Should the FIA ban the ‘Verstappen block’?

Debates and Polls

Posted on

| Written by

Max Verstappen’s driving has been a cause for complaint for some drivers and quite a few fans this year.

Particular attention has been focused on Verstappen’s last-moment moves in braking zones. He used one such move at Suzuka the thwart an attack by Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes even raised a protest against Verstappen but Hamilton opposed the action and it was dropped.

Kimi Raikkonen had an even closer run-in with Verstappen in similar circumstances at the Hungaroring. On this occasion the pair made contact and a furious Raikkonen lost part of his front wing. After another run-in at Spa Raikkonen warned Verstappen could cause “a big accident”.

Has Verstappen taken defensive driving to a dangerous level? Should the FIA ban moves like this? Or is it just hard racing?


The most dangerous accidents in open-wheel racing tend to occur when drivers make wheel-to-wheel contact, launching cars into the air. Verstappen’s driving risks exactly this kind of collision by giving the attacking driver very little time to avoid a collision.

It isn’t just drivers Verstappen has had run-ins with who have warned about the moves he has made. Jenson Button said “moving in the braking zone is the most dangerous thing you can do”.

The FIA needs to consider more than just the potential dangers in Formula One, where the driving is of a very high standard, but also in the junior categories where moves are often imitated.


Verstappen’s moves are within the rules as they are currently interpreted but predictably that won’t stop drivers who’ve been bested by him in combat from trying to get the stewards to intervene.

The fact Verstappen’s moves have not caused a serious accident so far indicate they are not likely to. His rivals know what to expect when racing with him and may even be able to use this move against him by luring him off-line.

Banning moves like these may not be straightforward because of the difficulty of defining what counts as a braking zone, as the point at which a driver begins to brake varies depending on the condition of his car and tyres. And when fighting for position drivers can vary their braking points to gain an advantage on different parts of the track.

I say

‘Mr Whiting, it happened again…’
Mercedes considered protesting Verstappen’s driving using a regulation which forbids driving “in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous”. This hasn’t previously been applied to defensive moves such as this even when it has caused significant accidents, such as at Melbourne in 2002.

I understand why some have been alarmed by Verstappen moving in the braking zones, but I’m not convinced they need to be banned or that getting rid of them would have a positive effect on the quality of racing in Formula One.

The introduction of the Drag Reduction System five years ago has largely ruined the art of defensive driving. Drivers often find themselves powerless to resist rivals attacking them with huge straight-line speed advantages due to the benefit of DRS.

In the case of Red Bull, they have the added disadvantage of having less power than their front-running rivals Mercedes and Ferrari. Verstappen’s last-second defensive moves have helped him resist these attacks, though I suspect he will find they are increasingly less effective as others come to expect them. And as others have come to expect them, that also makes them less potentially dangerous.

You say

Should the FIA ban drivers from moving in the braking zone to stop other drivers overtaking? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Should the FIA ban drivers from changing their line in the braking zones?

  • No opinion (0%)
  • Strongly disagree (32%)
  • Slightly disgaree (12%)
  • Neither agree nor disagree (6%)
  • Slightly agree (20%)
  • Strongly agree (30%)

Total Voters: 393

 Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here. When this poll is closed the result will be displayed in stead of the voting form.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

203 comments on “Should the FIA ban the ‘Verstappen block’?”

  1. They don’t have to ban it, just make without room for interpretation clear what is within the rules and what’s not.

    1. Unless you ban ANY moving under braking, we already HAVE what you say. If deemed dangerous, the stewards can already investigate and hand out penalties @xtwl.

      It is a fallacy to think that any rule will ever be able to exist and at the same time work for all situations AND leave no room for interpretation. It will either end up with drivers being autmatically penalized for something (see the “going off track rule” or the time penalties for the pit crew not attaching a wheel properly) many will say is nonsense to be handed a penalty for, or it will end up being as usefull as the rule on banning team orders.

      1. It will either end up with drivers being autmatically penalized for something (see the “going off track rule”

        Which is perfectly fine, because it applies to everyone equally. That’s a far better situation than the ambiguous nonsense we have now, where one guy is given a hefty penalty for what another guy gets away with scot free on a different weekend.

        1. Which is perfectly fine, because it applies to everyone equally.

          Yes, it is “fair” but it is not perfectly fine at all. We want to see drivers racing, not every move on track being penalized. Just when the last year or so it seems we get a bit less penalties handed out you want to change that again? No thanks

      2. @bascb I don’t agree with that. The very fact even Mercedes wanted to file a complaint proves there is no consensus over what is allowed and what’s not. The fact half the fans still complain about his move in Spa whilst also that was legal proves the rule has not been understood and allows different interpretations. While I’m a favour of that come car design I am not when it comes to racing itself.

        What Verstappen is doing is bringing back the art of defence. All drivers should be able to develop this and do to so you need a clear set of rules by which they can work.

        There is no reason thus to immediately go all extreme and say that’s impossible, @peartree. It just takes some time to sit down with the drivers and go over what is acceptable and what is not. Put that in the rulebook and evaluate the racing after.

        1. That first one

          The very fact even Mercedes wanted to file a complaint proves there is no consensus over what is allowed and what’s not.

          doesn’t prove anything. Maybe it points to Mercedes wanting to have a go at it to appease Hamilton? The fact that Mercedes immediately pulled that protest shows they did not see a case.

    2. @xtwl That’s impossible. The only way to do it is by banning racing or not banning racing.

  2. Banning would be an overly aggressive punishment. The FIA just needs to clarify the rules or administer a penalty if he does it again.

    1. The rules are clear, you can’t change direction in the braking zone. Well, I guess we wait until someone flies over Verstappen’s rear wing and then do something about it.

      Again, see
      and sporting regulation 20.5.

      1. Yeah, but these rules also say a driver can choose his racing line going in to the corner and some movement is allowed.
        What Verstappen does is within the current rules, the titel does say so, the FIA says so.

        That also means the rules don’t need to be clarified, but other drivers need to adapt to the situations

        1. It’s an ‘abnormal change in direction’ in my book and the stewards should treat it as such. So no it’s not within the rules. It appears that Spa set a precedent unfortunately for other stewarding teams.

          It’s GP3 driving that has only not ended up in a catastrophic accident due to the experience of other F1 drivers with years of experience.

          Not just my opinion:

          1. @john-h In that quote (also referred to above) Button isn’t saying such moves are illegal, as you’ve said above, he’s saying they should be illegal, which is a different thing.

            I guess we wait until someone flies over Verstappen’s rear wing

            How about Barrichello’s? No penalty for him at Melbourne in 2002. Again, I’m purely making the case that such moves are legal and have been previously, the question is whether that should change. But asserting that the rules ‘clearly’ forbid it at present is plainly wrong.

          2. @keithcollantine I think my choice of the Button article was the wrong one. I was referring to it in order to show how moving in the braking zone can lead to bad consequences… but you’d already said that anyway!

            Rather, I’m saying that Verstappen’s driving should have been penalised as an “abnormal change in direction”. I think his driving is illegal and he did break the 20.5 rule… but clearly it’s a grey area, as the stewards didn’t think he had broken it… so maybe it does need clarification… or for me to be a steward (shudder the thought)!

            Barichello probably would (and should) have been penalised had it not been for it being the start, and the fact it could be argued he was returning to the racing line… I think it’s not quite as clear cut as the Verstappen case though, particularly the Hungary and Spa driving.

            And no, I don’t approve of Schumacher’s Spa driving either!! I’m happy to argue for less penalties in general and I live aggressive driving, but on this I think Verstappen did break a rule and was let off due to his age/inexperience which is just plain wrong.

          3. Sorry, it’s rule 27.8 as pointed out in the comments below. Must have been looking at the old regs!

    2. Not banning Verstappen, but changing the rules to make such moves more clearly illegal.

      1. @ John H
        You feel Verstappen needs to be punished cause according to you he might have made an illigal move…..

        Luckily rules don’t work that way, you might feel he is pushing the limits, but then again every rule has it’s outher limit.
        Verstappen is among the very few to explore those outher limits, he’s pushing it so far people start thinking is this legal….. and they have to check the rule book twice and put every single rule upside down to pin point one….

        Racing is about racing, we all should applaud to the FIA for letting them race

  3. The move on Hamilon was just about fine because the speed delta wasn’t that high (courtesy that wasn’t a DRS zone). But his move on Raikkonen at Spa was the most terrifying. That IS a DRS zone. So if we get rid of DRS those moves would be great entertainment!

    1. @sravan-pe Strongly Agree :D

    2. @sravan-pe I didn’t notice the difference with and without DRS zones, but I think you’re totally right. I found the move on Raikkonen the most dangerous of all, so if the FIA just creates a rule that defending under braking in a DRS zone is prohibited, I fully back the “against” remarks from this article.

      1. To defend your position it is allowed to move once. In spa that’s exactly what happened. Of course someone who is driving a lot faster would had to react way quicker but nothing was wrong with Max moves there.
        There was NO braking involved at that moment and it was a move conform the regulations .
        Of course it was dangerous, F1 is and should be dangerous. Kimi had to brake to avoid crashing at the back of Max. As in normal road rules the driver at the back is responsible for an possible accident.
        The point is Max uses the rules to there full extend and a lot of drivers are not used to it. That will change over time.

        1. F1 is and should be dangerous.

          F1 us dangerous, that is the nature of racing at 300km/h. But it should not be unnecessarily dangerous. Danger for the sake of danger is sick.

    3. There is a problem with the Spa situation.
      Ahead of that, Kimi overtook Max by leaving the track. He was pushed wide, but nonetheless gained an advantage by cutting the chicane. He discussed it with the team and they decided he had to give the position back.

      But he did not, initially.
      Corner after corner, instead of moving over he blocked Max.
      Then, right before the DRS detection point, he finally let Max by, only to launch an attack using DRS immediately after.

      The problem is that when you have to give a position back, you have to do it fully. In Spa 2008 Lewis got penalized for overtaking Kimi (when he was pushed wide) through the chicane, giving back the position but retaking it again before the next corner by using the tow.
      Now Kimi did very much the same, earning DRS and a track position closer to Max that that he could have been if he had given the position back right after the chicane, as he should have done.

      Unlike Lewis Kimi got away with it. Then blames Max for defending against an attack that should not have been possible at all.

      Even if the defense was over the limit, there’s two to blame and if one got away so should the other.

      1. Your argument (that doesn’t make sense to me atleast in the first place) has no place in this context. The discussion here is regarding the closing speeds made possible by DRS. “an attack that should not have been possible at all”??
        Why shouldn’t it be possible? What if someone’s exit off La Source was bad and one could easily end up in the Verstappen-Raikkonen situation.

