen following the fallout that has emerged to the pair’s British Grand Prix clash.

After Verstappen was sent into a tyre barrier at 150mph following a collision with Hamilton, the Dutchman and his Red Bull team reacted angrily to the incident that had been brewing throughout this season.

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With the potential for the F1 title battle to grow in animosity across the remainder of the campaign, Masi was asked if he would intervene.

“There are various discussions that happen with drivers individually, those will happen behind closed doors and from an FIA perspective will remain that way,” he said.

“How I deal with that one on one with drivers will remain between me and the drivers and the teams.”

Pushed again as to whether he would sit both drivers down for talks, Masi again kept his cards close to his chest. He repeated: “How I deal with that one is between me, the drivers and the teams.”

Incidents must be looked at in isolation

Verstappen hit the barriers with a force of 51g, with the damage and impact infuriating Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko, who called for a race ban as Hamilton was only handed a 10-second penalty.

Asked if he backed the decision, Masi replied: “I agree with the stewards and the penalty applied when you look at the incident and don’t consider the consequence, which are two very different scenarios.”

On whether stronger penalties should be given with regard to the consequences of an incident, Masi said: “If you look at it on that basis, you will never find a penalty that will redress the balance.

“That’s why going back a few years, the teams, which was the team principals, made a very clear distinction that they did not want consequence taken into account, that they wanted it based on the incident itself.

“I completely understand their perspective, and it is a generally held view across all stewarding to not look at consequences for that exact purpose.”

F1

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July 21, 2021 at 06:15PM

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