Max Verstappen has “no regrets” on Austin F1 row as Fernando Alonso signs for 24 hour race
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Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Oct 2017   |  5:33 pm GMT  |  185 comments

[Updated] Max Verstappen has said that he does not regret what he did in Austin in passing Kimi Raikkonen the way he did, nor speaking out afterwards although he does feel that the words he used, criticising the FIA race stewards, were “not correct”.

He later apologised to the FIA for his choice of words and said that he had not meant to single out any one individual in his criticisms.

Verstappen was furious to be removed from the podium after fighting his way from 16th to 3rd, with a last gasp overtake on Kimi Raikkonen, but the stewards felt he gained an unfair advantage by cutting the inside of the corner.

“The thoughts are pretty similar; it was a great race. The pace of the car was great now three times in a row and I hope to continue here in Mexico,” said the 20 year old Dutchman.

He was critical of the Race Direction and stewards in Austin for not giving any guidance on the track limits throughout the weekend and for punishing only him for exceeding them, when he felt everyone had done so all weekend.

“They never told us anything, from practice one everyone was running wide and they didn’t say anything,” he said.

“He (Kimi) tried to close the door and the Austin track gives the chance to run inside. First I tried to avoid an accident and then to overtake him.”

“After a race emotions run high when you have been taken off a podium. The punishment was not correct because many people were going off the track if I was really gaining and advantage i would do it every single lap. Other people were cutting the corner and

“I could have used different words but I still think the punishment was not correct. I was angry at that time. You have to understand my point. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone but the words were not correct.

“But that’s the way I am; I’m not going to hold back.”

Sergio Perez supported Verstappen confirming that there was no guidance from the Race Director or Stewards during the weekend.

FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon in Mexico.

“I think the accusations of inconsistency are pretty much without foundation – the only time that it was absolutely clear that the driver gained an advantage [in Austin], the driver was duly penalised and that is really where we are coming from, I believe,” he said. “We have to try to take a practical approach to this – there is an element of wanting to let the drivers race. It is only when it is absolutely clear that the stewards need to get involved.

“Leaving the track is not an offence in itself but if a driver does so he must rejoin the track safety and without gaining any lasting advantage. Those words are really important in this case.

“There were a number of occasions when drivers left the track during race and practice that were not formally looked at by stewards purely because no lasting advantage was gained.


Ricciardo in demand as a team mate

Asked why he had decided to commit to Red Bull Racing until the end of 2020, rather than see what possibilities may exist at Ferrari or Mercedes, Verstappen said, “I feel good at the team and the improvements we made this year are the most of the whole grid. We will start better next year and I believe in the team. What’s also important is to have people around you who support you. Why would I give that up? If we can improve the horsepower then we can be competitive.”

Verstappen added he would like Daniel Ricciardo to remain with the team ideally. Sebastian Vettel also said in the FIA press conference in Mexico that he would not mind racing alongside Ricciardo in 2019.

Alonso goes into 24 hour endurance racing
Fernando Alonso meanwhile will start his 24 hour racing career with an assault on the Daytona 24 hours next January with Zak Brown’s United Autosports team. He will partner McLaren junior driver Lando Norris, the reigning FIA F3 champion in what is sure to be a wonderful learning experience for the youngster from Bristol.

They will be joined by Phil Hanson, who is the reigning Asian Le Mans Series LMP3 Champion, who raced the Ligier sportscar they will campaign, having raced it in the European Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2017.

Testing at Daytona will be 5-7 January with the 24 hour race two weeks later on 26-27 January.

“My aim is to be a complete driver and this experience will help me in the preparation for any other endurance race I might take part in,” said Alonso, who has already hinted that he will be racing at the Le Mans 24 hours before too long. He hinted last month and time will tell whether he confirms his presence on the grid in the 2018 Le Mans, perhaps after getting a taster in Daytona and dependent on how competitive the 2018 McLaren Renault proves to be.

