Mercedes ramped up the war of words with Formula 1 rivals Red Bull by accusing them of attempting to “tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton”.
The accusation came after Red Bull failed to win a review into the 10-second penalty handed to Hamilton for the world champion’s controversial collision with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the recent British Grand Prix.
“In addition to bringing this incident to a close we hope this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton,” said a Mercedes statement.
Red Bull had claimed that the penalty was “insufficient” and sought a review of the decision.
The first lap crash at Silverstone ended Verstappen’s race and left the Dutchman in hospital.
Hamilton went on to win and slash Verstappen’s championship lead to just eight points ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
While Hamilton celebrated in front of 140,000 fans at Silverstone, Verstappen ended up in hospital.
Verstappen blasted the seven-times world champion for being “disrespectful and unsportsmanlike” for celebrating while he required medical treatment.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said it was a “hollow victory” for Hamilton, claiming the manoeuvre was “dangerous and desperate”.
On Thursday night, however, governing body the FIA said that Red Bull had not provided any “new, significant and relevant elements” likely to justify a review of the decision taken during the race.
News emerged after the hearing Red Bull had gone to the extraordinary step of recreating the incident during a filming day at Silverstone where one of its older cars was used to film the exact line that Hamilton used in the crash.
Photos of that video were presented, but were not enough to justify further action against Hamilton.
Earlier Thursday, Hamilton told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s race in Hungary he would have no hesitation in repeating the move on Verstappen.
“In terms of the move, I’d do it again exactly as I’ve done it in the past,” said Hamilton who can claim his 100th career win at the Hungaroring.
“I think, growing up, wheel-to-wheel racing was always the best, from karting. The most exciting part of motor sport is when you see close racing,” he added.