Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2016

Mercedes withdraws Verstappen protest which Hamilton didn’t support

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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Mercedes has withdrawn its protest against Max Verstappen which Lewis Hamilton said he did not support.

Start, Suzuka, 2016
2016 Japanese Grand Prix in pictures
The Japanese Grand Prix stewards announced Mercedes had protested Verstappen’s defensive move against Hamilton on the penultimate lap of the race, and a decision would be taken at the next round in Austin.

However according to the FIA Mercedes has now withdrawn its protest.

Writing on social media, Hamilton denied he had supported Mercedes’ attempt to take second place in the stewards’ room.

“There is no protest from either myself or Mercedes,” he posted. “One idiot said we have but it’s not true. Max drove well, end of. We move on.”

Hamilton later deleted the post and replaced it with a similar one which read: “There is no protest from myself. Just heard the team had but I told them it is not what we do. We are champions, we move on. End of!”

2016 Japanese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Mercedes withdraws Verstappen protest which Hamilton didn’t support”

  1. The first statement is interesting. No protest from himself or Mercedes. Then why was one lodged? (Is Lauda the idiot?)
    Big respect to Lewis though, I like how he puts his foot down here and also acknowledges Max drove well. I like how he accepts that the race is over and so it should be, not like in 2007 (?) when the championship was in limbo for a while because of a protest (?)
    Protest might actually have been useful to determine once and for all the legality, but knowing Verstappen another chance is just around the corner.

    1. Considering his recent conflicts with the media, I think he meant it was false news with “one idiot said”. Clearly on the heat of the moment.

      He deserves respect for not protesting a bold but legal move, one he himself could have made.

      1. to be fair, by ‘some idiot’ he probably meant that some sort of higher power had lodged a complaint.

        1. scary… an idiot with higher power

          1. @ruliemaulana Just switch the news on you see these every day.

          2. Must mean Paddy??

          3. There’s heaps of them mate….one look at the US will tell just how bad it could get.

    2. According to bild, three stewards saw nothing wronig with the move and one (Gary Connely) thought it should be looked into. He then went to Paddy Lowe and convinced him to lodge a protest. Apperently its a desperate attempt to overturn the majority vote.
      http://www.autobild.de/artikel/formel-1-protest-posse-exklusiv-10881067.html?r2018289916=860002758 (the article is in german)

  2. Weird! If Merc feels the need, they should go ahead with the protest. I dunno but I see Lewis of 2016 trying to fight and defend the Lewis of 2011 from becoming too powerful this year.

    1. Regardless of opinions, I thought the protest should have been given its course to clarify this area @neelv27 .

      1. Why? No protest, no investigation. It clears enough, doesnt it?

        1. Clears the specific situation, but sets no precedent for “moving on the braking zone”

          1. But it does. There is no rule against it and they dont act against it. That enough clarification for me.

        2. Actually, it is a huge grey area that I like being ironed out. On a straight, a defending driver has the right to suddenly change direction, even using the entire track width if they are fully ahead of the attacking driver. The same right does not apply in or immediately before the braking zone for a corner. Sudden changes of direction just before or within the braking zone are considered extremely dangerous, as they can leave the attacking driver nowhere to go. This rule is not stated explicitly in the FIA sporting regulations, but is considered an “abnormal change of direction” under sporting regulation 20.5.

          1. I think it would look like sour grapes on Mercedes part if Verstappen was penalised. From the team perspective, they have won the title this year, so the only motivation would be regarding the World Drivers’ Championship, and the engraver has already pencilled in “Rosberg” onto the trophy.

          2. “abnormal change of direction” = defending your position
            It’s part of racing. Always has been, always will be.

  3. Ironically if Hamilton had not made the move, he may well have had a chance down the pit straight, but I’d rather a guy make a move than lament not having made one if the next opportunity never actually arises. I suppose it’s just racing in the end

    1. @3dom

      Exactly, thats why i dont get all the commotion around max “moving in the braking zone”. Once you force the move, the overtaking party can move all around and have another advantage, like for the straight after. Seems the current race drivers are not good at chess and have been bored out of skills by drs highway passes.

      1. @3dom @maxv This move by Verstappen is pretty well-known now. I’m sure drivers will take it into account when trying to attack him in future. Knowing you can draw an opponent off-line in a braking zone can be very useful to compromise their exit from a corner.

        1. Webber would have been great following Verstappen. He was king of selling the dummy. We need another brace guy against Max and we will have amazing wheel to wheel racing. Ricciardo has put his hand up. Time will tell if he continues to match Max.

