An interesting review of the incident between Lewis and Max during the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix. I’ve been challenged by many on social media and our recent race review podcast about not definitively either stating or calling this a brake-testing or brake-checking incident on Max’s part.
I understand that some people feel very strongly that this incident was dangerous brake-testing by Max and other F1 pundits have claimed that it was but I have been careful not to call it that, as were the race stewards, who did not define this as brake-testing in their full FIA review and penalty summary. I don’t have access to all the data so it is difficult for me to say that Max brake-tested Lewis or even that Lewis throttled up and made an error and ran into the back of Max. I don’t work for either team so I don’t know definitively.
The folks over at The Race have done a nice job of looking at the data and while they do show the braking, they also show a throttle acceleration from Lewis and this may be why the two came together quickly. As The Race claim as well, it may be the reason this wasn’t deemed a brake-testing incident by the stewards in their penalty report.
I mentioned the Baku incident between Lewis and Sebastian on our podcast as an incident similar where Seb hit the back of Lewis’s car when he slowed during a safety car restart and for teh same data reasons, they showed he slowed but nothing was leading toward a brake-testing incident based on his previous lap etc. The data is important and I thought his was interesting as well.
Honestly, the way fans have become so tribal in nature about these issues, this may not change anyone’s mind but I found the data interesting nonetheless. you can watch the video on their channel here.
Big hat tip to the fine folks over at The Race.