F1 Winter Break
Verstappen attends Marrakesh ePrix to serve FIA punishment
Posted By: Editor   |  13 Jan 2019   |  2:53 pm GMT  |  137 comments

Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen spent the first day of his public service punishment “observing stewards” at the second round of the Formula E championship, the Marrakesh ePrix, the FIA have confirmed.

A combative Brazilian Grand Prix involved race-leader Verstappen and the backmarker Force India of Esteban Ocon colliding mid-race, which resulted in a heated exchange of words between the pair after the race.

Verstappen was filmed shoving Ocon in the FIA weighbridge garage, something which the stewards deemed as a breach of the sporting code and they handed the Dutchman a punishment of “two days of public service”.

He was spotted attending the Marrakesh ePrix – won by ex-F1 driver Jerome D’Ambrosio – with the FIA later confirming that he was serving the first of his two public service days “as an observer to the stewards”.

The statement by the FIA read:

“Max Verstappen attended the Marrakesh E-Prix as a result of the Stewards’ decision at the 2018 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix. Verstappen spent the day as an observer to the stewards, closely following their work at a top-level international motor sport event as part of the educational and informative approach taken by the FIA in this matter.”

With Verstappen very unlikely to be critical of either the punishment or the series, he said that his day in Marrakesh had been “constructive” and that Formula E was a “cool series”.

“It’s interesting to see it from the other side – normally you can’t spend an entire day with the stewards! Everybody does their own job during the weekend, and it’s good to really see what it takes to make these important decisions – sometimes a decision might not be nice for a certain person but it has to be taken and you have to follow the rules.

“I think it’s good to experience different things in racing rather than just sitting in the car – to be here and do this kind of work has been a constructive thing for me.

“I’ve of course followed Formula E a bit on TV but I’ve never been in the paddock, and I really enjoyed the day. First of all it was a really exciting race. The championship is clearly growing and there are a lot of manufacturers here, so I think it’s a cool series.”

Verstappen’s punishment criticised by Bird

The move to bring Verstappen to a Formula E race has been criticised by series front-runner Sam Bird, with the Briton saying that he didn’t think it was fair on the growing championship.

“I didn’t see him. It’s nice that he’s here. I mean, to call coming to a Formula E race ‘community service’ I think does Formula E a bit of a dis-justice. This is an amazing category and people pay to come and watch us.

“It shouldn’t be a punishment to come here. I hope he enjoyed it, and I hope he will give good feedback to some of his colleagues”

Verstappen still has one day of public service remaining, but the FIA are yet to confirm when or where this will be completed.

With his punishment to be completed “within a six month period”, his second day should have been carried out by around April. However, Verstappen will likely complete the second day before the start of the Formula One season in March.

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

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As a steward, I am constantly getting asked what a steward does. I don’t think what Verstappen had to do was much of a punishment or community service, but, if he really paid attention to what the stewards do, I think it will give him a needed perspective.


The idea of community service for shoving another driver was a yoke.

Sending max to an FR race as “community service” is a yoke

I do like the idea of getting young drivers to see how things in the stewards room work…there’s no reason it couldn’t be manditory for all F1 rookies to have to do one race in the stewards room, but this could easily be done during F2 races.

All that said, I’m not one who has anything against FE per say. It’s not F1, but I’m ok with that. I’ve watched every race since season 1, and this last race in Morocco was quite entertaining.

Anyways, the real reason I’m posting is because I just learned something about FE. I found it in this article, an interview with FE boss Agag.


A decent read, but the part that jumped out to me was this

The championship was in dire financial straits after its debut season. Ironically, it was saved only by an injection of cash from Liberty Global, an associate of Liberty Media, now owner of F1’s commercial rights. Today Formula E is in much better shape, says Agag

Did anyone else know that Liberty was financially involved with FE?? Maybe I’m just completely in the dark, but that was news to me.

When one considers the future of top tier motor racing, it’s quite clear that eventually there won’t be enough room for both FE and F1…one of them will end up absorbing or becoming the other. However, if you put yourself in the shoes of an FIA big-wig, or a Liberty Media money shuffler….it doesn’t matter which series succeeds and which fails, you’re laughing all the way to the bank regardless.

Don’t at all be surprised if over the next few years, decisions are made within F1 that are designed to sink the ship….as the people at the helm of the ship already have their life raft prepped and ready to go.


Ugh – So having to watch a Formula E GP is a harsh punishment!? ;o)


However, I believe the best way to deal with juvenile delinquents is to let them blow of some steam.

Like one of those rage rooms in Asia. Could do wonders for some I believe.


One way to interpret this is that FE made a deal with F1 to promote each other.

Who will come from FE to watch F1?


Another punishment could be to send him off to Renault. To see how bad things could really get.

But I think this will do the trick


I feel for Max .. this ‘punishment’ is prime fodder for the endless jokes and one liners that will haunt him for the rest of his career. Unfortunately, as Max has demonstrated in the past, his fiery temperament will get the better of him again.

Hopefully when Max is a multiple WDC he will come to see the funny side.


