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Mercedes lodges complaint

NEWS STORY
09/10/2016

Mercedes had lodged a complaint over Max Verstappen's driving with the Suzuka stewards.

The complaint relates to the Red Bull driver's defence of his position on the penultimate lap of the race while under attack from Lewis Hamilton for second position.

The Briton attempted to pass the Dutch youngster under braking for the final chicane but subsequently took to the escape road before rejoining the track. He then told his team that Verstappen had moved to defend his position while under braking.

According to the stewards: "A protest has been lodged by Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team against car 33 driven by Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing relating to an alleged breach of Article 27.5 of Formula One Sporting Regulations, in that he allegedly drove erratically and in a dangerous manner, forcing car 44 to take evasive action at turn 16.

"The Stewards are conducting a hearing. The results are still provisional."

The youngster has a reputation for his vigorous defence when under attack and has previously been accused by a number of drivers, most notably Kimi Raikkonen, of blocking under braking. Indeed, it is understood Charlie Whiting had words with the Red Bull driver following a couple of incidents, one including Raikkonen and another involving Sergio Perez at Spa.

"Speaking of the encounter Verstappen told reporters: "The laps before he was closing quite a bit, but I saw already out of Turn 14 he had a good exit so I was using a bit of energy and I defended into the last chicane. All good."

"I thought it was firm but fair," said team boss Christian Horner. "I didn't really see any issue with it and Lewis didn't seem to have any problem after the race, apparently he said well done to him."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Suzuka, here.

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