        1. Huh?
          He let Max by just before the detection point.
          He would never have been that close if he had given the position back earlier and had to follow Max through the corners in between.

          And the speed difference is a problem that the attacking driver should be aware of.
          It was in the case of Lewis versus Rosberg in Spain. Lewis was way faster, yet Nico blocked him all the way off track. That was doubtful as Lewis was actually partly aside at the edge.
          No such doubt in Spa. Kimi was still fully behind Max when he made that one move the rules allow for.
          Terrifying? Only if Kimi fails to understand the rules.

          1. Good. Stick to your opinion.

    4. What is wrong with the fact that Max is defending himself in the DRS zone? Is that the meaning of the DRS zone, to avoid defending? The problem is that Max have find away to defend himself, and that ex World Champions have a problem with that. It is so easy to pinpoint your finger to the newcomer in this case to hide your own shortcomings as attacker. Hamilton, Raikonen,Vettel……………… try a dummy pas for got sake. Show us what real racing is made of.

    5. That makes no sense. You are either allowed to move in the breaking zone or you are not. Speed delta is irrelevant.

      Speed delta might matter on the straight, but even then it’s ridiculous to let a driver just sit near one side and then block the other side if an opponent makes a move.

      Schumacher was penalised, in part, for this behavior.

  4. I think it is time to teach the current F1 drivers how overtaking in the 80’s worked. fake a move right, wait for response, go left. The good old fake move. The fact that the longer sitting F1 drivers complain about having to learn this perplexes me.

    And with the reintroduction of actual overtaking fights on the track we can ditch the idiotic DRS.

    1. Kimi already did that in Hungary waited for response but max just cut him off again and Kimi made contact. people be crying about lack of overtaking all the time. well drivers moving 2-3 times in the braking zone etc is not going to change that. It should be banned outright, Lewis and Kimi caught Max fair and square, you just can’t proceed to defend so crazy nearly causing a scary accident as was seen in Spa and making cars leave the track as seen in Japan.

      1. You can make one move, then go back to the racing line, leaving a cars width to the edge of the track if the other driver is in between. This limitation ends at the approach of the corner.
        This is stipulated in the International Sporting Code, appendix L, as you can find at the FIA site.
        Max did nothing wrong in Hungary and the stewards, who know how to implement the sporting code better than anyone else, agree fully.

        You may disagree, but then you disagree with the stewards, the sporting code, and everything.

      2. Sorry….but Kimi is a dumb ass. He has a better car (motor) for the straight, but he still try to pas Max exactly just on the end of the straight. That’s why he is always so damn close on Max’s ass. Kimi first act, but never think of a second move in front of his attacking move. I call that stupid.

        1. Thanks for the contribution it made so much sense I also forgot how long the pit straight is in Hungary. Only an Idiot like Kimi would try a pass at the end of it, all the others get it done before they even reach the finish line.

  5. Awsome that a 19 year old kid has got a move named after him!

    I say keep the rules as they are.

    1. How awesome will it be when they name the it the Verstappen Flight of Death move?

  6. If the move is before the braking zone it should be legal if not then it should be illegal.

    Braking is most effective and “normal” in a straight or almost straight line. Moving a cars width in the braking zone is surely “abnormal”.

    An “abnormal change of direction” under sporting regulation 20.5 is ILLEGAL anywhere on the track at any time. It just need a brave steward to catch Max out.

    Granted Keith, a big contributor here is DRS because of the “abnormal” speed differential.

    1. Not sure why moving in the braking zone should be considered abnormal per se. The guy did not lock his wheels, made the corner, and left the other driver behind. Sounds very normal to me; I would not expect anything less of my F1 driver.

      PS it’s rule 27.8, and should be read in its totality: Manoeuvres liable to hinder other drivers, such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track or any other abnormal change of direction, are not permitted..
      PPS weird rule; even taking a normal turn when 1-2sec in front will ‘hinder’ the driver behind due to the dirty air.

      1. I think you rulebook is more up to date than mine!

        The normal way to drive is to brake in a straight line because it is more efficient and faster that way. I think most F1 drivers would say that it is abnormal and dangerous to move too much in the braking zone and I think the stewards would agree. Its a moot point though because Max was clever and does it just before the braking zone as far as I can see.

        With the greatest of respect your point about the dirty air thing is not relevant because the dirty air helps by becoming a tow on the straights. It only hinders cars in corners where the car in front will move to the normal racing line were possible. We are talking about abnormal abnormal.

  7. The question in the title and the question for the poll are not quite the same.. This may distort the value of the outcome of the poll…

    I disagree with banning the Verstappen block and agree with banning moving under braking… Verstappens art is that he moves a. Reactive rather than taking the initiative and b. He does it just before the braking zone. As Hulkenberg said, that is not easy and he would proud himself if he could pull this off as well.. Meaning not all drivers are capable of doing it

    1. Strongly disagree, no need to further restrict drivers, if you want to make these moves look less dangerous (as far as they are dangerous) remove DRS.

    2. @mayrton I don’t think it could possibly be any clearer that this relates to Verstappen changing his line in braking zones. It is repeated many times in the article. It is also written in bold above the poll.

      1. I’m sorry Keith, but are you 100% sure Verstappen (in Spa and Japan) moved WHILE already braking?
        I fully understand Martijn’s remarks and I don’t get why the 2 get linked all the time.

        People seem to take for granted VES did move under braking, but I have yet to see evidence he actually did. Sadly, since I’m not with the FIA, I don’t have access to his telemetery. But surely the FIA does and so far they have concluded no penalty. Does that mean they haven’t seen any moving UNDER braking so far? Or that they did and yet still didn’t penalize it?

        So what does the telemetry say?
        I tried re-watching the incidents on my tv, but no way I could say “this was in or out of the braking zone. I’d need telemetry to make that call…and I’m guessing so would the FIA, other teams and journalists.

        1. I think that relates to the point under ‘against’. It’s easy to say such-and-such should be illegal but framing a precise regulations which works is often tricky.

      2. the title and the question are the same, it’s clear enough.

        What is not so clear is that what we’re debating right now will still be an issue next year. Due to the big aero changes and slight Renault engine gains, could be that RedBull will return to their pre-2014 form, where no one could follow them once in the lead. So, the only one who might “bennefit” from the Verstappen Block® will be Danny Ric.

      3. But did he move in the braking zone?
        I watched the onboard of Lewis and Max many times, and I tell you he moves at the moment Lewis lets go of the throttle.
        Even on his own onboard you get the impression that he initiates the move right before braking, even blips the throttle during the move.

        If you repeat many times that Verstappen changes his lines in braking zones you have to give an example of where he actually does that. Spa at least wasn’t one.

      4. @keithcollantine It’s no biggy but the article title is ‘Should the FIA ban “the Verstappen block”. And above the pole the question is ‘Should the FIA ban drivers from changing their line in the braking zones’. These are two different questions

    3. @mayrton I support @keithcollantine here. The statement is as clear as can be. What you’re talking about however is the internal discussion the race stewards have (or not) each time such a manouver is performed. We all know what is meant by “the Verstappen block”.

      1. Well, I’m not so sure: does the” Verstappen block” only occur when moving under braking is involved or only when it isn’t? In Japan he seems to have moved under braking (just finishes watching the onboard from HAM again, I think I now see it: VES moved).
        But now I have to check Spa again, because to me it felt he wasn’t yet braking (yet RAI was faster due to DRS so it may appear VES was already braking).

        Moving under braking is a big “no” for me but I’m not sure VES always does it when applying his block.

      2. Ok, but we may not all agree that the Verstappen block is moving under braking, ref Canada on Rosberg

  8. The problem you have is, as entertaining as it is to see these moves it WILL lead to a big accident sooner or later because the reaction times are so close and sooner or later someone will misjudge it, we saw how close the kimi/verstappen move was in Spa and I suspect if this article was posted after such an incident you’d get a different answer.

    1. Formula 1 is filled with indidents that did not happened. It’s the character of the sport. Lots of moves just mdae it. look at the starting move form Kimi on Ham in Suzuka. If ham had a little less wheelspin we would have had a major accident. But what if;s do not count.
      Of course max will have a accident during his career as all drivers experience. It’s the nature of the sport. The cars are extremely safe and the drivers are the best in the world. Driving on the edge will always be dangerous.

  9. Strongly disagree. There are enough rules governing combat as it is, and this would only detract from the racing further. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world so they should be able to deal with it.

    Just sell him a dummy a la Ric vs Vet Monza 2014. Ves clearly knows the rules and won’t move twice to defend.

    1. Ves clearly knows the rules and won’t move twice to defend.

      Apart from in Hungary on Raikkonen….

      1. That’s a interpretation i do not follow. He did not moved more than once there.
        He had to take the turn, it was a corner, so moving and turning are different things.
        One move and a turn.

        1. He did, because he moved to turn back left abnormally early, to block Raikkonen from taking the inside line, not to actually turn the corner. Raikkonen had effectively ‘sold him the dummy’, Verstappen then proceeded to chop Raikkonen’s nose off by turning very aggressively left. Look at the footage again. Had Verstappen tried to turn the corner normally, he would have entered it from much wider than he ended up doing.

          1. IMHO it was Raikkonen who made a bold move to the left, immediately realised the door was already closed and then moved just as bold to the right, which caused the damage to his front wing. In short an overly optimistic overtaking attempt of Raikkonen.

      2. That was one move followed by a turn. You may return to the racing line to make a turn (as long as you leave space as he did).

  10. Alonso’s crash in Australia show what happens when 2 cars collide in braking zones. (i know, it was Alonso’s fault, but thats not the point here)

    Verstappens late position switch could cause the driver behind to miss his braking by even a fraction (being unsighted), then you end up with one driver hitting another with great speed differentials.

    1. Hm, but following your argument, then Guttierez would have had to receive a penalty for that incident “N”. Which nicely shows the absurdity of what you propose.

      1. Thats not what he said, he used the Alonso crash as an example of two cars colliding in the braking zones, he did not indicate that the drivers moved under braking and should deserve a penalty, he did not in any way link it to “verstappen move”

        1. eh, well ok. But if that accident was caused by the driver moving in the braking zone, and one would like the FIA to penalize any driver moving in the braking zone, then how do you want to make the rule “clear” without it also leading to a penalty for Guttierez?

    2. Well yes, but that’s as much a risk for Verstappen as it is for every driver trying to pass him. Verstappen was lucky against Raikkonen not to get a punctured tyre. Also, when someones nose dives into the back of an F1 car, the aero can be seriously compromised at the rear, which he (VES) knows very well. So it’s a calculated risk that he knows has a much greater chance of succeeding.

