Mercedes have next to no chance of winning their appeal against the stewards’ decision not to penalise nor investigate Max Verstappen for running Sir Lewis Hamilton off the track in last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
That’s according to ex-F1 driver Marc Surer, who believes Verstappen’s defence against the seven-time World Champion was fair racing.
Speaking to Formula1News.co.uk on Thursday, Surer said: “I think it was on the limit, what Max did.
“He didn’t want to give it up, he hit the brakes too late and he didn’t make the corner. As simple as that.”
The stewards decided not to investigate the incident let alone penalise Verstappen during the race, while onboard footage from his Red Bull wasn’t available.
The footage was eventually released, and Mercedes subsequently decided to launch an appeal against the stewards’ decision.
However, Surer believes the onboard footage confirms that Verstappen did nothing wrong, as he didn’t reduce his steering angle once cornering to force Hamilton wide.
“I also looked at the onboard camera on Max’s car and I can’t see any steering against Lewis, so that means the appeal/review doesn’t really have a chance in my opinion, because if two drivers go into a corner and no one gives in, they go straight, of course, and that’s what happened.”
Despite Verstappen using the manoeuvre to maintain the lead of the race, Hamilton did eventually use the pace advantage of his Mercedes to overtake the Dutchman and he went on to comfortably win the grand prix.
Heading into the final three grand prix of the season, Verstappen has a 14-point lead at the summit of the Drivers’ Standings.