Mercedes have formally requested the review of the overtaking incident involving world champion Lewis Hamilton and his rival Max Verstappen during the Brazilian Grand Prix. The same was confirmed by the Formula One team on Tuesday.
Notably, it all unfolded when Verstappen was leading the race on Lap 48 when the Red Bull driver defended an attack from Hamilton right at Turn 4 and seemingly pushed the Mercedes veteran off track.
Both of them were able to get away with it and Hamilton overtook Verstappen for good on Lap 59 at Interlagos to win and reduce the Dutch driver's championship lead to 14 points despite starting the race from the 10th place on the grid.
The race officials noted the incident but did not take any action as it was deemed as a racing incident.
"I think it was a good battle," Verstappen said after the race as quoted in an Associated Press report.
"I mean we both of course tried to be ahead into the corner so I braked a bit late to get that position. I was on the edge of grip. That’s why I think I was already on the apex and it’s a safer way of running a bit wide there. In a way, I was happy stewards decided we could keep on racing," he added.
Similarly, the British racing driver Hamilton also spoke about the incident.
"I didn’t think too much of it and obviously I’ll have to watch the replay, but it’s hard battling and wouldn’t expect anything less really," he said.
"We didn’t touch wheels, which is good," he stated.
In what is turning out to be an exciting championship title heading into the inaugural Qatar GP with three races left, if the review indeed finds conclusive evidence that Verstappen was wrong then he could be handed a grid penalty for that race or a five-second time penalty.
This implies that despite finishing the race in second place ahead of Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas, a five-second penalty could prove to be his undoing and reduce his lead to 11 points in the Championship race.