          1. Dont forget that is very difficult to steer while braking as we saw with Hamilton not being able to take the corner. I don’t like how verstappen drives, because most of the time the guy overtaking ends up off track, this is not racing. Next year with more grip the cars will brake even later than now and this kind of moves will end up with someone crashing. Verstappen never defends, he blocks, and in any kind of racing, blocking is not acceptable

        2. @keithcollantine What I’m more worried about is less talented drivers doing it too, whilst being followed by another less talented driver. And when it becomes the norm it will be done in lower categories too, and if they do it soon we’ll see it in GT racing as well. Verstappen might be the current master of blocking with absolute precision the fact it has caught out both Hamilton and Raikkonen shows that it is not that farfetched to approach this tactic with caution.

          1. @xtwl

            He did the same in f3, supposedly with lesser drivers, any accidents up till now?..

        3. Verstappen’s late blocks can force drivers off the track – as they have to take avoiding action to stop a crash… – Rosberg was penalized for less in Germany. Verstappen will only stop this stupid and dangerous late blocking when someone gets hurt.

          1. “Max is just an accident waiting to happen, we will then see the rules changed to prevent moving around in the braking zone, hopefully nobody will get hurt.”

            I think other drivers use their brain more often then him… He thinks it is all cool and fun, until he send someone flying/rolling around…He is a ticking bomb, and it is just a matter of when… not whether he will cause a collision or not…

          2. @mysticus

            The rule states that the car in front may make 1 defensive move off the racingline and then 1 move back to the racingline and that, if the car behind has a significant part of his car (ie frontwing or more), the car in front has to leave a cars width of space (provided that hapens before the braking zone).

            Now, it does not say whén the car should make his move other than not under breaking. Verstappen waiting for the car behind to make his move first is therefor perfectly legal, provided he is not already breaking for the corner when he does it.

            On the Kemmel straight doing 325kph against Kimi they were obviously a long way before the brakingzone into Les Combes. Today they were coming out of 130R and before braking into the chicane. In both instances VES managed to keep the other guy behind (the whole point of defending).

            Both instances haven’t been even investigated, let alone VES beeing penalized nor should he be, because according to the rules IT’S NOT ILLIGAL! There is litterally nothing that needs clearing up, other than some fans not understanding the rules.

          3. @jeffreyj No one is saying it isn’t legal. We know it’s legal. But that’s the problem, it shouldn’t be, it’s very, very dangerous. (Speaking only about Belgium, missed that part of the Japanese GP)

          4. @jeffreyj not defending legality, as some legal stuff outright dangerous and have no precedent to fully justify certain situations! Ves playing by the book, no doubt, but he is stretching the rules beyond safe lately…

          5. Look guys, I understand that this is a sport, but these guys do what they do (at least in the beginning of their careers…) purely for the danger/challenge/adrenaline that motorsport provides them. They all know there is incredible risk involved with this line of work – especially during such things as high speed overtakes….etc.
            I have very good mates in Iraq that risk a whole lot more for a WHOLE lot less. But ultimately, that’s their choice.
            If you want to race around a track really fast & try and overtake someone who wants to fight you for the spot, don’t cry blue murder when he does everything in his power to defend his position. Same applies to the ‘fans’. Quit bloody whinging!
            VES’s moves might not please todays modern ‘safety aware’ naysayers, but for me it represents a bit of an old school racing renaissance.
            Something that these same critics subconsciously scream for.
            Remember – danger equals excitement.
            PEACE

          1. I mean i agree Keith Collantine
            You know he is gonna block so use this as an opportunity
            This is racing in the next generation !!!!

        4. I think that the tables will turn at some point in the future. Red Bull will be fast and Max will be attempting to pass the same guys he is defending on now. Let’s see if they allow him a free pass or give him the same business that he is using now.

    2. I think LH should have waited for the straight since he was closer then ever and his car has the power to do it. Silly move by LH. Everyone knows the bully tactics used by Max. With all them moves on the corners the best option is the straights and RBR weakness. The kid is a bully on track just like Madonado was but with a better car. Bottom line LH should have known better.

      1. The problem was the RB had better traction off the chicane so he wouldn’t likely have been able to make the pass down the pit straight. So he was trying the only other place that he could do it, into the chicane. I suspect Max was deploying his ERS down the pit straight too so in theory he would be slightly slower relatively coming into the chicane.

        Hamilton needed another couple of laps to work it out and then he would have got past in all probabilty.

        Max is just an accident waiting to happen, we will then see the rules changed to prevent moving around in the braking zone, hopefully nobody will get hurt.

        1. I don’t blame the kid if you keep getting away with it why not keep doing it. Let Perez try something like that and he gets hit with the rule book. Perez needs to understand this and play the politics better. Prost had that part down to a science. So yeah Max keep doing it other drivers will just have to adjust.

  4. For what its worth, there’s a video here: http://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2016/10/mercedes-protest-verstappens-driving.html

    With Sky F1 commentary of Crofty and Brundle.

