Verstappen warned over driving tactics
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 disqualied 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 disqualication.
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.”