Is this the ‘smoking gun’ that could see Max Verstappen punished for running Lewis Hamilton off the track? F1 race director confirms he has NOT seen any footage from Red Bull driver’s on-board camera at the Brazilian GP, but insists ‘we will look’
- Max Verstappen tussled with Lewis Hamilton at turn four of lap 48 in Sao Paulo
- The FIA deemed incident unworthy of an investigation despite Mercedes’ fury
- Race director Michael Masi admits the FIA haven’t seen Red Bull on-board view
- He says it could be the ‘smoking gun’ – so could Verstappen face punishment?
F1 race director Michael Masi has revealed that the FIA have not seen footage from Max Verstappen’s on-board camera during his tussle with Lewis Hamilton in Brazil – and admits it could be the ‘smoking gun’ that decides the Red Bull driver was at fault.
Mercedes were furious after a lap 48 incident between the two championship title contenders, in which their man overtook Verstappen, only for him to be forced wide and pushed back down to second place.
Stewards decided that no investigation was necessary, despite many believing the Red Bull driver was at fault through turn four, but it has now come to light that the FIA did not have all the footage to review during the race.
Lewis Hamilton (left) seemed to be pushed off the track by Max Verstappen at turn four
Both drivers ended up off the track when Hamilton tried to overtake on lap 48 of the race
Toto Wolff was furious and later celebrated Hamilton’s win with a message to the race director
In the wake of the Grand Prix, which saw Hamilton eventually overtake Verstappen to secure the victory, race director Masi was asked whether the forward-facing on-board footage from Verstappen’s Red Bull was available.
In response, he said: ‘It is only the cameras that are broadcast that are basically what we have access to throughout. It hasn’t been obtained yet. It has been requested.’
When asked whether he believed that missing footage could be the ‘smoking gun’, he conceded: ‘It could be, absolutely.
‘But we didn’t have access to it. It has been downloaded and once the commercial rights holder supplies it, we will have a look.
Michael Masi has now admitted that the FIA have not seen footage of Verstappen’s on-board
Hamilton still went on to win the race, but Verstappen could yet receive a punishment
‘Absolutely [I will look at it]. We’ve got the forward-facing, the 360… all of the camera angles that we don’t get live will be downloaded and we will have a look at them.’
Masi’s response will come as a worry to Christian Horner and Red Bull, with the potential that their man now faces a retrospective punishment for the incident in Sao Paulo.
Despite losing the race and conceding some points to Hamilton, Verstappen still holds a healthy lead in the drivers’ championship with just three races of the season to go.
Verstappen (left) is now left waiting to find out whether the FIA will sanction a penalty
Red Bull supremos Christian Horner and Hulmut Marko may now be worried about the incident
As it stands, the Dutchman is 13 points ahead in the title battle, but one slip could give Hamilton the opportunity to overtake him and secure a record eighth championship.
Masi, meanwhile, also confirmed Verstappen came close to receiving a black-and-white flag for the incident in Brazil.
‘It certainly came into my mind,’ conceded Masi. ‘I looked at it a few more times [and] it wasn’t far off a black-and-white flag.’