“Before I went to Indy, I had never driven on an oval, now I know what an oval is and how to deal with it. I am excited to go back and race in America.”

Alonso’s peers commented on the move, “It’s a good experience for Fernando. Probably he will think of Le Mans.It’s a race you would like to do. My brother did it last year (Daytona) it’s an amazing venue and a race I would like to do,” said Sergio Perez.

“If I like it I may do it, but I would only want to do it with my Dad,” said Verstappen. “But the priority is to stay in F1 as long as possible.”

“All the best !” said Vettel. “If you look back in the past drivers used to race a lot more in different cars which I find pretty cool. You had to be able to adapt. Now the sport is very professional but I quite like the idea to drive more in different cars.”

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1

@no regrets

Referee is probably the wrong word. Judge would be a better word. It was a vocational CAD contest and nothing was clear cut back then as different schools used different software. What really turned me against it was the teachers tried and did sway certain judges. Another big problem was no one solved the test and out of the two that came close both were using different systems one of which is no longer being made. When I got done checking all the boxes off their scores were equal. Remember even Auto CAD was new at this point. They weren’t allowed to use teachers. So they rounded up three of us that had experience. This was the mid 80s.

I dunno why they bothered to do that back then. I guess if I were asked again I would do it IF I had access to the computer files.

If it’s clear cut it’s easy. This was definitely not. It would be like figuring out the winner of the race when no one finished.

But yeah it has to be a hard job. 1 single point decided the winner but IMO we should have had a run off between the two that were close with the same equipment.

Back then if you knew just how to turn on a computer you would have instant job offers.

2

I can’t agree that “gaining a lasting advantage” should be measured purely judged by sector times. What if you make a complete balls up of one corner losing time and then leave the track cutting the very next corner in the same sector. Your overall sector time may then be slower but in fact you have actually gained an advantage by not losing as much overall time in cutting the corner. If drivers were penalised every time they left the track limits they wouldn’t do it “deliberately”. Nightmare to police though with claims of ” I was forced off”.

3

Hi guys, long time reader, first time poster so be kind.

My initial thoughts were that Max left the track so case closed. However, after seeing different angles it is clear that he swerved to avoid Kimi. He had half a car alongside Kimi so had every right to be there. Kimi is a wily old fox so probably knew exactly what he was doing. Just a warning shot to force Max off track.

If that was somewhere like Monaco it would have caused a huge accident and Kimi would be considered a dangerous maniac. So on a track with plenty of run off, shouldn’t we consider it in a similar way? Or do we put it down to clever defence by Kimi?

For me the correct outcome should have been to give Max the podium. But long term the FIA really need to look at banking kerbs on tracks like this. That way there is a genuine deterrent to leaving the track. I’m sure they can do it in a way that it doesn’t become a’ramp’ or hazard during crashes.

4

Thanks for your comment

5

Jan?? F1 season hasn’t started yet. And this ’37 old man’ choose to race. What a commitment. What a passion. What a Alonso!

6

Fascinating interview with Bernie E today in the Italian newspaper Repubblica where he openly admits to helping Ferrari win races. Says Mercedes gained their dominance in part because Ross Brawn was involved in the creation of the 2014 engine rules while still a Ferrari man, then took the knowledge to Mercedes. Thinks Mercedes has probably helped out Ferrari so as to have a worthy rival to beat. And he sides with Verstappen on the Kimi question…

7

We are back to the old discussions about how to stop drivers going ‘over the line’ on corners. Some are suggesting a returning to grass – but I have also read some good cars have no problem with grass. I have a suggestion/question – how about a ‘tray of water’, maybe 5cm/2″ deep. It would provide quite a resistance to a fast-moving car (reducing speed & advantage) and, I’d assume, not cause serious damage to any car. (The tray would have to be constantly ‘refilled’ to stop drivers trying to create a ‘dry line’ through it during practice/races!)

