During the Formula 1 drivers’ briefing on Friday ahead of the United States Grand Prix, in Austin, Max Verstappen came under fire from his peers for his aggressive and robust defensive driving tactics.
Auto Motor und Sport reports that the Red Bull teenager was ”in the dock’ as criticism rained on him from all quarters.
Romain Grosjean led the criticism with more comments mdae by Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and lastly Fernando Alonso.
Tight lipped Raikkonen is said to have spoken for over three minutes with regards to the matter, which clearly suggests that the veteran Finn has an issue with Verstappen’s racing style.
The teenager was unperturbed and when the subject of his defense of second place from Hamilton on the penultimate lap of the Japanese Grand Prix, Verstappen simply stated, “I was not been punished. So I did nothing wrong.”
The drivers then pushed FIA race director Charlie Whiting to establish a ruling which would apply to all with immediate effect. The consensus being that once a driver brakes he must not change his line, to block or obstruct a car behind.
Whiting agreed that in future telemetry would be used to ascertain wrong doing in such circumstances.
Nico Hülkenberg said of the potential risks, “You sit all cozy at home on the couch. From the on-board camera, it looks as if there is space to pass left or right. Do you know how narrow the track is when you racing at 330 kph?”
“If you are already on the brakes and the guy moves into your lane there is nothing you can do. You end up crashing, or as Lewis did going down the escape road or you end up in the wall.”
“It cannot be that we only do something when there is a big accident,” added Hulkenberg.
Alonso had the final say in the debate by reminding his rivals of his accident in Melbourne, “If you are at 300 kph close to the car in front and then forced off line you have little time to correct and it ends in a big shunt.”
Since this report was published the FIA have clamped down on aggressive defensive tactics which we have reported here>>>