Red Bull explains Albon's re-enactment test in failed FIA review

Red Bull has lifted the lid on why reserve driver Alex Albon re-enacted Lewis Hamilton’s British Grand Prix driving during a Formula 1 filming day at Silverstone last week.


In the wake of the opening lap collision between Hamilton and Max Verstappen that knocked the Red Bull driver out of the race, his team pushed the FIA to open up a further review into the incident.

Red Bull felt that the 10-second penalty handed down to eventual race-winner Hamilton by the FIA was not strong enough, and it submitted evidence that it hoped would convince stewards to look at the matter again.

The FIA revealed that one piece of evidence submitted by Red Bull was a recreation of Hamilton’s driving line on the opening lap of the British GP, that had been conducted by Albon in a 2019-spec RB15 chassis.

Speaking about the submission, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said the team wanted to use Albon's running as a chance to confirm simulation data the team had gathered that would prove Hamilton could not have made it around Copse corner at the speed and trajectory he was on.

Horner also made it clear that the filming day run at Silverstone had not been set up specifically for this purpose.

“The test was pre planned from prior to the event because it was a promotional filming day with obviously a two-year-old car,” he explained.

“It's a way of keeping our reserve driver also sharp and race ready. That day had been planned for some time, it wasn't put on specifically for the re-enactment.

“What we did during the course of the test was ask Alex to drive a similar line to backup the simulations that we conducted within our simulation tools, including the driver simulator, to demonstrate the outcome of driving that line and the necessity to where your braking point would need to be.

“We couldn't achieve the speed that Lewis did on that line. In terms of conditions, obviously it was pretty similar. And it was just a useful piece of data to reaffirm what we'd seen in all of our simulations.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While Red Bull’s request to review the British GP incident was rejected by the stewards, who felt that the evidence provided was not relevant enough, Horner said he did not regret having pushed the matter so hard.

“We felt that having looked at the data from the accident, and the severity of the accident, that there was data that wasn't available at the time of the stewards making their decision,” he said. “So we presented that data to the stewards.

“They gave us a fair hearing yesterday where we talk through that data, the positioning of the cars, the speed of the cars; the fact that Lewis would have had to have braked 23 meters earlier to have even made the corner, the fact that Max was on the same trajectory and identical to that of Charles Leclerc - and that the result with Charles would have been identical had Lewis taken the same approach.

“So we presented that data, we feel that we had a fair hearing. The stewards felt that it wasn't new evidence under the confines of the regulations and so it wasn't opened into another hearing - so we accept that.

“This competition is all about marginal gains and leaving no stone unturned. Of course when you have an accident of that velocity and impact, then, of course, you're going to make a full investigation.

“But as far as we're concerned, the chapter is now closed, the stewards have made their ruling, and we will now very much focus on this weekend and the remaining part of the championship.”

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