8

Media and pundits are very “understanding” about Max’s inappropriate comments. Yes, they write about it & report it. Compare that with strong opinions & reactions by “objective” pundits about LH not attending London event, for example, or LH’s snapchat episode, it is interesting to observe how subdued the reactions has been. Calling a steward an idiot, claiming erroneously that fans liked what he did (as though that justifies everything as long fans like it), wishing no one comes next year to his own sport’s event – all of these signal Max is rather simple – no? Lack of education? I guess Max is emboldened because oh he is mega talented and interesting to watch. Without Max, F1 is dead? Under such contexts, the steward and C. Whitting’s team have done a great job of at least attempting to preserve dignity of the sport – and not succumb to sycophantic tendencies.

9

A very good post Mia. I agree with you. I uphold freedom of speech by the individual but insults and vicious derogatory comments should be dealt with swiftly and effectively. At least the stewards took the dignified approach and didn’t respond with anything but the facts. Calling someone a ‘mongol’ is below the belt at any time but especially in such a high profile encounter. If you do so then be prepared to suffer the consequences.

10

Track limits… drives me absolutely NUTS. If the stewards can’t enforce their own rules properly then there needs to be another solution. It’s the acres of tarmac run off that causes the problems.

Put two feet of grass either side of the circuit the whole way around and boom, no problem. Nothing to enforce. Immediate penalty for transgressions. Proper racing without steward intervention. Works for me. Can’t see why this isn’t already the case.

Unless of course the FIA like being able to apply their rules as an when it suits them / Ferrari.

As most people have said, the penalty was correct for Max, the problem is that it should have happened to others.

Alonso, that’s GREAT news. Really looking forward to watching that. And it’s a very good move by McLaren to have him mentoring Lando.

11

Put two feet of grass either side of the circuit the whole way around

Plus 1 – good post. I don’t understand the reluctance of the authorities to deal with this issue. It is literally a black and white issue – the car is either in or out of bounds.

12

Hahaha, it’s always nice to come here to read a new and fresh batch of unfunded and blind Max h**e! Also, when I have some difficult moral decisions to make in my life, I’ll be sure to check in here because everyone here knows exactly what is right and wrong, they even have all the applicable laws and passages at hand when needed! It’s amazing! I’m so curious what it feels like to never swear, to always be morally just and to never get a parking ticket (or drive over the sidewalk =D)!

But seriously…you all need to get of your high horses! All holier than the pope on Sundays…very unlikely! Max feels wronged and according to a VERY high volume of people, he has every reason to feel like that. He may be right or wrong, doesnt really matter, he has every right to still feel that way and he apologized (twice) for the wording he used in the interview! Done! Also…idiot…you all really question someone’s maturity because he used the word idiot a few times? Come on now…get real!

13

‘All smoke and mirrors’ .

14

Amen. Fully agree. The responses here make me wonder if F1 fans are perhaps all Amish or Quakers. Why do you think there are so many bleeps on team radio.

15

On an unrelated but important issue, once again,we are seeing the duplicity of Red Bull and Horner in their treatment of Ricciardo. They just conveniently forgot to tell Ricciardo that Verstappen’s new engine had an upgrade!!! WOW what a revelation. Horner is now trying to play the issue down but actions speak louder then words. I have lost all faith in Red Bull as a team now although as i’ve said repeatedly, after Turkey with Mark Webber/Vettel Horner has proved to be a very weak person and Multi 21 was total confirmation of that. All i can say is that despite DR saying that all is well etc etc etc deep down he must know what the status quo is and with any luck he will be out of there in the not too distant future. Red Bull do not want Daniel to pull the plug on them as they don’t want to see him driving for the competition, but they are prepared to ‘stiff’ him, when the opportunity arises.

16

If Red Bull can get the odd win with a Renault engine, why can’t Alonso do the same next year? 2012 shows what miracles Alonso can deliver (I saw the replay of Brazil 2012 the other day, how did Vettel survive that opening lap… I think he used up all his luck early in his career!). P.S. What a year Verstappen has had to man him up, good preparation for a title challenge hopefully next season or two.