    3. Yes, the Alonso incident and others show it should be outlawed on safety grounds.

  11. I voted “slightly agree”. I can see the danger, but these are supposed to be the best drivers in the world and as such should be able to cope with more demanding situations.

    For the same reason I disagree with @keithcollantine‘s suggestion in the “For” section that the FIA should ban something in F1 in case it’s imitated in the junior series. I would see this as a dumbing-down of F1 – it’s supposed to be difficult, so don’t water it down for this reason.

    1. @jimg I voted slightly disagree for the same reason you voted slightly agree. I don’t think a ban is necessary and I think the drivers need to sort this out on the track, because they are supposed to be the best, especially in demanding situations.

      Your second paragraph intrigued me because I too noticed that comment above and I have had this concept in mind since the MS/Ferrari days. I found him to be the most unethical driver ever, and often wondered if he wasn’t the worst role model for young up and comers with his bullying behaviour. But did it in fact cause a legion of youth to do the same? I don’t know what the stats might say on that, but I suspect it didn’t cause a huge wave of bad behaviour because racing still comes down to the individual driver and his makeup, just as each ‘incident’ needs to be taken on it’s own. Not all drivers have it within them to ‘win’ by driving others off the track, and so far I don’t see Max as being another MS. It will be interesting to see though if this type of move ends up biting Max if he gets taken out through his own fault, at which point he’ll learn a limit to this type of thing where he’ll wonder if it is worth the risk of taking himself out completely versus losing a spot and carrying on to maximize the day regardless.

    2. Sounds more like a ‘slightly disagree’ to me, @jimg.
      Using this a lead in to my view that both ‘slightly’ answers are ‘half pregnant’ options!

  12. The biggest problem is that this sort of behaviour, if accepted, trickles down onto lower forms of motorsport:

    1. Lower forms are not F1. So, no way to assume you can do the same in lower classes. F1 is the pinneacle, drivers are of exceptional level so they are capable of making these moves. Otherwise every lower class driver can automatically step to F1

      1. That wasn’t my point. My point was that drivers will climb through the ranks with the idea that this sort of defending is perfectly acceptable. And with the generation shuffle, you will have an F1 paddock filled with drivers who will have grown up in this culture, with disregard for the potential consequences of such actions.

  13. The people who call for more stringent rules are probably the most likely to complain about them the second they get introduced. This is the pinnacle of racing, let’s keep it that way by leaving the best drivers in the world to sort it out themselves (within reason).

  14. I am split on this… Either bann or allow all drivers to do stuff like that

    Like Nico Rosberg penalty is perticulary entertaining…

    Both styles drive the other driver off the track or in to a crash.

    I find it entertaining to watch and all drivers should attempt it. But ai am strongly against some drivers getting penalised while Verstspen can get away with everything.

    Make the rullings consistent. Bann or allow for all.

    1. @jureo

      allow all drivers to

      I’m not aware of any examples of F1 drivers changing their line in a braking zone the way Verstappen has and being penalised for it, are you?

      1. I’m not aware of an example of Verstappen changing his line in a braking zone and being penalized for it, are you?

        1. Well, maybe that is because what he did was not considered illegal.

      2. @keithcollantine none have done so yet. But Vettel, Kimi and several more have questioned it.

        Charlie Whiting held some talks with young man Max.

        I wish clarity. And I feel so does Lewis Hamilton after last race.

        So far drivers are reluctant to pull defensive moves like that, and consider it “impolite”. But if that is the new norm, people should do it.

        1. Well Hamilton said ” Max drove well, end of. We move on” so I don’t think that Hamilton feels that way you mentioned…

  15. Guybrush Threepwood
    18th October 2016, 12:48

    If you move over at the last second when a car is almost beside you then that car cannot have a second shot. They either run into Max or brake and miss the corner, or both as has happened previously. For this reason, if it’s allowed then you could keep a car behind the whole race by cutting them off at the last second all the time. The reason there haven’t been accidents is because of other drivers have been save enough to pull out, not because it is a reasonable move. It will only take a few lees experienced drivers and Max will start to see the real risks involved.

  16. Heh. I don’t have much of an opinion about Max’s moves– sooner or later, they’ll self-correct. Once Max has taken himself out of contention for a podium once or twice with such a move, he’ll get over it.

    But what I really admire is how all evils in F1 are because of DRS. DRS has destroyed racing, even though F1 races are far more interesting than they were 10 years ago. DRS has destroyed overtaking, so nobody cares that Max moves under braking.

    Sadly, I suspect next year, you’re going to find out that we’re back to qualifying on Saturday, Parade on Sunday, even with DRS.

    1. DRS has destroyed racing, even though F1 races are far more interesting than they were 10 years ago.

      No they are not, the cars now never look on the limit at anytime during the race, a complete contrast to 10 years ago. Even the close races of this hybrid era are more forgettable than a lot of the so-called boring races of 10 years ago. The worsening TV coverage doesn’t help matters either…

  17. I don’t buy the ‘they are suppose to be the best drivers’ line.

    Messi can be the best footballer in the world but if someone jumps at him with an 45 degree tackle, it can snap a leg in half, it dosen’t matter how good someone is, somethings are unavoidable if the attacker (or in the case of the defender in the article) is wreckless. That’s why red cards are shown even when there’s no leg-breakage.

    How many horrific F1 crashes has there been because of poor driving? (Webber – Valencia, Alonso – Australia this year as random examples?) It happens, you can’t just say ‘there the best, deal with it’, because even the best mess up now an again. You’ve got to have things in place that deter drivers from making big accidents even more likely.

    1. The simple fact nothing has happened proves the value of the quote ;)

      1. The simple fact nothing has happened provesthe value of the quote

    2. I think they already have enough things in place that deter drivers from making big accidents even more likely. How sterile should it be made?

  18. Neither agree nor disagree. What they should do is remove the mirrors because these reactive manoeuvres, like we see from Verstappen, can be very dangerous if misjudged. If you remove the mirrors then the driver ahead will not be able to make a potentially lethal reactive manoeuvre to a car behind looking to overtake, removing much of the danger. Then it will be up to the driver behind to try and overtake safely.

    1. @rob91
      “What they should do is remove the mirrors because these reactive manoeuvres”
      It is either I who is having a major non-sequitur, or you.
      To me, removing the mirrors on a racing car to improve safety sounds a lot like banning condoms to fight AIDS.

      1. There is absolutely no question that Verstappen would not have chopped across Räikkönen on the straight at Spa if he didn’t have mirrors. He did that manoeuvre because he could see Räikkönen coming and he reacted to it. No mirrors means no reactive driving to a car behind, this makes the racing safer so long as the drivers don’t try a stupid attempt at passing a car in front of them.

        1. So because one guy has done a few questionable moves you want to take away everyone’s mirrors? So if a car has it’s front wheel beside a leading car’s rear wheel going into, during, or exiting a corner, or even along a straight for that matter, it’s excusable if the leader turns into him from not knowing where he is, because they’ve taken away his mirrors? And that’s safer?

          ‘As long as drivers don’t try a stupid attempt at passing a car in front of them.’ I would think with your suggestion all drivers would be stupid to try to pass a car that could easily turn into them without even knowing it.

        2. @rob91 Your argument about removing mirrors simply because of moves like Verstappen’s in Spa is invalid. So I assume you don’t want to see defending in F1 at all? Or even more, no more non-DRS overtaking? No wonder you preferred the refuelling years.

          1. @mashiat, there is no argument, just my opinion, and it is completely valid actually. Reactive manoeuvres to block a car behind from overtaking are potentially very dangerous, if there are no mirrors on the cars then there won’t be any reactive blocking. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be any defending, it just means a driver will have to choose well in advance of the turn between staying on the regular route and leaving the inside line open OR taking the defensive route and leaving the outside line open, instead of waiting for the car behind to make the first manoeuvre and reacting to that. It would probably lead to more overtaking, DRS or no DRS, if put into practice, not less. The fact that you cannot understand my point of view doesn’t make any of this any less true. Also, I didn’t mention refuelling anywhere, I don’t know what that has got to do with this.

          2. @rob91 It would lead to drivers not wanting to take risks into corners for fear of their opponent clattering into them, which would increase DRS reliance. And you mentioned in a previous comment how you preferred the boring races of the 2000s to the current day ones.

  19. I put “Neither agree or disagree.” I see both sides to it, yes, it’s dangerous and could cause an accident, but at the same time these drivers are supposed to be 22 of the best in the world, and should be able to deal with it.

    Additionally, these drivers will be aware they’re behind Verstappen, and could perhaps sell him on and dummy back to the side he left open. If he keeps losing places by moving across in the braking zone and then people cut back to the side he was on, and take the position, he’s less likely to keep doing it.

    The thing is, is that right now the FIA can’t penalise him for it, as he’s only moving once and he hasn’t caused a crash by doing it yet.

  20. No need to ban it. Just let nature take it’s course.

    1. I do agree to a certain extent but being the nature of things someone could get killed. I somehow dont like that.

  21. A ban on the “Verstappen Block” would be yet another case of the FIA/Formula One trying to place a small band-aid over a large open wound and then pretending the wound doesn’t exist, rather than actually going and stitching up the wound. The wound, in this case, is DRS. Most of the somewhat dangerous “Verstappen Blocks” have been dangerous because of the huge closing speeds created by DRS. The incident with Kimi at Spa is a good example of this – Max he started to move over well before Kimi was actually alongside him, but it was because of the huge speed differential due to DRS that Kimi had to brake so hard and take evasive action. By contrast, Max’s defense against Lewis at Suzuka, whilst still aggressive, wasn’t nearly as dangerous but also didn’t occur in a DRS zone, so it didn’t have the enormous speed differential to make it dangerous.

  22. This issue has to be sorted out by his rivals, not the governing body. If the FIA regulates this, then it’ll be a case of over-regulation where fans and drivers complain about racing being too predictable, colourless, and everyone doing the same thing.
    But if there’s anything to blame, its the DRS, which has really taken away the art of defensive moves. When talking about overtakes, I think people seem forget the difference between overtaking and having close battles. Overtakes can be seen in NASCAR or Indycar if you want, but close battles are the ones like Hamilton vs Rosberg in the desert of Bahrain, or Max vs Daniel in Malaysia, Daniel chasing down Rosberg through the streets of Singapore, or Max vs Danill further away, or Fernando vs Vettel a couple of years back at Silverstone, and so forth. These battles show who’s really the best, and quite simply what racing at high speed is about.