    1. In my opinion, his move occurred when Hamilton was clearly behind him (as seen at 00:18 in the video), and its Hamilton’s late-braking manoeuver that makes it appear like Max moved dangerously late.

      1. Well, in fairness, drivers do tend to brake late when attempting to overtake. I think in this instance it wasn’t super dangerous, but, it could have been. And eventually if he keeps doing it, it will cause a crash.

        Theoretically, if Lewis was say, a meter closer and it did cause a crash, who’s fault would it be?

      2. Hans Braakhuis
        10th October 2016, 6:27

        If you want Max to make his move early, do your overtake move earlier.

      3. Its not really dangerous in a slow corner like that. Its not like he did on the entry to spoon.

  5. Sanity prevails. Nothing to see here. The move was legal. I’m not a fan of his driving when people are behind but little wrong with this one.

  6. Mighty curious as to who that idiot might have been? Anyhow, I think Mercedes only lodged it in the first place to maximise Lewises chances. Lewis clearly didn’t like the idea of winning at the green table. Kudos to him!

    1. Must have been a ‘higher’ idiot.

    1. Yeah, Lewis is being a man about and just admits he didn’t get passed before the race was over. I really like that he doesn’t whine and just gets on with it. I respect him for that.

  7. As much as it was an excellent ‘razor’s edge’ defence, it was also a very average attack from Lewis. I don’t think we’ve seen a wheel to wheel between Max & Lewis before, it’s possible Lewis was a bit uncertain in his approach, possibly also hoped to be alongside before the braking zone, considering his excellent build up from the hairpin.

    Max said he didn’t need boost down the front straight due to the incredible traction the Red Bull provides out of the chicane. It’s likely he was using his boost to prevent Lewis from getting alongside, with the Merc clearly superior in the final sector from the hairpin.

    Smart driving from Max – and I think Lewis recognises that (plus that he braked too late due to the plan not working out.)

    1. Which reminds me, we don’t see enough of the engine modes when stuff like this is on-going. Would it be asking too much to be able to see precisely what toys a driver is or isn’t using at any particular moment.

      1. Agreed, the KERS bar a few years back atleast showed clearly how and when the electrical power was used.

        There must be a sane way to show when a driver is harvesting/deploying without creating a mess of a graph that nobody understands at first glance while watching a battle.

        1. The driver doesn’t know, only the car does– and I doubt the teams are interested in the other teams knowing exactly how they’re using the ERS.

          No reason they couldn’t have a bar graph that’s red on one side (discharging) and green on the other (charging), one for the turbo, one for the engine.

          But it’s under the computer’s control, and responding to how the team programmed that engine mode for that weekend, so it would be giving away team secrets, not driver secrets.

  8. I made the following comment on an earlier article. Looks like its check for the first point:

    Here are a few short predictions:
    1. Verstappen will be cleared (rightly so in this case)
    2. Verstappen will beat Ricciardo convincingly next year (with commentators saying that he now has his eye in at Red Bull even though it will be Management favouring him).
    3. F1 are using him as a marketing tool with orange banks – t-shirts, etc sold competing with the red banks of Ferrrai.
    4. Verstappen is the new golden boy protected from any moves by any other driver.
    5. Verstappen beats an experienced driver to the championship next year.

    It’s a marketing machine and I would do the same. Young guy at coolest F1 brand to bring in more fans. In fact the more aggressive the better for the marketing machine. Take a screenshot of this comment and watch this space.

    1. Brilliant post and indeed something to keep in mind for the future :)

      F1 clearly needed a boost and VES is the man who everybody makes watching f1 again.
      Raw speed combined with a racing attitude.

      Reminds me of a couple of months ago when Heineken (finally) entered the world of F1

      1. Verstappen may eventually be one of the greats– at the moment, he’s a fairly cocky kid who’s a bit hard on his tires, makes some impressive overtakes, and does some iffy defending. He’s won a race, not by being on pole and out-driving everyone (the way Maldonado did in Spain in 2012), but because the two Mercedes took themselves out of the race on lap one, and the team made some questionable decisions regarding strategy for Ricciardo.

        Don’t get me wrong– he’s an F1 driver at a very young age, and that’s wildly impressive– but so was Kimi Raikonnen, and he’s got exactly one WDC, which he got by being in the right place when Alonso and Hamilton were slugging it out.

        I prefer to decide how good an F1 driver is based on his record, rather than his potential– and Max has great potential right now. But he hasn’t realized most of it yet.

        1. Funny how in my book one of the things VES excels at is being incredibly good at managing tires. I think in part because he is incredibly smooth under braking and has real feel for grip.

          IMO this was clear from Barcelona, and it has not changed since.

