Verstappen: It was not worth fighting anymore

06/12/2021
NEWS STORY

Max Verstappen says the 5s penalty given to him for gaining an advantage effectively ended his race with Lewis Hamilton.

At the end of one of the most controversial races in the sport's history, both title protagonists were summoned by the stewards for a separate incident, which once again saw the Dutchman penalised.

Along with the race stoppages and deployments of the safety car and virtual safety car, fans lost count of the number of incidents involving the pair as the title fight got downright dirty.

However, it was the 5s penalty handed to the Dutchman for the incident on Lap 44, whilst battling Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon for the lead at Turn 1 that effectively ended the Red Bull driver's hopes.

"When they told me that I had the five-second penalty, it was not worth fighting anymore because I would never pull a gap of five seconds," said Verstappen.

"So, a lot of action, a lot of things that happened," he said of the race. "I think ultimately, we didn't really have perfect pace in the race, maybe also the medium tyres were not amazing to the end. I think the hard tyres had a bit more life in them I think, but as always, it's easy to say afterwards.

"At the end, that five-second penalty I don't think is correct," he insisted, "but at the end of the day I don't want to talk about it that much because they don't deserve any words coming out of my mouth.

"I find it interesting that I am the one who gets a penalty when both of us ran outside the white lines," he continued. "In Brazil it was fine but suddenly I get a penalty for it. You could see both of us didn't make the corner. But it's fine, I also don't really spend too much time on it. We have to move forward."

Asked about the incident when he was accused of brake testing his rival after being told to hand back the lead, Verstappen said: "They told me to give the position back, and so immediately when I heard that on the radio I just pulled off to the right, showing that I was going to move over, and I braked, downshifted, and he just stayed behind me.

"I was just looking in the mirror and I'm slowing down and I think there was a bit of a miscommunication and he ran into the back of me."

Of course, the stewards didn't see it that way, for while accepting that Hamilton could have overtaken the Dutchman, they found that Verstappen did indeed "brake suddenly (69 bar) and significantly, resulting in 2.4g deceleration", for which he received another 10s penalty.

"What happened today is unbelievable," he declared. "I'm just trying to race and this sport these days is more about penalties than racing. For me this is not Formula 1 but at least the fans enjoyed it.

"A lot of things happened, which I don't fully agree with," he added, "but it is what it is, at least I tried it on track, you know, to give it all. I gave it all but clearly not quick enough. But still, happy with second.

"We are equal on points now, and I think that's really exciting of course for the whole championship and Formula 1 in general. Yes, it will be decided there (in Abu Dhabi), so hopefully we have a good weekend, so let's see."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Jeddah, here.

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Published: 06/12/2021
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