  23. Some of his moves have been a bit too harsh. More along the lines of ‘if you don’t back out we’re going to crash’, and that’s pretty unsafe. The stewards have been the problem though, punishing some people for doing the same move and not punishing Max.

    Then again if he keeps doing it eventually he’ll come across someone that won’t move and he’ll lose a podium or a win. I’m sure he’ll think twice about it then.

    1. The stewards have been the problem though, punishing some people for doing the same move and not punishing Max.


    2. @rocketpanda
      “The stewards have been the problem though, punishing some people for doing the same move and not punishing Max.”

      When and where?

      1. In fantasy land, which is where a lot of the races seem to be happening, in some fan’s eyes.

  24. The introduction of the Drag Reduction System five years ago has largely ruined the art of defensive driving. Drivers often find themselves powerless to resist rivals attacking them with huge straight-line speed advantages due to the benefit of DRS.

    I feel this is the core. My thoughts are that the ‘Verstappen-block’ is (too) dangerous when in combination with DRS, like in Spa with Raikkonen. The speed difference is just massive. In Suzuka I found it less dangerous and no DRS was involved.

    When blocking while being attacked with DRS is dangerous, should we ban the block or DRS?

    1. we should ditch DRS and get rid of one extra source @matthijs!

  25. The stewards have been the problem though, punishing some people for doing the same move and not punishing Max.

    for example?

  26. Verstappen’s defending is too Formula 3 for my liking, where the speeds reached are much less, as is the speed between two cars fighting for position. It’s not just his moving in braking zones, it’s his very late, aggressive chops which also concerns me.

    Verstappen has got away far too lightly this year for some of his moves, especially when we look at the penalties given to Rosberg.

    As far as I was concerned, the ‘Verstappen block’ was not permitted in the first place. We have not seen big accidents caused by this style of driving in F1 directly from Verstappen, but there are plenty of fine examples in other categories.

    DRS completely ruined the arts of attacking and defending, but what young Verstappen is doing is simply dangerous, and not what I would consider an art.

  27. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    18th October 2016, 13:31

    Moving in the braking zone isn’t necessarily the problem it’s just all down to how long the driver behind has to react. Hungary and Spa were too late to move for my liking whereas Japan was absolutely fine. Rosberg at Spain was slightly too late as well imo. It’s all down to the position and danger you’ve put the car behind in and that has to be determined subjectivity rather than a blanket ‘moving in the braking zone’ statement. Oh and get rid of DRS!

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      18th October 2016, 17:00

      Also if a driver is threshold braking they cannot change direction in the braking zone without easing off the brakes proportionally. So Max must make these moves just before his braking zone. It’s quite naughty because the swerving the other driver has to do to react and avoid him means they can’t be threshold braking at that point and will miss the corner/apex as we’ve seen.

  28. A different perspective…..The type of movement employed mimics a mechanical failure on a car and a decent driver will instinctively give space and back off (That’s what’s happened up to now IMO). If that type of movement is now perceived as a driver input, some are going to be lured into toughing it out possibly with a car not under driver control and the outcome could be deadly.

  29. I’m of the opinion that he’s actually moving twice.

    The first move is a “drift” in one direction which commits the driver behind to pick a line he’s going to take for the overtake. It’s not an obvious move but it’s enough to show a door opening or I think in Kimi’s case to have the driver behind think he’s given up on fighting for the position.

    The second move is the sudden chop back to cut off the overtake after the driver behind has committed to it. It’s bordering on dangerous and does rely on the driver behind having sufficient skill to avoid him.

    The FIA will of course do nothing until there’s been a serious accident.

    1. no such thing… the second move is going in to the corner, the other option is going straight of track

    2. Look here, the best clarification

      Stu (@rdotquestionmark)
      18th October 2016, 17:00

      Also if a driver is threshold braking they cannot change direction in the braking zone without easing off the brakes proportionally. So Max must make these moves just before his braking zone. It’s quite naughty because the swerving the other driver has to do to react and avoid him means they can’t be threshold braking at that point and will miss the corner/apex as we’ve seen.

  30. my only problem with the verstappen move is that the car following always loses a lot of time and has to do all the job of closing in again. Kimi had a bit of his front wing cut off and was unable to catch him again. Ham for example had to cut a chicane and lose a lot of time.

    you should be able to defend whoever you like as long as it doesn’t interfere irreversibly (or damages considerably) with your opponents race

    1. Defending is just that.. the art of defending is to avoid losing a position.

  31. Everyone seems to be missing the point in these discussions of “Verstappen’s defence.” If the leading driver moves to block before he has seen on which side the following driver is going to pass, he is opening the door and might as well change his name to Fisichella. The aim is to prevent a pass on the side that the following driver has chosen – anything else is just stepping aside and saying, “Please pass me.”

    What makes Verstappen’s moves so apparently dangerous is his incredibly fast reflexes (hence Hulkenberg’s admiration and Hamilton’s refusal to protest). All this talk of “the braking zone” is nonsense – such a zone is determined by the quality of the car, the bravery of the driver and the state of his tyres, not by the viewer’s estimate. One very good way to send a car into a spin is to jink suddenly while braking so that there is no way Verstappen could make his sudden block if he were in HIS braking zone. He does it beforehand and it is not his fault if his zone is shorter than anyone else’s.

    The exaggerated uproar at Verstappen’s blocks are typical of the early years of any great driver’s time in F1. Have we forgotten already the fuss made about Hamilton’s apparently miraculous passing moves in an era of no overtaking? Is it so long ago that Senna annoyed everyone by his immediate speed and racecraft and his complete lack of false modesty?

    The plain fact is that Max is what we have been waiting for – that rare driver of such talent that he will be remembered forever. Splutter and protest all you want when he does the impossible – some of us are already getting his pedestal ready.

    1. @clive-allen

      One very good way to send a car into a spin is to jink suddenly while braking so that there is no way Verstappen could make his sudden block if he were in HIS braking zone. He does it beforehand and it is not his fault if his zone is shorter than anyone else’s.

      Very well said. Moving in the braking zone is considered dangerous because you need all the available grip for braking, hence you have no grip left for moving. That’s why Rosberg (Germany) and Hamilton (Japan) missed the apex: they had to lift the brake in order to steer. But if Verstappen is in HIS brake zone: how can he move?

      Verstappen moves just BEFORE his braking zone, but because the opponent needs time to react, they can only react IN THEIR braking zone. I agree with @clive-allen and @mayrton on this one.

      1. That about covers it all indeed!

    2. spot on….

  32. i am strongly opposed to banishing ” Smart Verstappen Blocks “.

    furthermore the argument Max will give up once losing a win a podium twice is not-valid.
    he is fighting for a win or podium as are the others who have the speed and power to come close enough to him.
    so they rather will not jeopardise their own podium or win , unless utter dumb of course.

  33. It’s such a stupid rule. If you ban drivers for racing, then you can also make a rule that no car is allowed to overtake at any time, just to have safer racing. Racing is never safe at all, so let them race.

  34. Interesting to read on how the junior series would supposedly imitate the same moves when in fact that’s how they drive in the junior series. Verstappen was already driving this way in F3 (just like the others), so there’s nothing new about that.

    Niki Lauda actually recently came out in defence of Max for the move he did in Japan by saying, “I would have done the same.” Lauda however did have a problem with the Kemmel straight move. Vettel and Raikkonen were the only two drivers complaining about Belgium, but the other F1 drivers were fine it. Both Button and Alonso together with Vettel and Raikkonen had problems with the moves of Max in Hungary. Bottas, Massa, Kvyat, Perez (he only wanted clarification of the rules after Hungary), Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Sainz and Alonso (Belgium) came openly out in support of there not much being wrong with the moves. Emerson Fittipaldi, Gerhard Berger, Toto Wolff, Jan Lammers, Johny Herbert, Robert Doorenbos, Pierluigi Martini and Giedo van der Garde have also been also supportive of them. Of the old drivers only Stefan Johansson and Jacque Villeneuve (he has some kind of beef with Jos and already had it in for Max even before he drove in F1) have not been supportive.

    Max simply has such a good car control, spacial awareness and timing, he can pull those things off regularly with success like you already could have seen in F3. It’s probably more some of the other (new) not so capable drivers trying to do the same which is the worrying part, but that doesn’t mean you have to ban it because some other drivers think they can do things which they can’t. You don’t see in other sports things being banned because some are able to do things while others can’t, it’s the responsibility of the drivers themselves to know what their limitations are.

    When Bernie got asked about the moves of Max his response was, “Let them race!,” and I tend to agree. It seems a lot of F1 fans just need to adjust to the “fighting style” of Max (which they all do in the junior classes and is actually much more fun to watch as the “parades style” we had in F1 recently)…F1 sure could use some more juniors, as long as they are capable ones, to get more action.

    1. Fair comment, but let me defend JV on this. I can’t speak for what JV might have said that has you of the opinion he’s got it in for Jos, but I did hear/read some of his remarks with respect to Max.

      First of all JV was against such a youngster with so little experience coming into F1 not because he doesn’t like Max, but because he doesn’t like the precident that sets, and sure enough JV was right and they immediately changed the rule regarding age and qualifications in order to get into F1, once Max was in. JV just didn’t like F1 to look like just anybody with so little experience could enter. And sure enough now the cars are indeed being made harder to drive too. F1 should not appear like many people could do it. It should be for the best of the best.

      JV’s opinion on Max with his moving under braking is simply that there needs to be a respect amongst the drivers. As long as Max shows respect JV is fine with that, and I can’t say whether or not Max is showing enough respect yet, but that is also a sign of youth and something that Max will acquire or he will find other drivers being disrespectful to him and that would not be good for anybody. I’m sure Max knows in general terms what would be unreasonable. As we see from this article and poll it’s really split…half think this needs to be curtailed in the boardroom and half think it needs to be settled on the track.

      I say settle it on the track, respectfully yet forcefully. Note that Kimi didn’t complain about Nico surprising him on the inside and even contacting him. Nico took an inconsequential 10 second penalty and many thought this was Nico using poor racecraft while many thought this was good to finally see from Nico…a WDC doing that move would have been applauded for his WDC-like behaviour.

      So far I don’t think Max can be accused of doing anything malicious or intentional to take someone out…just to forcefully claim his real estate. Let’s see how things evolve as Max grows, and not hamper him and everyone with more regs to prevent the very wheel to wheel stuff the drastic changes for 2017 are meant to bring.

      1. It’s the physical challenge which is less with the cars of today. However both Brundle and Bottas say the cars of today aren’t easier to drive…

        Brundel : “These [2015] cars, in contrast, you can spin them off on every corner, wet or dry, with the amount of torque, the amount of instant power they’ve got from the batteries and the turbo.