The penalty was of course pretty ridiculous to begin with. So he pushed Ocon around a bit. He didn’t hit him and he didn’t even try to do it in front of the camera’s (the camera’s were searching for him, not the other way around). Apparently the FIA also doesn’t take it that serious, judging by the ‘punishment’ he got…


I’m glad Max wasn’t around in James Hunt’s day, he would of lumped him one and then gone out boozing and shagging loads of birds afterwards😘


Those were the days!!! ;o)


Stole my post Charlie!!😄👍


Mmmmm Max, For me he is a lot of fun to watch, I don’t really care about a bit of push and shove either. However his brand of petulance is a such a massive turn off. I just can’t root for him.

Learning outcome? – humility.

Punishment? Swap drives with Ocon.


Off topic, is Stoffel Vandoorne slow in FE as well?


Everybody is slow in FE. Those cars only have about 300 bhp and weigh about as much as a WEC LMP1 car. Plus they have hardly any downforce.


Genius move, and so apt… Watching an electronic race is a punishment…

A great way to kill off this stupid idea, nobody is interested anyway.


looks like every time everybody is upset about steward decision. Ruling book should be update with all teams and stewards.


He should have been assisting the stewards in Melbourne watching the reserve driver driving his car….

Just maybe he would learn something then…



I was very outspoken about the lack of punishment for MadMax’s foolish, antisocial, violent, petulant, brain fart … but

Now I’ve changed my mind about coming down hard on antisocial, angry, self absorbed, entitled little prats like the RedBullyGoldenBoy … and I’ve also changed my views on how the authorities who preside over these incidents (FIA) should use them as a proper learning tool for young F1 fans.

I see now that there’s no use in complaining or being abhorred at the FIA’s ignorance, because it’s blatantly obvious the FIA is a law unto itself.

The FIA’s horrendous policing and punishment record deliberately flies in the face of it’s fans expectations – and those of any (worthless!!!) F1 driver who has less than a million followers on social media.

Obviously, if they don’t have enough followers, they don’t have any place in F1 according to the FIA because they don’t create any marketing opportunities for the precious cause.

Obviously brilliantly talented drivers without millions of fans or Euros, like Ocon, mean nothing to the FIA … they’re just worthless pawns who do nothing for the betterment of F1. They simply drive around the track and get in the way of the FIA’s precious “Headline Drivers” like MadMax, TeflonSeb and Hamilton the Great!

When was the last time any of those three was made a proper example of for their wrongful actions????????????????? NEVER!!!

The FIA continuously uses these hugely popular incidents as a treasured tool for instantly inciting half a billion mindless conversations and heated arguments in social media and the press.

Regardless of whether it is constructive or derogatory … to the FIA it’s all marketing – and that’s all that matters in today’s disrespectful, lawless, corrupt, anti-social world. A world where it’s better to forget about laying blame squarely where it belongs and dealing out fair punishment or repercussions for the guilty party!

It’s been brewing for years but I no longer give a tinker’s cuss about the FIA and what is supposedly stands for. It has made so many daft and derogatory decisions regarding F1 and completely lost it’s way over the past 10 years that the bst thing for the FIA would be to strip it of it’s power and dismantle it forever.

Send the billions of Euros wasted on those cretins each year to 3rd world countries, to set up water pumps, plant crops and build hospitals.

Those self absorbed fools earn millions while making far too many flippant decisions based on what’s supposedly good for F1 and themselves – instead of what’s prudent for the global motor racing society and the future generations of racing drivers coming through the ranks.

The way the FIA is going, by the time a 10 year old of today is ready for a Formula 1 seat, it will be like a video game … they’ll be allowed to take machine guns and hand grenades in their cars to kill off their fellow competitors one by one as they please … but only the ones whose Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts (just like the three like Golden Boy’s) have over a million followers each. The rest don’t deserve to live!!!

What a fool I am … I was stupidly waiting and hoping for some form of punishment which made sense – made him pay dearly – made him think twice before doing it again – made him realise he’s not the only person on the track – punishment which actually fit the crime he is guilty of … which is deliberately hunting a person down to attack them, deliberately committing physical violence on them multiple times, frequent pre and post verbal outbursts of defiance and threats that he will definitely do it all again … oh yeah, and the stupendouly idiotic gaff from both him and his daft team boss HorneySpice.

Both boldly state that Ocon should feel lucky because he only got pushed a few times and didn’t cop something a lot worse. With role-models like HorneySpice and Jos the Toss it’s obvious where the kid’s pathetic, pompous attitude comes from.

After this totally foolish “punishment” (a day at the races … pffff) was made public, I now sincerely wish Ocon had stood-fast as MadMax approached him in his rage, waited for the GoldenBoy to try to push him, stepped forward willingly, swung his helmet fair across the spoilt brat’s face and broke his jaw.

Just like Max’s old man Jos would have and Max most likely wishes he had done … instead of looking pathetically weak and playing hand bags by cowardly pushing Esteban like a spoilt little 3 year old brat in a sand pit!!!!!!!

After growing up under the wonderful “guidance” of his thuggish, violent, prat of a father – that’s the only thing this twerp understands … vengeance … metered out through brash displays of unfettered violence and followed up by heartfelt expectations of no repercussions for his pathetic actions!

