Hamilton: F1 racing rules "not clear" after FIA briefing post-Brazil clash

Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1’s racing rules are still “not clear” despite the drivers having lengthy discussions with the FIA following Max Verstappen’s controversial defence against him in Brazil.

Hamilton: F1 racing rules "not clear" after FIA briefing post-Brazil clash

But Verstappen disagrees, saying that after the drivers’ briefing in Qatar ahead of this weekend’s inaugural F1 race at the Losail track, which is understood to have lasted over an hour, that the situation “was in the end pretty clear”.

After the Sao Paulo event stewards ruled that Mercedes’ request for a right of review into the decision that meant Verstappen’s initial defence at Interlagos’ Turn 4 did not to be fully investigated, the F1 pack held long talks with race director Michael Masi on Friday night in the usual drivers’ briefing slot – held as a video conference due to F1’s COVID-19 requirements.

Verstappen said the briefing consisted of drivers “sharing their opinions and then the FIA explaining their process of thought behind it”, but F1’s two leading drivers were left split on the matter in their comments following qualifying in Qatar on Saturday evening.

After Hamilton had claimed pole by a massive 0.563s over Verstappen, he was asked if it was now clear what defensive driving was acceptable following the Qatar drivers’ briefing, to which he replied: “No.

“It's not clear. Every driver, I think, expect for Max, was asking about just for clarity.

“Most drivers were asking for clarity, but it wasn't very clear.

“So, yeah - it's still not clear what the limits of the track are. It's clearly not the white line any more, so when overtaking. So we just go for it and...

“We just ask for consistency. So, if it's the same as the last race then that should be the same for all of us in those scenarios and then its fine.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, battles with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B, battles with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Verstappen, who answered before Hamilton, said: “Everyone is different, right? And everyone has their own way of racing and defending and overtaking, and of course it's very hard for the FIA as well to get everyone on the same line.

“Of course, they decide, but every driver has a different opinion and then I think yesterday it was all about sharing their opinions and then the FIA explaining their process of thought behind it.

“So, I think we came a long way and it was a very long briefing. So, yeah, I think it was in the end pretty clear.”

Hamilton later stated that should he engage in a wheel-to-wheel fight in Sunday’s race then he would approach any such situation understanding “that what happened in the last race is OK”.

But he then said the drivers had been informed that different stewards could rule differently if the same scenario that occurred in Brazil were to play out again.

“It's not clear, as I said,” Hamilton continued.

“They said it's going to be different with different stewards.

“If we had the same ones as last week, this week it is one way - so we'll see.”

Read Also:

Valtteri Bottas, who finished third in Qatar qualifying behind the two title contenders, said of the racing rules confusion: “I mean it is clear in that way that if it's a similar incident [as] in Brazil then that's OK.

“But obviously it's always a fine line, but also the consistency that's the key and for us to know exactly [what is allowed].

“I don't think we got really an explanation like what we actually can do or not.

“So, I mean every overtake, every defending is different, so I'm sure they try to do the best job giving the best penalties or no penalties.

“I don't think it really changes anything, we'll obviously go for it and at least we know that's what Lewis and Max ended up having in Brazil that that is OK. That's a good thing to know.”

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc "very confused" by Qatar GP qualifying struggles after Q2 exit
Previous article

Leclerc "very confused" by Qatar GP qualifying struggles after Q2 exit

Next article

FIA conducts extra rear wing checks after Qatar F1 qualifying

FIA conducts extra rear wing checks after Qatar F1 qualifying
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023