        “These cars are physically easier to drive – but they’re not easier to keep on the track. I’m full of admiration for the drivers in situations like a safety-car restart or half-wet/half-dry conditions. The times I’ve driven the [hybrid] Force India and Mercedes, I never felt really remotely close to understanding how much throttle I could put in. There was a massive surplus of power over grip.

        “That doesn’t make for an easy racing car as far as I’m concerned. When you’ve got a massive amount of grip over power, that’s an easy racing car to drive.”

        Bottas : Williams have some funny ideas about their museum pieces – they believe the best way to conserve the cars of Jones, Piquet, Mansell et al is to put them on track and drive them as hard as ever – which is why when Bottas steps into Keke Rosberg’s FW08, he does so knowing the car has been stripped, rebuilt and prepared with the same rigour as his usual FW37. The notion that modern cars are easier to drive makes him grin.

        “They are very different. Some things are more difficult in the 1982 car: changing gear, using the clutch, getting everything perfect while braking – the cars aren’t at the level we’re at now. But the multitasking that we have to do now, maximising everything with the tools we have, to go further, find more performance, extract the last fraction of lap time… No, I don’t agree that it was more difficult to drive a quick lap time in the past. It’s at least as difficult now to squeeze out the last hundredth. It’s not so simple!”

        And about JV, he was also complaining about Jos’s drive style back in the days. Max has indeed no respect if someone is a F1 veteran or not, he will fight anyone hard on the track, just as it should be. He should not let some of the older drivers pass him just because they are older and more experienced, if that’s a sign of having no respect, well could for him.

        1. @To the Max ! No it’s not about letting drivers pass him just because they are older. It’s about hard but fair racing against everyone on the track. The respect part is about not making a maneuver that your opponent would have no choice on…eg. no chance to react if he is already committed to a corner and braking and suddenly finds someone has placed their car in front of him. Things like that. Pass and defend on merit, not with cheap moves that anybody with few ethics could do. It doesn’t take a genius to crank the wheel and punt someone off the track. Some drivers can do that and still sleep at night with the ‘win’ in their pocket, others would have heavy shoulders and just wouldn’t go there as it would not be victory to them.

          1. Racing is about trying to outsmart the other drivers, and most will use every tool at their disposal to do so. As an example, all drivers complain to see if they can screw other drivers into getting penalties (which isn’t very gentleman like), so spare me about the so called, “some drivers being more sportsmen like while others are not,” because none of them are, not even guys like Button or Raikonnen.

            The stewards are the ones who decide if it’s still within the rules or not, and there’s a good reason old drivers are part of the stewarding, because they know all of them are ass holes on track who will do everything they can get away with.

          2. Outsmart? Sure. Use every tool? Sure. But thankfully that doesn’t mean we have drivers out there every race weekend trying to punt a guy off the track like MS did to JV in 97. Obviously most of the drivers know there are some lines to not cross and they don’t need stewards to tell them where those lines are. Recently Max and Ricciardo had a great battle and kept it clean and were yucking it up with each other after the race. Sportsmanlike. There’s obviously lots of shades of grey and one can’t compare complaining about a driver to brake checking him or actually whacking him. Thankfully all the drivers have different fingerprints and some will only ever complain, but not physically take frustrations out on the track in an unprofessional manner.

          3. Max in his head is already busy with preparing for next year fighting for the WDC, and what happened in Belgium you have to see it in such a manner. He was sending a message to his opponents, don’t screw me over because I will get back at you.

            Max was also smart enough to know this wasn’t the time to fight hard with Daniel just yet, because he might need a compliant Daniel in the future. He’s only busy with one thing, and that’s to become WDC, an as many times as he can. He doesn’t care about some fans who get a hard one for being all sportsmanlike.

          4. He’s going to be exciting to watch, no question. Already is.

  35. Moving in the braking, Especially in reaction to the car behind is one of the most potentially dangerous moves a leading car can make & it’s one of the leading causes of airborn accidents.

    I was around F1 in the early/mid-2000’s when there was a lot of discussion about driving etiquette & what was considered fair & safe defensive driving & this was something that was been largely driven by the GPDA rather than the FIA & things such as discouraging drivers from moving in the braking zones was one of the biggest things the drivers wanted to put an end to.

    I noted after Spa that the older, more experienced drivers such as Raikkonen, Button & Alonso were been more outspoken about Verstappen’s defending because they were involved in those discussions & because Max was doing a lot of the things which the GPDA had in the past collectively decided were things that should not be considered acceptable. This is where there frustrations come from, They had those discussions & came to a collective agreement on the grounds of safety & are now seeing a lot of the stuff they agreed on been ignored & given how they saw in the past what the end results of some of this stuff can be there concerned.

    The argument about it not been an issue because these are the best drivers in the world isn’t a valid point as you can be the best driver in the world & still be caught out by somebody suddenly making an unexpected move at a point where you have less time & room to react.
    Additionally it should be considered that as a car is in the braking phase, Especially under heavy braking is far more susceptible to sudden changes in input. In that phase having to make a sudden move to avoid a car will unsettle it & having a car in-front suddenly cut across the front wing will have a big affect on front downforce & make locking brakes & losing control (Spinning for example) far more likely (As we saw with Lewis at Suzuka).

    To answer the question, At the very least the sort of late reactionary defending & moving in the braking zones should be seriously discouraged & drivers who do it should at least be warned against doing it again & handed penalty’s if they continue to do it.
    Sadly I fear that it’s going to take a big accident caused by this sort of thing before anyone even takes it seriously enough to consider doing anything.

    1. Well said again @gt-racer I’m not sure “a lot of the stuff they agreed on” in those past GPDA meetings is being ignored, but I completely take your point about this being a topic for quite a while now and that it is highly dangerous to move under braking under many circumstances.

      I think JV had a good comment when he said there needs to be a respect amongst the drivers. And one way I think of that is that a driver would only do himself and another driver a disservice to leap in front of him under braking and still expect that car to be able to react on time while he is already committed and under braking. I think Max gets that. I expect he won’t get ridiculous with moves just because so far he has seemed to have a quasi green flag to continue what he has been doing. Surely he knows that taken too far he could only cause an accident and get himself taken out of a race if not hurt himself or someone else. But then, many drivers seem to make moves that risk their own front wings all the time. Perhaps it’s the ‘it won’t happen to me’ concept.

      Perhaps some of what is going on is just a sign of the times too. F1 is touted as over-regulated, overly-complicated for the fans, has hated DRS, and so there may be an atmosphere to not squelch a guy like Max right now, whereas perhaps 20 years ago F1 or GPDA would already put Max in his place. Furthermore, perhaps 20 years ago a driver of Max’s age and inexperience would not be in F1 yet and would have had a little more pre-F1 experience to be able to handle cars that would have been more ‘beastly’ than they are now.

  36. Having some experiences from sim racing, i would say his move is not OK, it renders passing impossible… He waits for the attacker to pick a line to overtake, and right after that he picks the same line to defend. That is already too late for the attacked to swap back to the previous line, having to brake or off throttle, loosing speed. Both Kimi and Lewis had to slow down because Max steered in front of their car. That braking can already be considered as contact avoiding action. I dont think its cool, its dangerous especially when DRS is deployed. If you want to pick a defending line, do it before attacker picks his attacking line. If you dont, its blocking in my eyes.

    1. The way to overtake is to feint a move one way and then immediately switch the other way.

    2. you ARE allowed to move once.
      Of course that’s the direction you see or anticipate. You always have to do it while your in front. No part of the “”passing car”‘ can be besides your car. Al those points are legit in the actions VES took.
      That’someone is using DRS in his attempt to ovetake and that most drivers just let it happen does not prevent you from defending.
      Ves did not moved under braking, at least not his own braking. If the other car has to brake earlier ( because of his higher speed) it’s his problem.

  37. It absolutely should be banned – it is completely nothing to do with the overtaking driver’s skill as to whether they can successfully react to a chop under braking, and everything to do with how late they have braked, how late the defense is, how much brake pedal travel is available to the aggressor and how much steering lock is needed to avoid contact.

    The reason why not moving under braking has become an unwritten rule among drivers is because it puts both cars in jeopardy. Raikkonen sustained front-wing damage in his move against Verstappen in Hungary, and Max could easily have suffered a puncture or diffuser damage.

    When we are prepared to put something as ghastly as a halo on a F1 car to make it safer, how can braking from 200mph at up 6Gs be reasonably teamed with the added peril of impetuous defensive driving? This will most likely be a self-resolving conundrum: as soon as Verstappen retires from a race as a result of such moves, he will realize why he is the only one who moves under braking.

    1. He isn’t the only who moves under braking nor is he the only one who blocks in reaction at high speeds (Bottas-Hamilton/Monza ’16).

  38. i strongly disagree to banning “V.B.”

    F1 has become a motorway, where drivers wait patiently to be overtaken by cars in the fastlane. And all the rules of how many times you are allowed to move, where / when to move, plus DRS just transforms any battle into a sitting duck situation for the driver in front. It was about time a new guy came in and ruffled the feathers of older, complacent drivers.

    P.S: i’m not a HAM fan, but his reaction regarding the Mercedes protest was very cool: “Max drove well, end of!”

  39. This is exactly what happens when you rush a driver into the top echelon without giving him time to develop his skills. Sure, he’s a great attacking driver, and will likely become a World Champion. But the feedback he gives (based on team radio broadcasts) is poor, and he has little experience in defending (where he is also poor).

    1. Verstappen’s feedback is excellent according to his engineers. Ricciardo his victory in Malaysia was actually because he took over the set up of Max. Daniel said about that set up, normally you have to adjust to a set up, but this set up was right away so good I could go flat in FP3 without needing to adjust. Daniel about Max…

      “I definitely see it now, he is young, but in racing terms he is very experienced.

      “Racing has been his whole life, from what I understand, and although he may still have a lot to learn, for his age, he has plenty of racing experience.

      “Even the way when he’s in engineering briefings and talking about some details on the car, I don’t even know what they are.

      “He’s a bit of a racing nerd, I guess!”

      1. Max is surely special!

    2. ahm… Verstappens career has been on lesser material then his rivals…
      He fought his way up in go-carts tuned by his dad (Jos Verstappen), he fought the big and well funded teams.
      In F3 he raced for Van Amersfoort Racing against the big Mercedes teams…. and won the most races

      Verstappen has always been the underdog who won the races.
      Jos forbid young Max to overtake on the straights, he had to learn to do his moves in corners.
      He learned he needes every single trick to win.

