The Mexican did a great job in qualifying to get Haas into the last part of qualifying for the first time in its existence. But then he threw all of that away by getting the start procedure wrong off the line and plummeting to 20th. “It was a driver problem, missing the start,” explained team boss Gunther Steiner. “I guess the pressure got to him”.
himself. Whiting said: “The main thrust of what I said to Max is that whilst we like the competitive type of driving he’s providing us with, he needs to be careful not to go over the top.
“Sometimes he is just a little bit too aggressive, shall we say. He just needs to be careful he doesn’t get a bad name for himself because if, heaven forbid, there was an accident caused by what is judged to have been Max’s overexuberant driving then all these things will come back to haunt him. He fully accepted it. We had a very amicable chat, and he got the point.
“It was important to hear what Seb and Kimi had to say too. They were quite calm and relaxed and they have no problem with Max, it’s just that he needs to show a little more respect and calm down a little bit.”
Before the Italian GP, Verstappen was embroiled in a war of words with 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
Villeneuve criticised Verstappen urging him to back off. The French-canadian said Verstappen needed to “calm down or you’re going to kill someone”.
Verstappen was then quoted in Dutch media referencing Villeneuve’s 2001 accident in Australia, when a detached wheel from his crashed car killed a marshal.
Verstappen clarified his words later in the weekend saying: “To be clear, I said that it was disrespectful to the families to talk about deaths and I was referring to the incident in 2001. But they didn’t write down that I was picking up on the family, that it was disrespectful from his side to comment about deaths. I didn’t say death by driving, I said it was a deadly accident. In the end it was a wheel, it’s still from a car isn’t it?”