    2. Convincingly? I think that you are jumping the gun a lot there. I think that these two are evenly matched and the battle between the two will go down to the wire. Hopefully their relationship will remain the same. This is currently the best driver pairing in F1 in my opinion.

      1. True. Ricciardo is on par with Max, maybe a little better. It will be interesting to see how Red Bull goes about supporting both of them in a championship race. My take is that Max will be supported more when it comes down to it.

    3. interesting prediction considering:
      -Ricciardos has scored more points then Verstappen
      -Ricciardo has made less mistakes then Verstappen
      -Ricciardo has outqualified Verstappen 9-4 with an average gap of about .5 seconds
      -Ricciardo has been in position to win 3 races (Spain, Monaco, Malaysia) and team errors denied him 2 of those wins
      -Verstappen was only in position to win 1 race (after the team screwed Ricciardos strategy)
      -Ricciardo has made world class passes
      -Verstappen has made world’s worse blocks.

      1. +1 Verstappen is the new Alonso. Pure marketing.

        1. They are both talented. But Max is evidently placed and planned as a marketing tool. Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel all fell into the role. No room for Alonso or Max bashing here. We can only comment on what we see.

        2. There’s always this guy..

          1. Lol I think her dreams about Alonso.

      2. +1 kpcart. Ricciardo is the superior driver. He is aggressive but fair. Verstappen is aggressive but sometimes dirty. This will hinder him in championship battles and I predict a few crashes from Verstappen when he is in this position.

        1. And when I say superior, I mean slightly superior. There’s not much in it apart from Verstappen’s sometimes slightly more erratic driving. It will be close between the two.

        2. My take on it is that Max is unlikely to be crashed into. He has defined his driving style by now. It’s like going into a boxing match swinging, not defending. Drivers know he will close the door. No one wants to crash so they will back off. I think it’s smart by Max. It could have gone the wrong way if it was his first race but he has a track record now of being firm. It worked the other way for Pastor. Max’s talent separates him from guys like Pastor. I remember that Alesi had a similar approach but with passing. His take was “if you close the door on me when I’m trying to pass, we both crash”. He built that reputation when passing. Max built his own reputation when defending.

          1. all good and well, but such a late block will catch out any driver.. he will be just .05 seconds later in the block and the car behind will try a switch back and will be airborne, ruining both drivers race. he IS NOT SETTING A MARKER for defensive driving.

      3. -Ricciardos has scored more points then Verstappen – in a car that he knew alot better than Max did

        -Ricciardo has made less mistakes then Verstappen – all part of the learningcurve…19 years young

        -Ricciardo has outqualified Verstappen 9-4 with an average gap of about .5 seconds – Interesting, because Verstappen is 3-2 ahaed in Qualifying after the Summerbreak. First half of the season he had to learn the car, the team, engineer…and had to up his game….so the 3-2 tells me alot more then the 9-4 you keep mumbling about

        -Ricciardo has been in position to win 3 races (Spain, Monaco, Malaysia) and team errors denied him 2 of those wins – Nope, Ricciardo never would have won Barcelona…he even destroyed his new set of SS on his last lap, while Max kept Kimi behind for 32….in a slower car….and Max, speedwise, should have won last week when he was the quicker driver all weekend

        -Verstappen was only in position to win 1 race (after the team screwed Ricciardos strategy) – see my commentry above

        -Ricciardo has made world class passes – wich one? The one Bottas was sleeping??…and Max?..did you forgot Silverstone and the move on Nico??

        -Verstappen has made world’s worse blocks – His blocks are great…and the good thing is…they are aloud. If the other drivers were smart…they would do it themselves…but hey, first you have to have the talent to anticipate on their moves….something Verstappen has

        1. @indiana That is a very good rebutal with some very intresting points.In the end I think everybody can agree the gap between RIC and VES is very small (if any) at this moment, regardless of who you support in this intra-team rivalry.

          Let’s all just hope RedBull showes up next year with a car that’s on par with Mercedes and we’ll see a fourway showdown of who has the biggest balls for the DWC (preferably with Ferrari in the mix too, but I doubt they will unfortunately)

          2017 could potentially be an epic F1 season if you ask me…..

      4. RIC only has more points because VES started his season with Toro Rossi.

        It is strange to see that everyone judge him as a driver with a lot of experience. But this is his 3th years of car racing yet… RIC and all others have many more years of experience ..

        1. That’s not true actually.

          Daniel has 212 points minus 36 points in the first 4 GP’s = 176
          Max has 165 points minus 13 in the first 4 GP’s = 152

          Daniel has also outqualified Max 9-4 so far (although Max is 3-2 up since the summer break)

      5. All very nice, just keep in mind he only joined RB half-way. On world class passes, this one is definitely for Verstappen!

