‘Re­peat of­fender’ Ver­stap­pen ‘ca­reer in dan­ger’ – Lauda

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

MERCEDES team chair­man Niki Lauda warned that Dutch teenager Max Ver­stap­pen is in dan­ger of wreck­ing his own ca­reer if he con­tin­ues with the over-ag­gres­sive driv­ing, in­so­lence and ar­ro­gance that he said he dis­played in yes­ter­day’s Mex­i­can Grand Prix.

Speak­ing af­ter a stormy con­clu­sion to a fiery race won by Lewis Hamilton ahead of his Mercedes team­mate Nico Ros­berg, the three-time world cham­pion blamed him for a first lap col­li­sion with Ros­berg that “could have cost Nico the cham­pi­onship.”

Lauda said the 19-year-old Ver­stap­pen’s driv­ing was “not ac­cept­able”.

“Nico was clearly in front,” he said. “And Ver­stap­pen then rams him off the track. This could have cost Nico the cham­pi­onship. It is not ac­cept­able. It’s Ver­stap­pen’s fault. He drives too ag­gres­sively. At some point, he has to re­alise it.”

Lauda added that he also be­lieved Ver­stap­pen de­served his five sec­onds penalty for go­ing off­track at Turn One and gain­ing an ad­van­tage dur­ing his bat­tle with Se­bas­tian Vet­tel of Fer­rari later in the race.

“That was a just and right de­ci­sion,” he said. “A re­peat of­fender like him has to be pe­nalised.

“Hel­mut Marko (Red Bull’s driver ad­viser) should talk to him. If he didn’t drive that ag­gres­sively, he would de­velop much bet­ter.

“His tal­ent is un­be­liev­able, but then he smashes it all with these stupid ac­tions.

“He doesn’t re­alise -he thinks he is do­ing ev­ery­thing right, but he doesn’t. He has to calm down.”

Asked about his fin­ger-wag­ging at Vet­tel dur­ing their scrap, Lauda added: “The next in­so­lence – I don’t know where this ar­ro­gance comes from. I don’t un­der­stand it.

“This is a lost cause – the fury of the other driv­ers just gets big­ger and big­ger.”

Vet­tel (car­i­ca­ture) said he was very an­gry dur­ing the bat­tle in which he gave vent to a fu­ri­ous tirade of swear­ing and bad lan­guage.

“I had rea­son to be an­gry,” he said. “All in all, I think it was a very good race. We had a good pace and made it work and we came back at the end to fight for the podium.” – AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.