The race for the UK Grand Prix will again be remembered by the referees and their decisions, especially the one for the incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the first lap at Silverstone. After lengthy deliberations and ‘lobbying’ on both sides to increase or decrease the sentence, the referees made a decision not worth mentioning.
We will not go into whether the incident should have been declared a racing incident or Hamilton should have been fined, but what kind of punishment, if they have already decided to award it, was given by the referees of this race: Nish Shetty, Dennis Dean, Loic Bacquelaine, Emanuele Pirro and Eric Cowcill.
To just ‘justify’ frustrations with the 10-second penalty for Hamilton, we should recall the decision from just a few weeks ago at the Austrian Grand Prix. Then Perez was penalized twice with a 5-second penalty for not leaving enough space outside when Leclerc tried to overtake him on the track.
In that case, Leclerc ‘just’ ended up in the gravel and after a few laps, he was again able to attack Perez and ‘earn’ the position he was fighting for. We will repeat once again, we will not take the ‘sides’ of who is to blame, the referees are in charge of that.
This time in Silverstone, Verstappen ended up with a car in the fence and fortunately passed without visible injuries, although the blow was quite strong, which could be seen by the condition of the car after it was pulled out of the fence.
Max could not continue the race and Lewis had a chance to get super valuable points for the championship, and the Dutchman spent the rest of the race in the ambulance on the track. Now that we look at just those two situations, and we can look at some more from the past, is it normal for Lewis to be punished with ‘only’ 10 seconds of punishment and eventually come to victory? We will repeat once again, we will not take the ‘sides’ of who is to blame, the referees are in charge of that.
The problem is that the referees found Lewis Hamilton guilty of the incident because if he was not 100% guilty, there would be no penalty and he would be declared a racing incident. If Lewis was guilty, and it is obvious because referees made such a decision and have a lot more information available than us, then the penalty should have been much bigger. Certainly, things like this need to change in the future