      6. All very nice, just keep in mind he only joined half-way the season! He’s been superior to RIC the past two races…Malaysia should have been a VES win. On world class passes, this one definitely goes to VES.

      7. Arnoud van Houwelingen
        9th October 2016, 17:44

        @Kpcart it was first 5-0 for Ricciardo in quali battle and from Silverstone it has been 4-4 and last 5 races it is even 3-2 in quali battle. This tells me that Verstappen is getting used to the RBR car more and more and that they are equal now in qualification. I would like to remind you that for instance Monza and Singapore Max lost only by a couple of hundreds of seconds.

        And also you can’t compare the points because Verstappen started wit STR which is a lesser car. Also he had 2 DNF’s (Socchi and Monaco). In Sochi he could have been fifth but his engine broke down!

        1. @ Arnoud van Houwelingen
          lol, and exactly why was Monaco a DNF?

      8. Ricciardo would never win in Spain, Vettel would i so.

    4. @f1p1

      4. Verstappen is the new golden boy protected from any moves by any other driver.

      I haven’t seen anything that supports this view. It looks like standard, predictable, conspiracy theory stuff to me.

      1. It is a prediction from an armchair athelete and sports fan. The Raikkonen protests on the radio fell on deaf ears. Call it conspiracy or a fan reading into it what he sees. It’s what F1 is all about.

        1. That Kimi was shouting over the radio was more the result of soiled pants and it made the moves of Verstappen look more dramatic then they were.

          1. I’m pretty sure the moves were dramatic for both drivers in the car. Kimmi has proven himself to be more than worthy to keep his shorts clean.

  9. I’m glad they withdrew the protest because in my view this was just hard racing. I’m aware that moving in the braking zones can potentially be very dangerous but I think that Verstappen made his move early enough and Hamilton was left with enough time to react to his move.

    I personally think that Verstappen’s defending and driving in general has been a breath of fresh air in F1. I was getting really tired of drivers moving out of the way every time a driver with fresher tires/faster car was trying to overtake them. Verstappen is not one of those drivers, he’s always determined to make the other driver’s job as hard as possible. Although some of his moves were questionable, like those in Spa or Hungary, most of the time it’s just hard racing and i feel that F1 has been missing that for some time.

  10. Agree on 1,3,4.
    2. is 50/50 and in case of favoring Ves(that is predictable) then Ric should leave either to Ferrari or Renault if they show some pace. Who knows maybe Merc will come into play.
    5. No way,even if he is in title race he will show his age and buckle under pressure or crash with few people while doing his style of defending.

    1. 5: when RBR delivers the fastest car in 2017 I know for sure he is unbeatable

  11. Good. That protest was only going to unsettle everyone ahead of the weekend. Hamilton needs to just have a two week off, have some fun and come back to a track he has done well at in the past.

    I think that Hamilton knew the move did not really have any chance, but it seemed the only option to actually have a go (without crashing into each other) so he just gave it a go, and then Verstappen moved, as Lewis by now likely had expected him to do.

  12. That shows great character from Lewis who himself also goes to the edge of what is permissible if needed to gain position.
    I think Lewis should have waited for the strait to make a move because he was closer to Max then before, but in a split of a second he chose the chicane-move that was not going to work out even if Max had not made that one little move to throw him off.

    I have been waiting for a Max-Lewis battle all season and I got it. Lewis kind of screwed it up by attacking on the chicane and that’s probably also why he didn’t protest. He accepted it as his mistake.

    Who wants to win by whining and crying? Lewis takes it like a man (of character). Great respect.

  13. Btw. there was no danger in that little move that VES made.
    Was just kind of a little jurk to cause a reflex from HAM that would throw him off. And he did. Maybe even a move back to the racing line.
    Last season Max used passing fakes to throw drivers off to be able to pass them. And it worked several times.
    A fake is different then blocking somebody by moving in front of him while braking. Part of VES style.

  14. the “idiot” here is Niki Lauda, sad to see how he seems to have forgotten what F1 is all about, maybe its time for him to retire for good this time.

    1. What’s he supposed to have done?

    2. No the idiot was someone from the media. Hamilton had it out with the media this race remember.

    3. Doubt that Lewis would refer to Lauda as an idiot. I think he wasn talking about the media guys that broke the story on Twitter – particularly the BBC’s Andrew Benson, who will take the faintest Hamilton rumour and go to town with it.

  15. Verstappen makes no prisoners, they never did and should be no surprise for those who followed F1 in the nineties.
    F1 got something back it needed desperately.

