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F1 | McLaren drivers on the Interlagos controversy between Hamilton-Verstappen and changing how they’ll race

F1 | McLaren drivers on the Interlagos controversy between Hamilton-Verstappen and changing how they’ll race

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In the aftermaths of the almost collision between championship contenders Hamilton and Verstappen at Interlagos, one of the main topics to cover in the drivers’ meeting with FIA director Micheal Masi was, obviously, how to act if a similar situation arises, and, in case it happens again, if  such moves would be left unpunished.

The McLaren pair was asked about their opinions on the matter in the post-qualifying press conference, and if the reunion was a success:

"I don’t think it was still very crystal clear, but, I think, the one thing that has been cleared by it, or should be cleared, is that Lewis attempted an overtake, so most likely on the inside, and if you attempt an overtake and you don’t stay on the track, and they were nearly always on the track all the time…" Ricciardo said.

He went on adding a further example to explain his point of view.

“I’ll take Max’s side and I’ll talk about when Charles and Carlos at Turn 4, when Charles outbraked Carlos on the inside, but ran off track and kept that position. That’s a failed attempt at an overtake and he shouldn’t be allowed to keep that position."

His teammate Lando Norris agreed with him, and talked about the outcome of the meeting:

"I think some things were a bit more clear, and some not. What it’s clear is that not every incident will be the same, even if it looks identical, so it’s harder to ever know what the circumstances are. But I think most things were cleared up, it’s just hard to ever give a definite point and say ‘This is what I can do’."

The British driver added that he will probably tweak a bit his driving style after what was said in the meeting with Masi:

"A little bit yeah, there’s a couple things I’d adjust. I don’t mean like changing my way of racing or anything, but maybe just adjust a couple of things to possibly now do or not, but not changing much."

A similar event was brought up, Norris’s move on Perez made in Austria, with the most striking difference between the two events being that, at the time, Norris had received a five seconds time penalty for forcing the Mexican out of track. The McLaren driver gathered that something like that, now, would be left unpunished:

"Kind of," he answered when asked if he could understand the difference between the reasoning behind his penalty and Verstappen’s lack of.

"Some of the things that we now understand means that we shouldn’t have gotten a penalty, but then also what types of surfaces are on the outside of the circuit, whether that’s gravel or tarmac or whatever, then also have an effect, which I didn’t think of bad or true."

"I think if you know there’s gravel on the outside, and if you know you are completely alongside me, if Perez was, then he’s put himself in a very risky position. But yeah, that’s the only thing that, I believe now, must have been a difference."

To further prove his point, he recalled the dynamics of the accident, highlighting that the main difference between the attempted overtakes was something he had no influence over, the out of track surface:

"He wasn’t all the way alongside me, it was like half a car, I gave still a bit of space for him to back out, it wasn’t like I had shut him off, not a bit of contact made. From that aspect, there’s nothing that means we should have got a penalty, the only reason about it, I believe, is that there was gravel and not tarmac."

"It’s not again obvious exactly why, I still feel like it’s an unfair penalty that I got, but yeah, that’s what I have to believe now after last week," Norris concluded.

A. F1

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November 25, 2021 at 06:13PM

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