17
Torchwood Mobile

I dislike the way that some of the F1 media are framing the incident:

“The stewards deemed Max to have gone off the track” – Guano, he went off the track with all four wheels!

“Max had his podium taken from him.” – Guano, it wasn’t his God-given podium.

If you were allowed to take that line cutting the chicane (or whatever that peninsula of paint is called), I expect Kimi would have taken it.

If the driver defends against legal moves, you can’t pass them illegally, then throw your dollies out of the pram when the majority of a steward panel calls you on it.

18

@ Torchwood M Agreed 100% What i find most disagreeable is the mantra that Verstappen lost something. He didn’t. He attempted to take something that wasn’t rightfully his, but belonged to another driver who had also driven a very good race.

19

The content of the comments aside, I appreciate the fact we have a driver who is prepared to speak out and not accept what pretty much everyone else in the sport takes for granted – that a much quicker car can be so easily kept behind a slower one.

As a spectator I find it frustrating that the nature of tracks and aerodynamics are such that cars can’t be followed closely and it’s fairly easy to defend a place. I’m sure a young chap like Max is similarly frustrated about having any attempts to ‘do things differently’ end up with criticism for breaking unwritten rules rather than praise for making races actually worth watching for a change.

My only fear is that he will get cowed in to not speaking out any more and become ingrained in to the ways of sitting behind a car for lap after lap hoping they make a mistake rather than creatively trying to force an overtake.

20

It has long been a bearbug of mine that modern F1 circuits do not punish you for exceeding the limits of the track. I say we bring back real curbs rather than just painting the tarmac a different colour. There’s nothing wrong at all with curbs that risk car damage if you run over them too much – there absolutely should be real performance consequences to running off the track.

21

@ Vano….very well articulated. I fully agree with you.

22

Max should a) apologise b) be told by his team to apologise c) grow the **** up.

He’s acting like a petulant child. He’s damaging his reputation by not apologising. The FIA should have taken more action against him for his ‘comments’ made. Any other sport he would have been in serious trouble.

23

Issue handled badly by max and his advisors but he is young and surrounded by yes men.
Due to older drivers disrespectful outbursts that have gone unpunished its understandable he has developed an attitude.
I dont know what the fear or correcting his behaviour is. Whats he going to do? run away and mess about on a skateboard instead of driving in F1?

24

I like Zak Brown, I like his attitude, letting Alonso go racing will hopefully start a trend. I would be far more likely to watch other forms of racing if I knew the drivers, I watched Indy last year! Can’t see the big corporations letting it happen, I.e. Mercedes, Ferrari might if it was for a works entry.

25

So the penalty only applies when “gaining an advantage” means passing another car..in that case I understand what Max means when saying he should have cut that corner on every lap. Each passing lap perhaps saves about 0.1s, which adds up nicely after a while, and for free. So yes, I agree the stewards are inconsistent.
Anyhow, he should indeed be more apologizing towards the Stewards. His foul language is not good for the sport and sets a bad example for other youngsters. Nevertheless, I admire his passion and tenacity on track. He really sets F1 alight.

26

Neither the FIA, FOM, LIberty Media and any media outlet regrets the Austin row.
A lot of people do regret the decision, though.

27

100% of those drivers who exceeded the track limits and gained a place were punished in Austin, and in every other race so far this year. If thats not consistant i don’t know what is.

He knows this, and he’s just spouting hot air. He needs to stop being the petulant child, he has gotten himself a reputation this season that will follow him for the rest of his career if he’s not careful.

28

There are arguments to be made about appropriateness of the Verstappen penalty, and they should be made.

But Verstappen and his father (as manager) swearing both at the referee and calling him an idiot (and worse in Dutch apparently) is not acceptable and deserves a significant penalty as it does in any other well developed sport.

Imagine him doing this as a footballer, rugby player, tennis player ………

Or does talent trump proper sporting behaviour?