    1. I’m not a supporter of Max but I appreciate him in F1.

  16. Rick (@wickedwicktheweird)
    9th October 2016, 14:32

    Great sportsmanship by Lewis. I really like the fact that he is looking further than his own interests and taking his responsability towards the sport, something other dominant teams/drivers in the past have not always done.

    1. Even surprised that Mercedes considered it anything to file complaint about. Yes, Hamilton could gain a spot in final result, but who would want to win any WDC or WCC through a questionable outcome from a stewards meeting when same team is having such a dominant car at their disposal.
      Big kudos and respect to Hamilton for getting that Mercedes team to act and behave as true champions!

  17. My take on it is that Max is unlikely to be crashed into. He has defined his driving style by now. It’s like going into a boxing match swinging, not defending. Drivers know he will close the door. No one wants to crash so they will back off. I think it’s smart by Max. It could have gone the wrong way if it was his first race but he has a track record now of being firm. It worked the other way for Pastor. Max’s talent separates him from guys like Pastor. I remember that Alesi had a similar approach but with passing. His take was “if you close the door on me when I’m trying to pass, we both crash”. He built that reputation when passing. Max built his own reputation when defending.

    1. Hamilton took avoiding action. If that’s the case, we really do need clarity on what is the rule by the letter. Else this youngster can driver all (including triple world champions) off the track. He has done that. Fact!

    2. Verstappen is no Senna.
      Certainly not yet, that is. ;o)
      But so far I see more its by luck that we have not had yet a major accident due to that kind of aggressive erratic driving. Do we need to see somebody seriously injured or dead before the regulations in this area gets more clarity and the Stewards to consistently enforce them?
      Nobody should have to suffer by this remaining in the gray zone.
      Though do admit it gives plenty of room to great exchanges within the F1 fan base! ;o)

  18. What good would be a protest? They’ll never do anything significant to the sacred wonderboy. It’s absolutely no problem for him to move in the braking zone. It’s “all good” Max, all good. F1’s becoming more of a farce every day

          1. Hans Braakhuis
            10th October 2016, 6:40

            He is wonderboy and talented. You only have to accept it. That for some is difficult.

    1. I’m not a VES fan. I must say that he isn’t inventing anything new here.
      I started watching Formula 1 back in the 1970s and this is nothing new.

      Do you think that Max invented the blocking maneuver?

  19. What I hate is the lack of explanation from stewards and mixed message they are sending in. There’s a loud criticism of Verstappen in Belgium. It made no harm to open investigation – then took no action, if stewards deemed it so, of course in reference to sporting regulation. However they didn’t even do that. It became much more ambiguous when Whiting talked to media, warning Verstappen that it can result on black flag. At what capacity he spoke that? Official FIA ruling and interpretation shall be in written, otherwise it means nothing.

    It seems to me that stewards is afraid to make a wrong decision or unpopular decision, even it’s have a basis. I have this impresion that they are not willing to create some precedents with their official ruling, as sometimes it is quite a thin line to judge a decision, afraid of being called inconsistent. Now somebody lodged official protest, it will take two weeks. What is this joke? If they deemed Hungary and Belgium didn’t even worth investigation, today’s incident, or we better say, non-incident, is worth two weeks waiting should Mercedes decided not to withdraw it? Why wait for some accident (like Gutierrez and Alonso in Australia) to make a knee-jerk reaction?

    I may be overreacting but FIA really need to look at their stewarding policy, from selecting stewards to procedures of reviewing incident.

  20. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    9th October 2016, 15:58

    Lewis’s starts this season are not a new thing – Mercedes had issues last year when both their drivers were swamped by Ferrari and Williams at the start. Hamilton had bad starts in the first races of the season and it continues. Now we cannot look at this in isolation.

    There’s been precedent in F1 recently where a fantastic driver wasn’t able to overcome his poor starts – that driver was, of course, Mark Webber. As we’ve seen from Mark and Lewis, it’s without a doubt practically impossible to overcome bad starts in a particular car. Mark was extremely talented as is Lewis.

    The fact that this championship was decided by car starts and engine issues is unacceptable. Mercedes had a responsibility to correct the launch issues. A driver should expect no less from his team – Lewis has been racing for 15 years and has not had start issues so we have to say that it is the car and the team that are at fault here. He cannot fix the launch and he can only improve his starts marginally.

    The question then is why did Mercedes NOT correct the launch of the car? I don’t see conspiracies but at the very least we have a major case of incompetence and a case of gifting the WCL (World Car Launch) championship to Nico.

    At least Mercedes should ask the FIA to retract the WDC championship for 2016 and call it a WCL to account for their gross negligence.

  21. They fixed the start for Rosberg in 2014, but they can’t do it for Hamilton this year because of the design of the clutch itself, which makes starts pretty random. By my count it is 6 to 4, Hamilton to Rosberg in bad starts this year.

