PARIS — Red Bull successfully has asked for a review of the incident at Silverstone between Formula One points leader Max Verstappen and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton.
The FIA will hear from Red Bull via video conference Thursday ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The team has been fuming since contact between Verstappen and Hamilton on the first lap of the British Grand Prix caused Verstappen to crash hard into a barrier and sent the Dutchman briefly to the hospital for evaluation.
Red Bull accused Hamilton of making a “desperate” move to edge ahead of his rival on the first lap because the reigning champion knew getting ahead of Verstappen at the start was his only chance to win on his home track and tighten the championship race.
Hamilton was given a 10-second penalty for the incident but recovered to win for the first time in six races. He dropped from second to fifth after he served his penalty, picked up two spots when he returned to the track and then Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was ordered to move out of Hamilton’s way.
It gave him 11 laps to chase down leader Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari, and Hamilton made the pass for the win with just two laps to go — and on the same corner where he had tangled with Verstappen. The British driver was cheered on to his eighth career victory at Silverstone by the passionate home fans, who also gave him a standing ovation.
It snapped a five-race winning streak for Red Bull and cut Verstappen’s lead in the title fight from 33 points to eight.
Verstappen has five wins to Hamilton’s four this season, and the Red Bull team seems to at last have the pace to challenge Mercedes.
Red Bull must appear by video conference with its team manager and up to two other witnesses, according to the summons FIA issued Tuesday.
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
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