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Verstappen questions stewards decision

NEWS STORY
09/04/2018

Max Verstappen disagrees with the Bahrain stewards, claiming that the clash with Lewis Hamilton at the start of the second lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix was not merely a racing incident.

With both drivers starting out of position - Hamilton due to a grid penalty following a change of gearbox and Verstappen after crashing out in Q1 - it was inevitable that at some time their paths would cross.

However, a brilliant start from the Red Bull driver, who was 15th on the grid compared to 9th-placed Hamilton, meant they were battling as early as the end of the first lap.

The pair were side-by-side on the pit straight and as they headed into T1 remained two abreast, the Red Bull on the inside and the Mercedes on the outside.

Inevitably they touched, and while Hamilton was lucky not to spin, it was the Dutch youngster who came off worse incurring a puncture that was to eventually lead to damage to his car as the tyre delaminated and flailed around.

I had a good run out of the last corner so I went for the inside," said Verstappen shortly after his retirement. "Lewis was trying to go around the outside but at one point I was ahead.

"I think Lewis still had enough space on the left but I got a touch on the left rear and it destroyed my diffuser," he added.

Referring to the stewards decision that it was a "racing incident", he insisted: "I think if it was the other way around he would have said something. From my side I gave him enough room."

In a subsequent interview he said: "From the start I was enjoying the feel of the car and finding the gaps and it was shaping up to be an exciting race. I had a good tow on the straight, the last corner was really good so it allowed me to stay close to Lewis. We got a bit squeezed but from the middle to the end of the corner I was ahead, I then felt a nudge from behind and could feel the puncture and therefore knew the race was likely over.

"In my opinion there was plenty of room for the both of us to go around that corner and to say 'no action taken' is a bit harsh as I am now out of the race due to that contact on my left rear."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Bahrain, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Toffeecup0, 10/04/2018 17:22

"well said klasseng could not put it better myself."

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2. Posted by imejl99, 10/04/2018 8:30

"It is fascinating how he always sees gap and there always was enough room. On the other side, he is 20, so some maturing still needed. Max needs to face his 16 F1 retirements if he doesn`t want to be remembered as just another unfulfilled promise, wasted talent. (not that all 16 were incidents, but enough were...) "

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3. Posted by Stitch431, 09/04/2018 21:02

"It was the same move Lewis did later in the race, when he passed three cars at once. Only difference, they did not let their car "stand" when he was ahead of them with his nose. Lewis did and is therefore at least as much to blame for this as Max, if not more. But I've got a feeling we have not seen the last of this kind of clashes between the two of them. It is about the challenge between two top dogs. That just has to be fought out. Hopefully on track without much whining on the side of it. That is what we want to see!"

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4. Posted by Liam III, 09/04/2018 19:20

"Max tends to be a little too aggressive, especially that early in a race. He suffers at his own hand. "

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5. Posted by Frank H, 09/04/2018 18:32

"He'll eventually learn that to finish first, you first need to finish.

In lower class racing it's possible to get a reputation that you'll stick your car wherever, other people will move over not to be run over.
(Maldonado drove an excellent race in GP2 at a wet SPA when I was down there, don't remember the year, but around 2008, he overtook a bunch of cars, all over the place. However, in F1 he crashed alot, my suspicion is that people didn't move over as easily that they did in GP2 etc.)"

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6. Posted by jcr, 09/04/2018 17:26

"Nico must be having a good laugh to himself,
We now have a few drivers who are not afraid of Hami.
Must be a new experience for him,"

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7. Posted by klasseng, 09/04/2018 16:45

"From what I can see of the replays from various angles, as Verstappen was completing the pass:
1. Hamilton was backing off, angled to the left, away from Verstappen and at the left edge of the track, about to enter the curbing;
2. Verstappen was angled to the left, encroaching on Hamilton.
I don't see how Verstappen has any beef with Hamilton. Quite a number of his moves in the past have shown no respect for the other drivers. Verstappen is the victim of his own actions."

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