29

lasting advantage is gaining time / go faster (which makes one either: move in front of another, go further in front of another, stay in front of another while otherwise being overtaken, get closer to another who is driving in front of you, better position yourself for an overtake).

Verstappen had a lasting advantage, no doubt about it. But so had others and Charlie (having to protect the FIA/Stewards of the Race) knows it. It should be very simple: if you leave the track on purpose and there is no disadvantage, then a 5 second time penalty should be applied (in race and qualification). If there is a disadvantage, you can see it by either the trackposition and the sectortime and you have punished yourself enough.

The argument that some other drivers didn’t cut the corner but took a longer distance when they were outside of the track limits and therefor didn’t gain an advantage, doesn’t hold: if Bottas would go outside of tracklimits and therefor extended the track by 275 meters, but could carry an extra speed of +12,5km an hour on average (later breaking, higher cornering speed, faster on the throttle) and he would do that every lap of the race, he would have won the race with Lewis about 39 seconds behind him…

30

@ McBosch…so, in effect what you are saying is that either Whiting is lying orr that he hasn’t any idea about what he’s been doing for a very very long time as as an F1 professional administrator…or both? To top that off you are proposing that you are a better judge of events without the benefit of seriously sophisticated technology upon which to base and verify decisions taken during an F1 race? Really…are you serious or just taking the ‘urine’?

31

but took a longer distance when they were outside of the track limits and therefor didn’t gain an advantage, doesn’t hold

I agree – the drivers wouldn’t keep doing it (turn 19) lap after lap if it didn’t bring them an advantage. The simplest way to deal with this, and defuse the entire argument, would be to enforce track limits everywhere. For some reason the FIA don’t appear to be up for that – not sure why.

32

@ C63….Horner has been mouthing off about an agreement in principal which he claims was made towards the end of last season that the stewards would not be interfering too much so as to allow harder racing. If the stewards didn’t bother to penalise a driver each time he left the track then in fact that’s what they did…they let them race. All that aside the assurances would not have allowed for leniency in the case of shortcutting corners and gaining a lasting advantage to the detriment of another driver. To do that would encourage chaos on a grand scale. I really don’t find it all that hard to understand.

33

@ C63….Perhaps the FIA should consider this. The latest F1 cars are 2 metres wide. If a second set of say yellow lines were marked 1.8 metres from the white line and included beyond that there were high ripple strips that would damage a cars undertray then there would be no ‘cheating’. To drive with all four wheels off the track could then be precisely monitored and it would be obvious to all concerned given the amount of wreckage. Monaco et al have natural built up impediments and this would be a halfway house to achieve the same result.

34

In principal I would support anything which discouraged drivers from exceeding the track limits in order to gain an advantage. Apparently they come down hard on drivers in other formulas (according to MB) and it works just fine. I’m not a big fan of committees (stewards) trying to decide when, or if, an advantage was gained. Simple black and white , in or out rules suit me better. All sporting contests have clearly defined boundaries which is where the game is played – the pitch if you will – not sure why F1 sees things any differently.

35

Dem the rules Max boy. Somewhat unfortunately. Keep at it tho, we love to see you push forward – a real driver.

Jeez people talking about Ric, Ferrari – why? The real villian is our day and age. Boring ass tarmac run off and a bogus white line for a track limit. Too bad that wheel was put in motion years ago, and spent truckloads of money on it. Seems the focus is always on problems with the cars and how this affects the racing…..Grass, gravel and street circuit barriers really test the drivers and are superior as the track limit. Have your tarmac AFTER a grass edge to help with grip and slowing down a car that has left the circuit. Its annoyingly simple.

36

Success and media hype got to his head quite a bit.

37

Track limits and “gaining a lasting advantage” is like the being offside but “not interfering with play” football rule. Its all a bit smoke and mirrors and down to human judgement in the end and as such you will at times get inconsistencies and differing views. We have all seen the replays over and over again and yet people still can’t agree if the penalty was correct or not. Like it or not the stewards made the decision which can’t be appealed so that should be the end of it as far as I am concerned.

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