  40. I strongly disagree.

    The rules here are meant to promote safety, not kill the racing dead. I’m a strong believer in a literal interpretation of rules, but in this instance, I think you need to go back to why it’s frowned upon for drivers to make multiple moves; that being to prevent a defending driver from swerving unpredictably across the track in order to prevent a faster car from attempting an overtake.

    This is categorically not what Verstappen has been doing. He has done exactly what a racing driver should do – he’s taken it to the limit of what’s acceptable, in a way which is aggressive while remaining controlled. That’s the crucial thing – what Max is doing takes a huge amount of skill and car control, as opposed to just throwing the car around on the approach to a corner. I saw far worse moving around in the P2 battle in the 6 hours of Fuji WEC race and while it was hard hard racing, it was ultimately fair and I think both drivers felt it was a reasonable battle.

    Come on. Let’s get a grip. We are racing fans, we should relish watching drivers properly duking it out. Let’s not turn into a community of whingers, crying foul at every opportunity. This isn’t soccer, this is a real sport.

    1. Well said @mazdachris Let’s see this stuff settled on the track but with a respect amongst the drivers to not put another in a jam he is helpless to do anything about, like expecting evasive maneuvers from someone already committed and under braking. We have to remember that this stuff happens in splits of seconds and resist using hindsight to make armchair judgements.

  41. I was initially of the opinion that such moving was “wrong” if not illegal – this was after Spa. But then, I read Keith’s piece then which was compelling and eye-opening, and I’ve since revised my stance to it being fair and entertaining.

    I totally agree with numerous other commenters who have pointed out the risk that DRS introduces into this mix, by increasing the closing speed and reducing reaction times to avoid a collision.

  42. No, the move was legal. That’s racing. If you want to change anything, remove the carbon brakes, replace them with steel brakes and that will extend the braking zone

  43. To me, it depends. Verstappen against Raikkonen at Hungary or against Hamilton in Japan, should not only be legal, but encouraged. That’s racing. Verstappen against Raikkonen on the straight in Belgium, borderline, much more dangerous, should probably be illegal.

  44. It also goes to show a difference in mentality between now and the past. Senna would often make moves whereby it would be: either we both crash out, or you back off. Verstappen does that. He does it well. He gives the driver an opportunity. But yes, there is a chance of a collision, one he takes. I also agree with commenters who state that in the 80s people started realising that such drivers need to be sold a dummy. But many of the current drivers aren’t capable of that, they’ve been ruined by our safety first mentality and DRS. Overtaking is an art, as is defending. If Lewis sold Max a dummy here, he would have gotten past round the outside (and then the inside) and it would have been glorious. That’s what you hope this saga teaches: overtaking.

  45. I don’t think we need to ban this “block”. I am just waiting for someone, clever enough, to outmaneuver this block.
    I though Lewis was that man but he failed.

    Just remember what MS did since he come in 2010. He played with all others like with childs who are not from 1990-2000-th. Remember Lewis can’t pass MS with his slow car in 2011 at Italian Grand Prix ?
    But Jenson, on the same car, did it right from the first try and not over 32 minute with the help of “team”.

    Verstappen is now doing a copy of that and he will alway do a copy of someone. He is needed someone like Alonso or Vettel. I am pretty sure there will be a shame for Verstappen – he will look like a small cat.

  46. Based on the rules, Verstappen doesn’t do a thing wrong.
    But they should adopt the Indycar blocking rules imo. They are spot on!

  47. Just go ahead and ban racing.

  48. We’re getting mixed messages (oh, I know… that’s normal for F1, lol). There’s been a push for the halo device on the grounds of safety, on the slimmest of margins. It might save someone someday, but why take the chance, right? Even if I don’t like the look of them, I can see why they are being pushed through. But then there’s a debate over if something that absolutely WILL cause dangerous accidents should be allowed to continue. Why? It doesn’t make it more exciting. It’s not a test of skill. It’s a douchebag move that Verstappen would be complaining about if it happened to him. Why do I get the feeling that if we saw Gutierrez or Nasr do the same thing, they’d be fined without discussion?

    1. What’s next, speed limits going through corners because it WILL cause dangerous accidents?

      So defending hard is now the same as doing douchebag things?

      There seem to be so many who actually don’t like car racing. Racing is doing things which are on the limit, and if it’s either overtaking, the speed they carry through corners or defending, it should be on the limit, or else it won’t be racing any more.

  49. I posted this on an earlier thread relating to HAM’s protest withdrawal. I’m re-posting it here as I think it’s a realitive topic…
    ‘…….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.

    If DRS is the issue in most people’s view, and the closing speeds are greater than in the past(which of course, they are), surely the attacking driver can adjust his overtaking technique slightly to allow for it.

  50. Yes. Someday someone is going to take to the air. And all Verstappen will say is that it was the stewards responsibility to enforce it.

  51. I see these sorts of moves as a sign of lack of skill with Verstappen (which is surprising because he is a very skilful driver), although it might be a consequence of some technical problem, like mirrors that vibrate so badly you can hardly see what the driver behind is doing. If that is the case then those mirror arms need to be fixed.
    One of the most basic rules of a race track is people have the right to overtake you, it is only your speed that stops them.
    At the last race we had complaints from Verstappen regarding how much he was being impeded by the drivers who had Blue Flags waved at them and were slow moving aside to allow him to pass when the track was barely wide enough to allow a car to pass, so it is a bit ironic we should be discussing his intentional impeding a driver from a legitimate overtaking manoeuvre.
    I realise I’m not a racing car driver, but I thought these cars were braking right on the limit of the tyres ability to grip the track, so how is it that Hamilton was expecting to be able to overtake Verstappen without loosing traction and sliding off the track? Shouldn’t it be that if Verstappen hadn’t blocked Hamilton then Hamilton would have spun off or run off the track? Obviously Hamilton wouldn’t make a mistake like that, so one has to believe he saw there was a window of opportunity which allowed him to overtake without forcing Verstappen off the racing line and without himself loosing traction. So where did that window of opportunity come from? Engine performance isn’t the issue in the braking zone, it is braking performance that counts, and the brakes on a Red Bull car should be as good as the brakes on a Mercedes. So that puts something about Verstappen’s own driving style as the reason Hamilton saw a window of opportunity to pass him.
    I think it is sad that we are discussing this because it reflects badly on Verstappen. He is a very skilful driver and all this does is make him appear less skilful than he really is.

    1. One of the most basic rules of a race track is people have the right to overtake you, it is only your speed that stops them.

      ehh. NO.
      Your are allowed to defend yourself against a attempt to overtake. That’s your right.
      There are rules for that right and VES is using them.
      The only part of your story i follow is the part where HAM tried to overtaken but never would have succeeded. Hams braking was to late and Ves braking was spot on.

  52. At Snooker such defensive skills are an art itself…

    At F1 it goes as brilliant.

  53. All I ask, is for consistency from the stewards.

  54. No, lets carry on until he blocks someone at 200MPH and a car is launch as per the Le Mans tragedy killing dozens !
    Its a dangerous move and unnecessary .

  55. I’ll do what the FIA/anyone with some power is doing… sit on the fence until someone runs up his rear end and see what the accident looks like.

    Then I’ll jerk my knee with Jean and Co.

    That aside, no idea. I don’t really consider the move itself dangerous in most circumstances, but I’m pretty sure that as soon as he does it to someone with no title to lose (or who hasn’t gone a little soft over the years) there’ll be an accident. And if we swap it to him being the one involved in a title race with something to lose… he’ll probably ban himself from doing it, so the FIA won’t have to.

  56. I don’t want to kill the last bit of erxcitrement left in the sport, so I’m against a revision of the rules.

  57. Verstappen’s weaving in the braking zone has earned him a reputation as a great natural defender, in the same way that pushing other drivers off the track has earned him a reputation as a great overtaker.

    The problem is that in both cases he only looks good because other drivers have enough skill and common sense to avoid him, so the credit is generally undeserved. The moment another driver either fails to give way to these sorts of bullying manoeuvres or doesn’t have the time or skill to avoid him, there’ll be a massive accident. When there is, it will be down to the skill of the engineers who build the cars to ensure that there aren’t any serious injuries.

    In any case I voted strongly agree, because in both scenarios the fia already has the ability to sanction Max; they’re just choosing not to use it. As always, the problem is not the rules, it’s the inconsistency of how, when, and to whom the rules are applied by the ever fickle rule makers…

    1. it’s the inconsistency

      At every GP there are different stewards. They all decided it was not illegal. How consistent must they be for you?

    2. In other circumstances, they have applied the “can’t move dangerously in the braking zone” or “must leave a car’s width” criteria. They’ve been consistently not applying penalties to Verstappen, which is not the same thing.

  58. I totally agree on banning this kind of defense. Not because it is dangerous, but because if it is clearly allowed, then everyone will do the same, and then adios to spectacular overtakings. We want to see overtaking in curves, not in straights. DRS overtaking is not due to pilot’s skills, but because of pure engine power. If these kind of defenses are clearly banned, then we will see more overtakings due to real driving skills.

    On the other side, Max driving style is clearly for karting. In karting you can safely do all this without severe consequences, you can even touch other cars without any major issue for the car. For those who enjoy Max’s driving style, I recommend leaving F1 and begin watching Go Kart races. They are very entertaining and the driving skills are more visible there. F1 is for gentlemen, or at least it was.

    1. Senna a gentleman? Michael a gentleman? etc..
      I guess you have seen totally different races the past decades ;)

  59. Should the FIA ban the ‘Verstappen block’?

    I think you answered the question by calling it a block, and yes its banned in Indy, it has no place in racing, without reading the essay’s that people wrote in this thread. Its pretty simple, its a block and blocking should be illegal as it doesn’t show any fairness, and it can cause an accident as well. Period.

  60. The rules are what they are and the drivers race according to these rules, no less, no more.
    The title itself is very suggestive ‘Verstappen-block’ ?? I have never seen him block, neither did the FIA.

    Verstappen isn’t doing anything extraordinairy, in fact it seems like some drivers lost the capacity to defend at all…..
    Ricciardo made a pass on Bottas at Spa, some spoke of ‘the overtake of the year”(??) All Ricciardo did was break late in a DRS zone, Bottas did not defend his position AT ALL.

    Last year Verstappen gathered the most penalties of all, every move he made was under a magnifying glass, mostly cause of him being this young rookie. This year he’s the most critizied driver of the grid possibly cause Ferrari driver complaints. Verstappen was not to anyones real threath last year, this year he most likely will beat the Ferrari’s and will come close to Mercedes.

    Mercedes lost their face value over their so called protest in Japan, Ferrari can’t win their battles on track….
    Perez and Hulkenberg what are their opinions…? They both felt racing against Verstappen was hard, but within limits…. how come? FI could never beat RBR.