  22. If there are people who have been dangerous during races it would be Vettel, flying into the first corner crashing into Rosberg in Malaysia and cutting off Raikonen and Max in the first corner in Austria (?). Also that crash between Nico and Lewis in Spain was pretty reckless: trying to overtake someone who is moving all over the place (which one of the 2 was doing something dangerous?). Rosberg almost torpedoed Max trying to overtake him by braking far too late. Luckily Max saw it coming.

  23. @f1p1 Idon’t get the angle Verstappen being exploited as a marketing tool. He has angered Ferrari fans, Raikkonen fans, Vettel fans and now Hamilton fans, in essence if you combine all those the majority of F1 fans. And to top all of that he drives for a team which despites its huge success don’t seem to have any real fanbase except in Austria. Now if RBR has the best car next year we can a battle royale between F1’s biggest smile and its biggest villain. Still though, after 3 years of 1 team’s total domination I don’t see this scenario proving popular.

    1. You’re mentioning Max in the same breath as world champions and the biggest team in F1 history. Sounds like marketing success to me. Remember, all great stories have a hero and a villain. Max fits the bill for either depending on who you chat to. Whether he is the poster boy next year or not will be easy enough to prove. I’ll wait.

      1. I am calling it a matter of circumstance because it seems that F1 needs desperately someone to market and they think they have found it in Verstappen. I complete agree with your last sentence just taking one step further down the road predicting that he is not that guy for 2 reasons: A) He is being beaten more often than not beaten by his teammate and B) his affiliation with Red Bull.

        1. …and being beaten by your teammate is something that will always tarnish your CV.

    2. @philby

      “Idon’t get the angle Verstappen being exploited as a marketing tool. He has angered Ferrari fans, Raikkonen fans, Vettel fans and now Hamilton fans, in essence if you combine all those the majority of F1 fans. And to top all of that he drives for a team which despites its huge success don’t seem to have any real fanbase except in Austria”

      I agree, plus he is Dutch. Even if the entire country is behind him, it’s too small and not moving the needle on a global scale at all. He has apeal because of his youth and bold style and that will take him far, but overall, what is a Dutch boy really gonna do for say American fan in terms of selling products anyway? You need an American star to really get that fanbase going.

      1. Arnoud van Houwelingen
        10th October 2016, 0:15

        thankfully it’s about sport and ability with RBR instead of marketing of the drivers don’t you agree? I mean in F1 the best drivers should be out there instead of which driver is the best in the market. And also Max is very populair in all countries not only The Netherlands just look at how many followers he has on social media in comparison with other drivers. Certainly The Netherlands is a bigger market then Finland and look what a great drivers Finland has produced with for instance Hakkinnen and Raikkonen.

        1. I’m not saying small countries can’t produce great drivers….

      2. In a way it is a reflection on where F1 is that a quite active group of fans, but limited in size by being from a small country, supporting a driver by going to races makes a notable impact on the race-attendance figures, isn’t it @jeffreyj? Even in Japan the stands weren’t quite full.

  24. Max is second this race. That is one car in front about twenty in the back who couldn’t get past him. Now is he slow and blocking everybody, causing a traffic jam and don’t let anybody pass or is he just to fast?

  25. There is no way Hamilton could have pulled off an overtaking move. He didn’t have enough speed to draw alongside Verstappen before the apex. He was trying to frighten Verstappen into not closing the door and if Verstappen hadn’t moved across to block him I think a crash would have been inevitable.

  26. This Max guy… Not so funny to Lewis fans when he does it to him. Was amusing when he did it to Kimi. Now it is more serius. Mercedes want to portray a sportsmanship image. Complaints are not part of that image. But someone should protest.

    Why is Nico penalised for his blocking moves and Max isnt?

    1. Because Nico’s moves were illigal and Verstappen’s are not.

      Not steering into a corner until there is no road left for the other guy is not the same as waiting for the other guy to move first as long as it’s before the brakingzone.

  27. When someone gets hurt then will be too late.
    Max has been doing that to world champions, maybe when he encounter a less skilled driver the result will be different.

    1. There was no danger in Max’s move. He didn’t move in front of a breaking Lewis. Just made a little twist to cause a reflex from Lewis.
      Lewis has been pushing Nico of track in races. So he was okay with it. You do not give up position.
      Lewis showed character by not being a cry baby. Took it like a man.

  28. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    9th October 2016, 23:26

    There is no way a protest should’ve been lodged. Max is a hard but fair driver, he is like a less-on-the-limit Schumacher. He is the new guard, and has taken up the mantle from Alonso.

