Mercedes hits back at Red Bull’s ‘concerted attempt’ to ‘tarnish’ Hamilton’s reputation

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes has issued a strongly-worded statement after the FIA’s stewards rejected Red Bull’s request to review the penalty which Lewis Hamilton received in the British Grand Prix.

Hamilton copped a 10-second penalty, served at his pit stop, for the contact which sent the Red Bull of Max Verstappen spinning off into the barriers at Copse on Lap 1 of the race at Silverstone.

The Mercedes driver nevertheless went on to win his home grand prix, a victory which Verstappen’s team boss, Christian Horner, branded “hollow”.

Verstappen took to social media from the hospital to which he had been taken for precautionary checks to criticise Hamilton’s “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike behavior” [sic] in how the Briton celebrated post-race.

Horner subsequently wrote that he maintained Hamilton’s punishment was “a light penalty for this type of incident” in a column on Red Bull Racing’s website, before the squad requested the review.

Following the stewards’ decision to reject it, the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 Team hit back at its rivals from Milton Keynes.

“The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team welcomes the decision of the Stewards to reject Red Bull Racing’s right of review,” it read.

“In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including in the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review.

“We now look forward to going racing this weekend and to continuing our hard-fought competition for the 2021 Formula One World Championship.”

Stewards decided that the four pieces of evidence which Red Bull put forward were not “discovered”, rather they were created from existing evidence and hence were not sufficient to trigger a review, per the FIA International Sporting Code.

However, the FIA’s statement in announcing that decision also contained an interesting passage about unspecified ‘allegations’ made by Red Bull, to which Mercedes may have been referring.

“The Stewards note, with some concern, certain allegations made in the Competitor’s above letter,” it read, in part.

“Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the Stewards if the Petition for Review had been granted.

“The Stewards may have addressed these allegations directly in any decision that would have followed.

“The Petition having been dismissed, the Stewards make no comments on those allegations.”

Practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix starts tonight at 19:30 AEST.

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