'Smoking gun': New Max Verstappen footage sparks Mercedes uproar

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·Sports Reporter
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Dashboard footage (pictured right) was released of duel between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen at the Brazil GP and (pictured left) Lewis Hamilton on the podium.
Mercedes have lodged a formal request after dashboard footage was released of duel between Lewis Hamilton (pictured left) and Max Verstappen at the Brazil GP. (Images: Getty Images/F1)

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has requested a review after the dashboard footage of Max Verstappen was released following his controversial duel with world champion Lewis Hamilton.

As Hamilton celebrated his 101st win, and possibly the greatest race of his F1 career to revive his hopes of a record eighth world title, Mercedes team boss Wolff vented his feelings.

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The Austrian spoke of Hamilton’s ‘harsh’ disqualification from Friday’s qualifying and the stewards ‘laughable’ decision not to penalise Verstappen when the Dutch driver “forced” the champion off the road on Sunday as he tried to overtake.

While Verstappen avoided a penalty, dashboard details from his car wasn't reviewed by officials.

Race director Michael Masi revealed after the grand prix that stewards had not had access to now-released forward-facing cockpit video footage from Verstappen's car, but said the dashboard footage could be a 'smoking gun'.

"Only the cameras that were broadcast... is what we have access to," he said.

"The forward-facing, the 360 (degrees), all of the camera angles that we don't get live, that will be downloaded and we'll have a look at them post-race."

However, on Tuesday, footage was released from Verstappen's Red Bull.

Mercedes were particularly interested in the forward-facing video to see what steering movements Verstappen had made, with team boss Wolff saying the Dutch driver should have received at least a five-second penalty.

And since the review, Mercedes have submitted a formal request to have it investigated.

Fans quickly debated to whether Verstappen did enough during the turn to avoid running Hamilton off the track.

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Broadcaster Sky Sports analysed the incident and F1 commentators agreed Verstappen appeared to fail to turn his wheels in the direction of the turn.

Following the race, Wolff's sense of injustice was palpable, as well as the feeling that Mercedes were fighting forces greater than Red Bull even as Hamilton closed the gap to Verstappen to 14 points with three races remaining.

“The team has always been together but these decisions have brought us so close together,” said Wolff.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (pictured right) celebrates on the podium after winning the race alongside second placed Red Bull's Max Verstappen.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton (pictured right) celebrates on the podium after winning the race alongside second placed Red Bull's Max Verstappen. (Reuters)

“It’s against us and I think this is what Lewis felt all his life and we now feel it together as a team and we’re going to fight. And we are not going to be the victims. That is the emotion we’re feeling in the garage at the moment.”

In a dramatic weekend, Hamilton was disqualified from Friday's qualifying and given a five-place grid penalty for using a new internal combustion engine at Interlagos.

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