  61. My view on this is fairly simple – whilst we have DRS, Verstappen’s moves are fair game. Indeed they are almost a necessity, if we want anything more than just cars driving past other cars in straight lines.

    Max is a modern product of a formula that took a terribly wrong turn, aerodynamically-speaking.

  62. Fascinating to see opinions are so sharply divided at the moment – pretty much straight down the middle, with a few more on the ‘ban it’ side.

    One point which has come up a few times is the suggestion that Verstappen is doing something which other drivers have had penalties for. I’d be interested to know what examples involving other drivers there are which support that view.

  63. Please, do not ban these moves. Overtaking is hardly an art these days due to overpowered DRS. If the only defense possible is banned, than why not just show blue flags even if it is for a position. I can hardly see a difference.

  64. I wonder what the results of this poll would be like before this season, that is, if we were not talking about Verstappen’s defensive moves and Raikkonen’s warnings but only about the principle. If the discussion is about particular drivers’ behaviour and views, it will inevitably have some impact on the results.

    Anyway, I am strongly against such a ban, mainly because Verstappen (see!) has reanimated the defensive driving and we at least have something meaningful to talk about. Punish Verstappen and return to talks about DRS zones? No thanks.

    1. Miss Appropriate
      19th October 2016, 4:21

      Maldonado occasionally made for interesting racing, the discussions – not so much.
      I must say I found it uber-boring (as in the race had lost something) in Spa & Suzuka when it was apparent that the baulked driver had settled for the place (now anytime RAI is following VES).

  65. The thing that makes these moves dangerous is that the drivers don’t think they will be made because they’re too reliant on rules defining where they can put their car on track. Verstappen makes his slower car too wide to pass and skates on the limits of already overly restrictive rules, could you imagine how good it would be to watch if they relaxed the rules further?

    Drivers are so powerless to keep a car behind as it is, more restrictive rules are just killing racing. Watching a car make a pass isn’t the fun bit, it’s watching them tussle even if the pass doesn’t come off. Watching Verstappen defensive driving is as much fun as watching attacking driving.

    The drivers sound like such nerds complaining about ‘he made two moves!’ boo hoo. It makes the racing sound so be bureaucratic and it’s another aspect I hate explaining to the lay person watching it with me about how drivers can only block in a certain manner.

    1. I don’t see the fun really if KIMI hasn’t reacted and was shooted in a tree for example or do you believe that 2 or 3 world cup winners will spare the kid more?

      1. @bluechris

        Again what made that dangerous was Raikkonen assuming Verstappen wouldn’t defend.

        It was a skillfully timed move that held a faster car behind and turned out to be legit within the rules. It was Raikkonens error to presume the door would be left open.

  66. I love F1 with its good and bads. I love the technology it has and the human ability to do such things.
    What i don’t love is nothing that makes F1 more dangerous and in my book this kind of moves especially in the straights are risky business. I don’t want to wait to see the accident that will happen if a driver don’t find the time to react in Verstappen’s defensive move. Never in F1 history we had this speed difference in straights that caused by DRS because no matter what you say and i read here in the 80s they didn’t had DRS and the passes had les speed difference.

    I really wait a change in the sporting regulations soon.

  67. I’ve been watching some 2010-races lately, and I’ve found when Brundle or Coulthard talked about the “Schumacher-Sweep”, it was basically the same move, waiting for the attacking driver to choose a side and then move towards that side. Difference is the attacking drivers nowadays are choosing their side much later, and as a consequence the reactive defending move happens later as well. Typically though, the movement of the steering wheel itself happens just before applying the brakes, and the steering wheel is straight under braking, it´s just that this straightness is diagonal to the racetrack.
    To me, the question of how dangerous that is depends highly on the place where you are doing it, i.e. I did like it when Verstappen defended against Massa in Shanghai, I did not like it at the Kemmel straight.

    But do I want the FIA-stewards to govern that? The same guys that just make me sigh 80% of the times when they are yet again investigating something, typically a standard normal racing incident, always blaming one driver as if a)racing incidents weren’t a thing and b)it would not often enough need both drivers involved reacting the way they do to make it contact?

    I don’t think so. And especially not in a day and age where defending drivers are at an articial disadvantage through DRS already, as that would further dampen the chances of any prolonged battles, and instead means that whoever can go through the dirty air zone to the back of someone else is basically already through, which significantly takes excitement away from the overtakes.

    That said, if drivers (most prominently Verstappen) don’t learn to leave it be in places where it really is dangerous, they might have to. And at that moment, I seriously hope they are able to make other changes to balance the battlefield between attackers and defenders in wheel to wheel combat (i.e. finally enable cars to follow each other and thus make DRS obsolete).

  68. Braking Zone – implies an area where braking is the norm. It is however variable, especially with the influence of current tech and regenerative braking.

    If there is to be such an absolute rule then maybe it can only be solved by marking off an agreed braking zone. A line, or different coloured kerbing – no movement once that line is crossed.

    Do we know if Max was actually braking when he made his move – is the actual evidence of brake and then steer, or did he steer and then slam on the anchors?

    Lewis went too deep, probably over-speed, but maybe hoping to out-brake, but Max was late late late.

    I appreciate there is more than just this instance, but this seems to be the which has brought it into particular focus.

    In summary, if there’s no clear indication of the braking zone, how can we all know if the rule has been compromised. Is it an actual zone or is it defined by a drivers actions at that moment in time, and do both drivers have to be on the brakes?

    In other words, we already have a rule for this. Max wasn’t penalised by the stewards, so can we not assume he wasn’t in the braking zone at that moment in time?

  69. The one at Spa wasn’t in a braking zone, and if anything it’s been the most dangerous.

    Anyway I don’t like to see it. He watches his mirrors then moves, often with a slight move the other way first, while others (mostly) take their line then let the pass happen. It’s an unfair difference. Too Schumi.

    Others are beginning to copy him and it’s dangerous, as Rosberg proved in Spain.

  70. Well, in itself it’s quite normal for an F1 car to move under braking; the drivers brake deep into the corner. In the past you had to get off the brake before you turned in, but these days you see cars braking almost to the apex in some corners.

    And if you brake while taking the racing line, you will likely cut across the track from the turn in point to the apex. If you look at Suzuka, that’s what Verstappen did. And yes, by doing so he shut the door. But Hamilton went for a gap that wasn’t really there.

    Anyway I like Verstappen, he provides some welcome entertainment on and off the track. Dangerous? Well that mostly talk isn’t it, besides the shunt with Grosjean nothing major happened. Most guys on the grid have had major shunts too.

  71. In racing there is defensive driving and blocking. These two are different things. Defensive driving is when you choose your own line in such way the driver behind can’t use the best line to overtake you. Defensive move is such that the driver in front moves first. The move is a prediction trying to outplay the opponent with car placement so the overtaking driver has to abort his overtaking move due to having worse line through a corner. Any kind of collisions that result from this kind of driving are usually light. Most of the time the cars may make contact side by side. The worst can happen is front wing is lost or tire is punctured.

    Blocking is when the driver in front moves in reactionary manner. If he sees you going left he moves left. If he sees you move right he moves right. Naturally the key is to prevent the car behind getting the inside line. But because the blocking move happens so late the block usually means the driver behind you has to back off because he would otherwise hit you. The goal of blocking move is to prevent the driver from passing by creating a chance of collision. And only the driver behind can prevent that collision by aborting his overtake and then trying to get his car back under control. This move of course has huge possibility of creating lethal accident because the collisions are likely to happen at top speeds at the end of the straightways.

    The way passing works today in F1 is that you need the inside line to make a pass. If you are on the outside the driver on the inside can push you off the track so trying to pass outside works only if the drive in front doesn’t do that. Most drives will do it to you.

    With the verstappen block you can guarantee 100% that the passing driver doesn’t get the inside line. You can make the move super late so that if the driver behind even manages to to get to the inside he will struggle to control the car because he needs to turn the car while braking so much that he no longer can brake into the corner. Most of the time the driver behind just needs to needs to avoid the contact with the blocking car so much that he can’t even make the corner anymore.

    The verstappen block is really dangerous and should be made illegal. Pushing drivers off the track should be made illegal as well. Banning these two moves would mean the racing is better because drivers have more ways to overtake. It will make the battles longer and allows more spectacular passes to happen.

    1. Agree!

      But, danger sells!

    2. By banning the ” Verstappen move ” you mean the other drivers get the overtake like a present. What a nonsense just let them race. If they wanna overtake that should make their minds up a bit earlier. There is no rule that says the driver in the front has to make his move first so the other driver has a chance or can do an overtake. What i can see is that Verstappen has a realky good reaction time while the other do not have it that much. You do not need to take the inside line to pass someone either. Verstappen has showed that aswell hasn’t he.

  72. Formula 1 needs to have close racing and battles. Max Verstappen is young and fearless; he is excactly what F1 needs. His moves are within the rules and often makes on track battles very exciting!
    Also the controversy caused by some of his moves can be interesting as well.

  73. I wouldn’t ban anything, but in saying that, he’s doing the block way too late. Its only a matter of time before someone runs up his rear. But i guess he will learn from it and move on to the next race

    1. Maybe the other drivers should make up their minds a bit earlier so they avoid Verstappen late blocks. I remember Vettel passing Verstappen quiet easily in Spa I think it was. He did not wait at all just out the car next to Verstappen.

  74. Keith normally i like reading your articles but as soon as i read the first line i started to lose interest. “Max Verstappen’ driving has been a cause for complaints for some drivers and quite a few fans this year”. What a stupid quote. OFCOURSE the drivers ( mainly the drivers of Ferrari and Mercedes ) do not like to see this young guy outrace them. Over the past few years with the help of the aweful drs we haven’t really seen good racing anymore, neither have we seen a driver defend like Verstappen within the rules. This nonsense of fans not liking it is mainly triggered by the media. As I read through comments of other people here there are” opinions” that are litterly taken over by what the media has said. This is what happens these days with social media. If Verstappen did anything wrong he would have got a penalty for it. He hasn’t even been investigated for it. He just has a found a way to defend within the rules that hasnt been seen for years. I love it at least we see some racing again. As i have noticed, when Verstappen was still a driver for Toro Rosso Hamilton and Raikkonen had already difficulties passing the guy. As soon as he joined Red Bull that simply could not pass him anymore. The top drivers started to make mistakes. Look at Rosberg in Canada. He was totally outraced by Verstappen while he was on faster tyres. Then we have Silverstone where Verstappen was amazing in the changing conditions and Rosberg got frustrated again and he said he moved twice but no investigation. Hungary was imo just fine with Raikkonen. Earlier Verstappen was behind Raikkonen but he could not pass and did realise. Then when Raikkonen was behind Verstappen I think Raikkonen lost it. He got very agressive and I do not think he really knew how to pass Verstappen. Germany we had Rosberg making that crazy move just like he did on Hamilton in Austria. He blamed it immediately in Verstappen moving under braking. That was after the commotion of Hungary just to cover his own ass. Spa for me was probably a bit too much for me though allthough again there was no investigation. It seemed Vettel did not have a problem to pass Verstappen though. And then last weekend Hamilton completely fine. aWhats we have been readibg about this move that was just fine, I do not understand that I have not read anything about the move Sainz made in the straight on Massa. I think that was very much what Verstappen did in Spa He was not investigated for this either.