  29. Had – oh I don’t know – Pastor Maldonado pulled a move like that he’d pick up a race ban!

  30. The fact that Lewis doesn’t want to push an investigation means that he gives up on potential 3 extra points.

  31. I don’t like to see penalties, especially those which drop drivers down the grid at the next race, but surely Verstappen was more deserving of some kind of penalty at Suzuka than Vettel and Rosberg at Sepang? Rosberg’s move on Kimi was perfectly legal in my (and many others’) view and not dangerous at all, and Vettel’s move at Turn 1 was stupid and careless but he paid for his mistake with a DNF, and again, not massively dangerous, and yet he gets a carry-over grid penalty which just ruins the racing next time out and adds to the poor image of F1. However in Suzuka, as much as I admire Verstappen, he did move in the braking zone, unfairly giving Lewis no legitimate opportunity to pull a move, and presents a far more dangerous consequence if it goes wrong than the Seb/Nico incidents, and yet yielded no penalty. No-one likes to see penalties, but if you are racing against the rules and putting other drivers in danger, you should expect to not get away with it.

    Big 3 points gone for Lewis, inconsistent stewarding and poor policing meaning we lose out on genuine, gritty, fair racing moves, and instead have to make-do with pathetic DRS passes which no-one with a voice is speaking up against; but that’s a rant for another day…

  32. Does anyone remember the race in Spain, Rosberg close the inside and nobody else then LH crashed together with Rosberg. Does somebody remember the crash in Australië, Alonso. And is there somebody remember the crash from Schumacher in Monaco in the back from a car. Mine point is; even the greatest in the history of F1 made mistakes. I think it’s not honest to look at Max with a different approach then we do/did with Senna Prost Schumacher, Alonso or Hamilton.
    They all race hard and had there moments. Even in this race (Japan) i have seen al lot of cars run white and not because they like the view. I understand that Max like Schumacher, Prost and Senna will always get some negative reactions, look in the archive, but you can’t say when and if Max put’s one foot wrong i told you so. By the way i think Max can care less about what negative people are saying. I wishes him good luck in his journey to become a legend and multi time WDC

  33. What Verstappen did and does repeatedly IS ILLEGAL. Not rule 27.5 which in salient part reads :”At no time may a car be driven in a manner which could be deemed as potentially dangerous..”
    The questions then becomes : is moving in the breaking area dangerous . Note Jenson Button’s comments on the subject.
    “AS drivers we all know that moving in the breaking zone is the most dangerous thing you can do …moving is a no no …moving in the breaking zone is not racing,its dangerous … you don’t move in the breaking zone “.
    THat comes from a man with a world tile and 300 grandprix races .
    We all know that F1 is trying desperately to create a young star to attract a young fans to bolster sagging profits and popularity . it misses the mark because the casual ” oh he is so young and cool ‘ fan will not be there for long and the true sport or race fan is appalled by the double standard and lack of fairness to the other drivers. Add to this the fact that Verstappen Will put someone in a wheel chair or a coffin. its not IF its WHEN .
    if you care about F1 and more important if you are about the drivers and recognize that they are human beings and the type of accidents which are coming will shatter lives and families then DO NOT SUPPORT this travesty . Do not support Verstappen and more important – call out the stewards and F1 for creating a monster and feeding it.

    I am sure that some of you ,as I ,have seen death on the track. It is horrible ,nauseating and never leaves you .
    I write as I have just done because I don’t ever want to know that Ii saw something wrong but, said nothing and right now I see something wrong ..

    1. Hans Braakhuis
      10th October 2016, 18:32

      I haven’t seen anything that supports your view. It’s the skill of forcing your opponent to drive the line they don’t want to drive. And to do so within the rulebook. Max is a driver who can balance on the edge. Whether you like this style or not. It is legit. It would not surprise you because he is driving like this for years.
      End of story.

  34. Racing by definition is ‘potentially dagerous’.

    You took that sentence out of it’s context. The spirit of that rule is that eratic driving, jeopardizing the saftey of others around you, is not allowed.

    Verstappens defense isn’t eratic, it’s conscious and puposefully done to defend. What is and what isn’t allowed while defending is also written. The rule states that the car in front may make 1 defensive move oprovided that hapens before the braking zone.

    Note that it says nothing about waiting for the other guy to move first. Verstappen waiting for the car behind to make his move first is therefor legal, provided he is not already breaking for the corner when he does it.

  35. Now we know. Official Connely went on his own initiative to Mercedes to persuade them to make an official protest. Hamilton, Wolf and three other officials didn’t know about this. Eventually Paddy Lowe from Mercedes filed the protest because everybody else was already on their way to the airport. After hearing this Wolf immediately withdraw the protest. This is a personal thing and has nothing to do with racing. I think a man like Connely should be removed from the F1 circuits.

  36. grazie, it’s a great article.Godzilla daikaiju battle royale is my beloved

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