Verstappen: Even the most experienced drivers make mistakes

In the wake of an eventful and incident-packed Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen is not accepting blame for the two incidents involving him and the two Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen was in the wars with the Reds at Suzuka when stubbornly defending third place when Raikkonen attacked shortly after the early safety car peeled into the pits.

With the Ferrari large in his mirrors, he braked late into the final Esse and was forced to make a trip over the grass to rejoin but nearly into the path of Raikkonen who was forced onto the grass to avoid contact with the Red Bull.

The Dutchman was handed a five seconds penalty by the Stewards for rejoining the track in a dangerous manner, which made him unhappy, “If I get a five-second penalty next time I’ll just cut the track like Valtteri did. I know what to do next time.”

“I think Valtteri was pushing at the end, otherwise he wouldn’t have gone off the track. We were just trying to be as close as possible in case there was a mistake.”

Then on lap eight, with Vettel under Verstappen’s wing, the Ferrari lunged to the inside of the flat-out Spoon Curves but found a Red Bull in its path. By the time the dust had settled, Vettel was facing the wrong way as the field streamed by. He recovered to finish sixth while Verstappen survived to claim third place.

With regards to the collision with Vettel, Verstappen gave his version, “It’s not a corner where you can overtake. He could have gone past me on the next lap. It’s like the mistake I made in China. Even the most experienced drivers make mistakes. Looking back, it was like China and I got a penalty there.”

He added in his race report afterwards, “The car felt good and we were able to compete at the front for the entire race, which at this track makes it even better.”