    No in the end to me they should just let them race. People complaining they should ban this will shorty after moan that there are too many rules and they should let the drivers just race. To me Verstappen is exciting and the other drivers have finally woken up after all these years of boring racing and just pushing the few button to pass a slower car. Hopefully a will see more of these drivers in the future.

  75. Voted strongly disagree. I want to see on the edge of your seat racing and whenever somebody comes up to have a go at passing Max it seems that it’s always going to be a highlight of the race. What I do wonder though is when and who the first driver will be to pull a Mansell Silverstone 87 move on him? Is it even possible? Selling Max a dummy (I can imagine the headlines on the back pages) and pulling the move off would expose the Verstappen block as vulnerable.

    1. I was surprised Hamilton didn’t try to make a dummy move last move. Raikkonen is predictable and won’t even think about it but Hamilton is ingenious enough to do it. That being said, I won’t be surprised to see Verstappen himself doing it when someone tries his move against him.

  76. i think no action should be taken. the kid races hard, same thing we said about certain drivers (Senna,Berger,Alesi,Villeneuve.) To be completely honest, verstappen’s moves and his “let them try to pass me, i’m not just letting them pass” have been the only saving grace for a season that has at times put me to sleep. The Hamilton and Rosberg walkover is getting pretty old.

  77. Why not just scrap all the: ‘you can do this in this scenario, but you can’t do this’ or ‘You can do this on the straight but not in a corner’ etc. Why not have a rule that merely states:

    When a car is within x (1?) seconds (i.e. in a position to make an obvious attacking move) both cars must ALWAYS leave a cars width of track on the side the other car is.

    I say x seconds as a display could then be shown on both drivers wheels saying when they are in the zone and removes the grey area in the wording I put in the brackets. Obviously different tracks/part of tracks would have different characteristics for how far behind you would have to be for an attacking move to be considered possible but either have it defined for each section or find a suitable track time. This doesn’t mean Banzai moves from outside this range are illegal, just means you have to be more careful as the driver in front may be taking his normal line/not leaving room at the apex, but that is for a driver to decide if they want to try.

    This way the defending car can do what they want and the attacking car will always have somewhere to go. You defend by positioning your car to have a better exit or squeezing your opponent into a tighter line, not by being slightly in front and chopping them off at exit (a la Hamilton in Bahrain 2014 on Rosberg (Please note I am a Hamilton fan and think that was a great move as within the rules at the time – however, if he had to leave room the fight for position would have continued in to the next sequence of corners and forced the drivers to be creative and think of better lines and see who the real racers are – and would hopefully make on track battles last longer and be more exciting)

    All this: “I was in front so I owned the apex/racing line” etc. is ridiculous. The road doesn’t belong to you, you have to share it. It would make Rosberg’s moves in Bahrain (forcing Schumacher onto the sand a few years back) and Hamilton in Spain illegal (as he didn’t leave a car’s width of room, but the quick move across the track to defend would be fine if he did leave room – (this would reduce the grey area in which some believed his move was dangerous thus illegal when some didn’t (in terms of what he was allowed to do by current rules he is within his right to use the whole track width and cut as fast as he liked so not illegal but personally I thought it was quite dangerous and could be deemed illegal on that front though the Stewards obviously disagreed with me. With my rule there would be no grey area))).

    It also removes doubt about over ambitions attacks/defending … if you are on the inside and lock up and subsequently force another driver off the track you haven’t left space and thus it is an illegal move so you should yield/be penalized.

    The first lap may be hard to police/may need to be more lenient but think it works most of the time, though happy to be proven wrong/discuss and refine the rule to see if we can make it work!

    1. Whoops, the bold bits in that didn’t work as I wanted!

  78. To be honest i felt a bit angry when i was reading this article so i wait for a copple of days and read it again but i still don’t get it. What a piece of rubbish and only produced to provoke reactions. And it worked.
    And for all those sorry people who are saying he’s driving dangerous and can’t accept Max will be a icon in the F1 and saying his way of defending should be bannish; i say please watch BBC 1 for:The Great British Bake Off
    Let us watch racing with great overtaking en hard defending like every racer should do but not everyone can.
    Let us enjoy the race craft of Max, the reason why i come out mine bed so early for some races and argue with mine wife. Let him race and overtake cars like he did in Spa and Silverstone and let him defend like he did in Canada and Japan.

  79. Verstappen’s driving is dangerous. Patently so, given that multiple drivers have already had their races ended by it, in ways that would have caused more serious danger had only one or two factors been a little dangerous. Dangerous driving is flatly banned under Article 30.14 of the Sporting Regulations.

    No need to “ban the Verstappen move” – it has been banned since 2008, and all that remains to be done is to enforce it against him, like it is enforced when other drivers include any of the key components of the Verstappen move.

    “Changing line in the braking zone”, to me, is a separate question to whether “the Verstappen move” should be banned, because some methods of changing line in the braking zone are compatible with the current rules. I am quite happy that safe line-changes in the braking zone are permitted, and Max did a beautiful example of one in Japan that I’d like him to do more often.

    So I’m voting “strongly against” on the poll, but this should not be taken as approval of the actions usually constituting “the Verstappen move”. Changing lines in the braking zone long pre-dates him, and quite a few other drivers do it on the current grid – they just do so with more caution and (usually) rather less messy consequences.

    (Before anyone asks, I already read Keith’s explanation of his opinion of Max’s actions vis-a-vis the regulations, and commented on it there fairly extensively at the time)

    1. No driver had his race being ended by Verstappen, not even Grosjean at Monaco ’15, so I have no idea how you came up with that…?

    2. You really make it look like Verstappen is a driving liability, a driver who notoriously weaves in the breaking zone and took out many other drivers.

      None of them are true in fact

  80. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    19th October 2016, 16:45

    It should be banned simply because it spoils the racing: I want to see two drivers going alongside one another into a corner. If a DRS zone means the overtake is too easy, shorten the DRS zone, rather than allowing the sort of move which precludes overtaking altogether!

    There’s an easy way to police this: paint a notional ‘braking point’ line in front of each heavy braking corner and compel drivers to choose either the inside or outside line by the time their nose crosses the line.

  81. @alianora rather messy consequences?? Do you mean Maxlonso collision in Australië with Grosjean or do you mean Maxastian 3 times messy on different occasions were he received a penalty for. Bottom line; get use to it there is a new kid on the block that’s race hard and fair and don’t take prisioners

  82. If other drivers don’t behave this way for fear of causing a serious accident, then Max also shouldn’t behave this way. He can shrug it off and say its the other driver’s problem if they don’t like it, which will in fact be fine, right up to the point when he causes a serious incident.

  83. Two points : First ,look at what Jenson Button said about moves in the braking zone,: “..its not racing ,its dangerous …as drivers we all know that moving in the braking zone is the worse thing you can do…its a no no ..’..
    So either Jenson Button a world champion with 300 grandprix races to his credit is a fool or such moves should not be permitted and are not permitted .Note that Sporting regulation 27.5 bans any move which is “potentially..dangerous” and according to Jenson Button moving as Verstappen often does, in the braking areas, is more than “potentially” dangerous, “its dangerous” ,that is to say it is actually and clearly dangerous.
    Second,let us look at the letter of the regulations,specifically rules 27.5 and 27.7. Some have said that these rules are ambiguous. To the end of getting a ruling ,so to speak ,of the wording used in those rules short of an actual law suit I have had an experienced attorney examine the regulations ( and by ‘experienced” I mean one with 30 years of experience and one who on a regular basis addresses the issue of interpreting rules which are less than clear and subject to more than one interpretation).
    His opinion was that as these are safety based regulations they must be interpreted in a manner which provides the greatest level of safety within the clear meaning of the language used and thus the rules DO PROSCRIBE any and all moves in the braking areas such as routinely employed by Verstappen..
    If F1 wishes to permit the so called “Verstappen” moves then F1 is free to do so but, that would require a change in the wording of the current rules and would be in contradiction of safe standards of racing ,at least if we are to believe what Jenson Button says about Verstappen’s driving .
    If F1 wishes to do so that it is within their power but, we should and they should realize and be honest about what they are doing .
    Would making the “Verstappen” type of driving improve the sport ? If you wish to sacrifice safety for the right to block at any time then make the change . If you accept what Jenson Button said and that moves in the braking zone are “..not racing…”and are “..dangerous..” then do not permit such moves and re-write the rules to make it perfectly clear that moving in the braking areas is not permitted .If, however, the governing body wishes to permit such moves then do so but, make it clear so that all drivers clearly know that they can do what Verstappen does and he is not the only one doing so .
    It is strange that F1 concerned itself with the rules on drivers’ helmet colors but did not address a topic which presented itself many times during the season :moves under braking. Further, that they addressed a convenience rule but, not a safety and fairness rule .
    F1 should do as it sees fit after,of course consulting with the drives . After all, it is they who must deal with the right to block vs. the right to stay more safe and it is the drivers who must put life and limb on the line especially if they vote to permit blocking in the braking zones . The rules should be specific and clear and all should be able to readily know what is permitted and what is not permitted . F1 should ,one way or the other, decide and make the rules clear .

  84. How hard is it to get the point: F1 is dangerous and was even more dangerous in the past! Only the bravest and best have earned their place in F1. If one thinks it’s too dangerous, he should not consider driving open wheels in the first place.

  85. The thing they need to ban is the DRS. We will not see the move in the braking zone from many drivers, as it takes 2 things to be able to do it: firstly the driver must be very skilled to be able to make the move under full braking, before the opponent from behind slips in the gap. Secondly the car must be very stable and controllable under full braking, which isn’t the case for most teams. VER is challenging with a skill set and technique, which increases the difference between the very skilled driver/technically very balanced car, and the others. And remember why he does it – because it is the last defence he has, when overtaking in general is far too easy because of the DRS.

Comments are closed.