‘Penalty Did Not Fit the Crime’ – Bernie Ecclestone Bashes FIA Stewards for Lewis Hamilton – Max Verstappen Decision

Published 07/21/2021, 9:37 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


Bernie Ecclestone, who previously criticized Lewis Hamilton, suggesting he is no longer the fighter he once was, has again pointed fingers at the seven-time world champion, who won his eighth British GP title.

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The two title contenders for this season, Hamilton and Max Verstappen, collided on the very first lap at Silverstone. Max Verstappen went flying into the tire barriers, as a result of which, the race was red-flagged.

Lewis was awarded a 10-second penalty and two penalty points on his license for causing this accident. Since then, there has been significant debate about who is to be blamed for the accident – and Ecclestone is firmly on Max‘s side and blames Hamilton for the crash.

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What’s more, he thinks the Briton should have been penalized further.

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What did Bernie Ecclestone say?

“It was clear that everyone was doing his best to win the championship. But if the stewards needed to get involved then they should have given Lewis more than a 10-second penalty. It should have been 30 seconds” said former F1 supremo, Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen before the race Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron.

“Ten seconds was not right. The punishment did not fit the crime. If you have to give a sanction, which in some ways they didn’t need to, this was not right decision – it wasn’t enough,” he concluded.

Lewis Hamilton British GP win not possible without the red flag: Mercedes Director

Lewis Hamilton’s left-front tire contacted with the Dutchman’s rear-right on the opening lap at Silverstone. The crash sent Max Verstappen into the barriers in an impact that measured 51G.

The crash resulted in a red flag and the race was suspended for nearly half an hour, which allowed Silver Arrows to scrutinize Lewis Hamilton’s car and to identify any potential blow to the front left tire rim.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra.

Thus, Silver Arrows trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin claims Lewis Hamilton’s Silverstone win would’ve been unlikely without a red flag.

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“That would have been a DNF (did not finish) had it [the race] not been red-flagged,” said Andrew Shovlin after the race.

Despite failing to add any points to his championship tally at Silverstone, Verstappen still leads the drivers’ championship. However, Hamilton has managed to bring down the Dutchman’s lead from 25 points to just eight.

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Can Lewis Hamilton display yet another solid performance at Hungary to steal the lead in the championship? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

140 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.

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