Lewis Hamilton’s disagreement with the FIA after Max Verstappen controversy in Qatar

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FIA race director Michael Masi says he disagrees with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after claims the rules of racing have become unclear following a controversial incident with Max Verstappen in Brazil. Verstappen defended hard against Hamilton in Interlagos as the pair went wheel-to-wheel into Turn 4, before the Dutchman appeared to push the Mercedes driver wide.

Both drivers went off track, with Verstappen remaining in the lead, however, despite noting the incident, the stewards decided against a full investigation.

Mercedes then opted for a right of review, which was denied by the FIA ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix.

Despite team boss Toto Wolff admitting he had expected the outcome, the team hoped it would bring extra clarification as to what was acceptable on track.

Speaking after the driver briefing in Qatar, Hamilton said: “No, it’s not clear, every driver, I think except for Max, were asking for clarity, most drivers were asking for clarity but it wasn’t very clear.

“It’s still not clear what the limits of the track are. It’s clearly not the white line anymore when overtaking.

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“We will just go for it… we just ask for consistency so if it’s the same for the last race then that should be the same for all of us in those certain scenarios and then it’s fine.”

But Masi disagreed, explaining the rules are very simple.

“I think it’s been made clear to them what is expected,” Masi said.

“I think some of them agree, some of them disagree. That’s always with each and every one of them, they have agreed and disagreed all the way through.

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“We’ve given them some overall guidance, but also been very clear on the fact that each and every case will be judged on its merits.”

Verstappen sided with the FIA, but admitted “every driver has a different opinion” even though he thought the advice was “pretty clear”.

Speaking in Thursday’s press conference in Qatar, Verstappen added: “Well, I think it’s always to try and align everyone in having the same process in a way you think, like everyone is different and everyone has their own way of racing, defending, overtaking, and of course it is very hard for the FIA to get everyone on the same line.”

“Of course they decide but every driver has a different opinion.

“Yesterday it was all about sharing opinions and the FIA explaining their process of thought behind it.

“I think we came a long way, and it was a very long briefing, I think it was at the end pretty clear.”

Verstappen holds an eight-point lead over Hamilton heading into the final two races of the season, with the championship set to go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi.

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