The Brazilian Grand Prix will go down as arguably one of the best races of 2022, if not the best of the year, after controversy reigned throughout the weekend.
To no surprise, it wouldn’t count as a controversial weekend if it didn’t involve both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, with the duo having been at the centre of a huge talking point.
With Hamilton starting second and Verstappen third, the pair both got away cleanly and maintained their positions on the opening lap.
A Safety Car met the field at the end of the first circulation of Interlagos, after Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo collided on the exit of Turn Nine.
It meant that both Hamilton and Verstappen were right behind leader George Russell, who restarted the race brilliantly.
Verstappen, though, reacted to the restart much better than his fierce 2021 rival and opted to go around the outside of him at the first corner.
He did manage to get some of his RB18 ahead of Hamilton’s W13; however, Hamilton pulled back ahead as they flicked right for Turn Two.
Hamilton was just ahead going into the corner and squeezed the Dutchman on the inside, resulting in contact between the two, with Verstappen failing to pull out of the move.
Both drivers suffered damage as a result of the impact, with the Red Bull driver breaking his front-wing whilst Hamilton suffered minor floor damage.
The collision arguably cost Hamilton victory, whilst Verstappen recovered from the foot of the field following a pit-stop for a nose change to claim sixth.
Interestingly, Verstappen was awarded with a five-second time penalty for the incident, which Hamilton immediately labelled as “no racing incident”.
This is in reference to the pair’s collision at Turn Four in 2021, where Verstappen forced the seven-time World Champion off the track.
On that day, the FIA judged it as a racing incident, unlike their collision on Sunday.
Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle was adamant that Hamilton could’ve left considerably more room, with Verstappen having been left with nowhere else to go.
Given that Verstappen was on the inside of Hamilton, many have questioned why the Dutchman was awarded a penalty.
In the FIA’s guidelines, a driver on the inside must have the majority of their car ‘alongside’ the car on the outside, something the stewards presumably believed Verstappen didn’t have.
The issue is, though, a lot of interpretation still remains in the rulebook, with some questioning how ‘alongside’ a driver needs to be.
WTF1 presenter Matt Gallagher was one of many F1 fans to be left shocked that Verstappen was awarded the penalty, after saying the following on Twitter:
“There is no way Max Verstappen just got a penalty for that. OMG,” wrote Gallagher.