In addition to the incident itself between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on lap 26 of last Sunday’s Italian GP (12), the Dutchman’s posture was also noteworthy just after the melee when he went straight past the seven-time champion’s Mercedes, who followed there in the car without showing concern. Hamilton was hit by the rear wheel of the Red Bull car, but escaped more serious consequences thanks to the halo. Lewis, incidentally, was surprised by his rival’s attitude in the fight for the title.
Verstappen understands that there is no room for controversy because Hamilton was moving inside the Mercedes car at that moment.
+OPINION GP: Hamilton is right: Verstappen insists on giving in and adopts a dangerous position
+Hamilton is amazed at Verstappen’s attitude after incident: “Surprising”
+Ricciardo wakes up still incredulous with victory at the Italian GP: “I couldn’t sleep”
▶️ Subscribe to the two GRAND PRIZE YouTube channels: GP | GP2
“Lewis was fine. He was still trying to back up when I was out of the car. When you’re not well, you don’t do it”, said the Red Bull driver in an interview that was aired by the Dutch website RacingNews365.
“I’m disappointed. I expected a good result. But we keep going”, lamented Max, who recognized in the episode a lost chance to add important points for the championship.
Verstappen considered that Hamilton played hard at the entrance to the corner of turn 1, but he called the situation a race incident and therefore disagreed with the punishment imposed by the race stewards. Max will lose 3 positions on the starting grid of the next stage of the championship, the Russian GP, on September 26th.
“When he [Hamilton] came out of the pits, started squeezing me at the entrance to Turn 1, so I had to use the green part [sem aderência] of the track. It was very tight, but there was room to go around the outside, so I was pushed into the sausage zebras”, he detailed.
“I don’t totally agree with the punishment because I believe it was a race incident. It’s a shame what happened, but we are two professionals and we are going to move forward”, added the leader of the Drivers’ World Championship.
Max’s attitude displeased, for example, Jackie Stewart. In an interview with the British Daily Mail, the three-time world champion spoke of the Dutchman’s lack of maturity.
“Verstappen is taking longer than expected to mature. Not even going to see Hamilton after a bad accident when you’ve just run over the car is something I don’t really understand. Especially when he’s still in his car and was there for a long time before he left. Max has a lot to learn. But who will he listen to?”, fired the three-time champion.
“He is very, very good. He’s probably the fastest driver on the grid right now, but to be a real champion you can’t be involved in crashing all the time. If I were the team leader, I would say, ‘For God’s sake, don’t do this again.’ Just because you’re leading the championship doesn’t mean you’re bulletproof,” Stewart snapped.