Ver­stap­pen warned over driv­ing tac­tics

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

The teen sen­sa­tion is loved by fans for his dar­ing and verve, but his col­leagues and ri­vals aren’t quite so im­pressed

Red Bull driver Max Ver­stap­pen has been warned that he could be dis­qualied from fu­ture races if he re­peats the ag­gres­sive de­fen­sive tac­tics he em­ployed against Fer­rari’s Kimi Räikkö­nen at the Bel­gian Grand Prix.

Ver­stap­pen, 18, an­gered Räikkö­nen with a very late block­ing move on the Kem­mel straight. Ver­stap­pen waited in the mid­dle of the track be­fore choos­ing which side to de­fend only after he had seen which side Räikkö­nen chose for his pass­ing at­tempt.

Räikkö­nen said: “If I had not braked, we would have had a mas­sive ac­ci­dent. I’m sure it will hap­pen sooner or later if this doesn’t change. I am ne with good, hard rac­ing but that is not cor­rect.”

At the Ital­ian Grand Prix ve days later, Ver­stap­pen was called to see FIA race direc­tor Char­lie Whiting to dis­cuss the in­ci­dent. Whiting told Ver­stap­pen he needed to calm down, say­ing that while he ad­mires his com­pet­i­tive driv­ing, Ver­stap­pen must be care­ful not to go over the top and that some­times he is too ag­gres­sive.

Whiting said that sim­i­lar in­ci­dents in the fu­ture could re­sult in Ver­stap­pen be­ing shown a black-and-white ag. This is a warn­ing of un­sports­man­like con­duct, and is shown only once. Any fur­ther ex­am­ples of the be­hav­iour in ques­tion will re­sult in a black ag and dis­qualication.

Ver­stap­pen ad­mit­ted that he had been given a warn­ing to be care­ful in fu­ture.

“They didn’t see it as some­thing wrong,” he said. “Maybe it was on the edge. And then maybe they would in­tro­duce a black-and­white ag if it hap­pened again.”

Red Bull team boss Chris­tian Horner said: “He takes it all on board. He is a young guy who is go­ing through dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences, who is grow­ing and learn­ing.

“But, like any 18-year-old, it is wa­ter off a duck's back and he is fo­cused on his rac­ing. He is who he is, and he is just get­ting on with it.”

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