Sergio Perez defended for ‘pushing’ Lewis Hamilton off the track

The stewards had a lot to look at in Silverstone, but they intervened as little as they could.

1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill has praised the stewards for their handling of the late incidents at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Earlier in the afternoon, the stewards had given Yuki Tsunoda a penalty for wiping out AlpghaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly at village but, asides from that, they showed a fair degree of leniency.

Charles Leclerc, on old tyres on the Safety Car restart after an abysmal call by Ferrari, became engrossed in a titanic battle with Sergio Perez and Sir Lewis Hamilton for second, with the Mexican coming out on top before Hamilton finished third.

There had been some pushing and shoving between Leclerc and Perez, with the Monegasque leaving the circuit and re-joining at Stowe, before the 32-year-old appeared to overtake him off the circuit at the Vale chicane.

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Hamilton was able to swoop past, but the Mexican dived back down the inside into Village, forcing the seven-time champion off before Leclerc retook third – Hamilton eventually climbed back up onto the rostrum.

The stewards had a look, but opted not to take any action, and they had the same view of Max Verstappen’s dicey battle with Mick Schumacher at Brooklands and Vale.

They also deemed that nobody was at fault for the collision between Leclerc and Perez on the opening lap of the restart following the red flag when Perez was forced to pit for a new front wing, and no one was to blame for the scary collision on the initial start which sent Zhou Gyanyu into a fence.

It was a busy say in Silverstone and, overall, Hill reckons race control got the big calls right.

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“There was a little bit of touching, and a little bit of shoving, and leaning on people, but I think that when the race directors received a protest, it seemed to be very quickly dealt with,” he said on the F1 Nation Podcast.

“Basically they said ‘no, we’re not going to do anything, that’s fair racing’, and I think that was a good sign.”

The late three-time champion Niki Lauda lived by the mantra of “let them race,” and that is exactly what the stewards did last weekend.

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“This is just what happens when you race, it’s what happens when you’ve got a guy diving down inside, you can’t make room for everyone,” explained Hill.

“Sometimes you use all of the road! We saw Lewis going off at turn three, and you could say ‘well, he was pushed off by Sergio’ but not really. 

“Sergio dived down the inside and Lewis had to give up track position.

“It was brilliant watching some very exciting racing, and I thought it was hard but fair, we had Charles and Lewis going around the outside of Copse, that was so unbelievably good.”

Carlos Sainz ran out the winner in Towcester as he claimed his first-ever victory in the pinnacle of motorsport having claimed his maiden pole in qualifying.