Lesson for the day from the FIA ……. now listen up all you F1 kids out there!!!


Go for it … get the hell out there and belt the s%!t out of any kid who dares to look at you sideways – or god forbid … cuts in front of you on the bike path on your way home from school when your in a desperate hurry to get to the x-box so you can hit reset and have your 100th crack at Stage 97.

If the police come … NO PROBS!!!

Repeat after me … Punishment … me??? Noooooo … what punishment????

Do you know who I am ??? It’s me me me me me me me dammit … I don’t deserve punishment Officer, it was all his fault!!! Now … just rub my back, gently move my hair out of my eyes, wipe my snotty nose and stroke my forehead … that’s it … now tell me I’m a WINNER!

Then refer the nasty Policeman who is obviously PICKING ON YOU to the FIA’s handbook on how to deal with defiant, violent, repeat offenders who believe they are special and above repercussions for their petulant, idiotic actions … simply because their Daddy told them that’s how you become a WINNER in life!!!

Now p!ss off and leave me alone!!!

At least Schumacher and Senna were made to pay for their foolish, defiant, antisocial actions … oops, sorry, I’m old and forgot … obviously punishment doesn’t matter in this modern world!

Let’s hope Climate Change, the depleted Ozone Layer, lack of water, famine, Ebola, China and AIDS get us all before the coming generations of anarchists and self-righteousness “ME-ME’s” shoot us in the head for breathing the precious air that god provided especially for them!

Rant over!!! 😉


Great post !!


Thanks Charlie


Bravo 👏👏
Jack that wasn’t a Rant.
That was a manifesto 👏👏
Have you considered a career
In Politics The Church or selling left handed screw drivers to right handed Dutchmen.
That was an epic post deserves a 🏅


WOW … that’s the first time I’ve ever won a medal on the internet. 🥰

“Thank you soooo much, first of all, I’d just like to thank my parents for having me, um … who else ….. sorry, I wasn’t prepared for this.”

Wish I could put it round my neck right now – so I can call a media conference and carry-on like a WINNER!!!😉 👍🏽🤣🤣🤣


Jack. I don’t normally read long posts as I am easily;y bored but I read you yours as the topic is of interest to me. I fully agree and endorse your comments. How I wish I could earn a punishment of “a day at the races” for a wrongdoing I had committed. Fly me first class and give me pit lane tickets and a chat with the marshals anyday. This “spoilt little prat” as you rightly call him will never learn consequence with a decision like this.


WOW. That’s a solid rant. Straight up 4.6 out of 5 stars. The bar has been set for 2019 boys and girls.

“FIA…completely lost it’s way over the past 10 years”

Are you saying that the FIA organization has been erected for purposes of marketing and has reached peak satisfaction and climaxed 10 years ago during the 2008 reign of Max Mosley, and that it has been deflated, unless and unsatisfying to the fans ever since?

…I always felt that whole thing was a bet that Max lost to Bernie by the way. 🙂



Thanks for the rant warning, but I went ahead anyway.

I was right there with you till the machine guns & hand grenades. There is absolutely no place for that kind of carnage in F1.

Lets make a new series for that.


Wow, just…. wow!

Probably not a good idea to let you know about the spelling mistake…



Oops daisy!

There were a couple of mistakes DRG … sorry to disappoint you. I’ll try harder in future 🤣


I think they should make him design, build, and drive a soap box derby car. No turbos allowed on the gravity PU.


He has to be served in F1 paddok during the fist race and not in Formula E


Seems to be, based on the 33 comments published below, a fairly strong reaction to the “community service” definition used by the FIA. . .


It was ”punishment” in the way that juvenile delinquents are taken to jail to see what happen when you do things and are charged as an adult. In this case you can go from a F1 driver to a F1 driver reject series if you don’t get your act together and Max got to see how scary that series is first hand to scare him into top form and prevent future outburst.


Good coverage for Formula E.

Must be worth a fortune to the series in advertising revenue.


Now, let this be a lesson for all the juvenile delinquents out there.

Third strike and you get a year in FE. Now this could have a real impact though, on some of the drivers. Others just see it as a chance to try out their future job.


A full year in FE. Now, that would be a deterrent.


Nice touch there Luke (MOD) only letting 33 comments through on the first pass. Max#33


This time around he let through 69 comments.


My favourite number!



Your favorite NUMBER?????

Come on, I know you can do better than that😄


The second day could be a first class ticket to view the Indy 500 , with champagne supper thrown in !


That would be cheaper than milk and dinner.


So, as punishment the FIA send Max to a Formula E race. Hilarious, does anyone else see the irony.


I don’t get the ‘punishment’.

Ocon is probably raging he didn’t shove back so he can get a free trip and maybe pickup a drive 😉

Is this meant to me some kind of further mental psycological electrical/PU/hybrid punishment for Max, carrying on from his F1 Renault PU disaster?

Could backfire.

It would be funny if the Red Bull Honda 2019 is another total PU-disaster, DM and Max, after Max checking out Formula E, jump ship.

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