Brundle believes Mercedes will fail in Max review bid

Finley Crebolder
Lewis Hamilton chasing Max Verstappen. Brazil November 2021

Lewis Hamilton chasing Max Verstappen at Interlagos. Brazil November 2021

Martin Brundle doubts Mercedes will be successful in their request for a review of the incident between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in Brazil.

The title rivals nearly collided during the race at Interlagos when the Mercedes man tried to pass the Red Bull and was forced wide, having to go off-track to avoid hitting the Dutchman who also went wide.

At the time, the stewards decided no investigation was necessary, but they did not have access to forward-facing on-board footage from Verstappen’s car at the time of the decision.

Such footage later emerged and, as a result, Mercedes requested a right of review in the hope a retrospective penalty would be given to the 24-year-old, thereby dropping him behind Valtteri Bottas, who finished three seconds behind him, in the race result.

Shortly before the appeal was announced, Brundle said he doubted it would lead to the stewards changing their original decision.

“Mercedes may still ask for a stewards’ review but those claims rarely get a change of decision,” he said in his column for Sky Sports.

“In any event, Red Bull will say they cruised at the end and so any five-second penalty putting them behind Bottas would be unfair – Max would have just driven faster, to which Mercedes will say so would have Valtteri.

“Hamilton remained very calm about the incident and the subsequent radio call to tell him no further action from the stewards. I strongly suspect his determination to pass Max soared at that point.”

Mercedes were furious with the stewards’ call at the time and it was not the only thing that angered them last weekend.

Toto Wolff was far from happy before the race when, after Hamilton had been disqualified from Friday qualifying due to a technical infringement on his DRS, Red Bull were able to make changes to Verstappen’s rear wing penalty-free shortly before the start.

He felt that was unfair and suggested the FIA were favouring his rivals – but Brundle does not think his concerns were justified.


“On the grid, Merc boss Toto Wolff was visibly angry that among the many changes throughout the grid under the parc ferme rules (including both Mercedes), Red Bull had changed rear wing elements on Verstappen’s car,” he wrote.

“So why weren’t Mercedes allowed to address whatever had gone wrong on Hamilton’s rear wing during qualifying and causing his disqualification, he reasoned?

“A fair question, the main answer being that those replaced parts were approved changes under FIA inspection and control and had not failed a legality check.

“Furthermore, he wondered ‘and how about the glue and tape which had been applied to the Red Bull rear wings a week earlier in Mexico qualifying when they were managing a critical issue, only for it to be taken off for the race?’ Harder to argue against.”


Will Mercedes' review request be successful

The on-board footage is out, Mercedes have requested a review, but will the FIA overturn their decision?