‘Racing without all this background noise would be nicer’

Date published: November 18 2021 - Michelle Foster

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. September 2021

From complaints about the cars to reviews over penalties, or lack thereof, Ralf Schumacher says 2021 would be nicer “without all this background noise”.

Going wheel-to-wheel for this year’s championship titles, Mercedes and Red Bull have all too frequently taken the fight away from the track and into the stewards’ office.

Both teams have questioned the legality of each others’ cars with pit-stops and engines also in play. Then there have also been the reviews of penalties, or lack thereof.

The Sao Paulo Grand Prix had it all, Lewis Hamilton¬†excluded from the qualifying results after Red Bull again brought Mercedes’ rear wing to the FIA’s attention.

That, though, was not why he was disqualified, that was a different issue with the FIA discovering his DRS gap was bigger than the allotted 85mm.

It remains to be seen whether Red Bull will protest the W12’s rear wing before this season is over.

While Mercedes were smarting from Hamilton’s DSQ, Max Verstappen and Hamilton fought for the race lead on the track where Verstappen, defending, sent both himself and Hamilton wide and off the track.

Despite seeming to force a rival off the track, the stewards made the call not to investigate, never mind penalise.

Hamilton went on to win the race ahead of Verstappen, only for Mercedes to later announce they had requested the right to review the lack of penalty.

That hearing will take place at 5pm Qatar time on Thursday.

Schumacher is over it, saying this year’s championship, which many feel is one of the best ever, would be “nicer” if the team bosses left it to the drivers.

“Somehow understandable, but it’s a shame it continues like this,” he wrote on Instagram.

“Racing without all this background noise would be nicer.

“This of course applies to both sides!”

Both Mercedes and Red Bull will be in attendance for Thursday’s video call hearing.

 

“In accordance with Art. 14 of the International Sporting Code (ISC), and following the petition for review by Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, lodged on 16 November 2021, the Team Manager and such witnesses as the Competitor may request, up to three, are invited to appear via video conference at 17:00 hrs Local (Qatar) on Thursday, 18 November 2021,” read a note from the stewards, matching what had been sent to Mercedes.

“In accordance with Art. 14 ISC, this hearing is to determine whether the Right of Review exists in this case, ie whether ‘a significant and relevant new element is discovered which was unavailable to the parties seeking the review at the time of the decision concerned’.”