Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2016

Montoya: Verstappen being singled out for overtaking

2016 F1 season

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Max Verstappen has been singled out because of combative overtaking moves according to grand prix winner Juan Pablo Montoya.

The ex-McLaren driver said in an interview with his former team that he got the same treatment as Verstappen after his arrival in F1.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Schumacher, Interlagos, 2001
Montoya passed Schumacher (then Verstappen Snr hit him)
“The way Verstappen’s been treated, I got treated like that a lot,” said Montoya, who believes his style wasn’t appreciated until after he left F1.

“I would pass people. I left and then people realised two years later, ‘We’re missing that.’ I got an award for overtaking move of the year, and I thought that’s my job, that’s what we’re all supposed to do!”

Montoya called time on his F1 career halfway into his second season with McLaren. “The team had an option on me in December 2005, for 2007, and they didn’t take it,” he explained, “they said they wanted to wait a little bit more.”

“We knew Fernando [Alonso] was coming, and we knew Kimi [Raikkonen] was going. You have an option on me, and you’re saying you want to take a little bit more time? I was more of the theory you either want me, or you don’t.”

“Ron [Dennis] still wanted to delay the decision about 2007, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay there as well. A lot of things came together, and the opportunity to race with Chip Ganassi in America came on board. I wanted to be in F1 for winning, I didn’t want to just fill the grid. There were no really good opportunities.”

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

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Posted on Categories 2016 F1 season, Juan-Pablo Montoya, Max Verstappen

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  • 26 comments on “Montoya: Verstappen being singled out for overtaking”

    1. Overtakes are one of the most exciting aspects of racing … hope he gets the change he is looking for with his remarks!

    2. Loved Montoya, shame he wasn’t as quick in the McLaren… Apparently when he first drove it he thought it was broken!

    3. Evil Homer (@)
      1st December 2016, 12:12

      Montoya is right in many respects.
      As I have just posted I recently watched the 1991 & 1993 Season reviews on Foxel and the ‘Verstappen Rule’ was the default for all the greats- Senna, Prost, Mansell- name the whole field, they all done it

      What they done was what Seb done to Dan in Mexico- and as a Dan Fan I could of course be bias, but that WAS great racing, on the limit, touched, and off they go!

      I think they didn’t like Max and Kimi on Kemmel Straight (Spelling?) as there is a vast different with two F1 cars that can potentially go into the crowd at 300kph or two car under braking at a slower corner.

      If anyone gets a chance watch an old ‘Season Review’ from the early 1990’s- they are top notch racing but you will also see some very questionable overtaking attempts :) I would still bring it back !!

      1. The irony is that the Spa move isn’t under the new rules I don’t think as it wasn’t under braking.That move was entirely legal as you can make a defensive move just like Rosberg did on Hamilton in Spain. He just did it later than most other drivers which sparked the outrage but I don’t think it’s prohibited.

        1. (@philipgb) it wasn’t, it was halfway through the Kemmel straight at 330kph. Raikkonen had a 20kph overspeed due to DRS and was expecting to cruise passed like every DRS pass halfway down a straight. Verstappen had none of it and closed the door after Raikkonen made his move to the right.

          To me, he simply refused to roll over in a DRS situation. Something that has been severely missing as most drivers are playing the role of submissive victims. Some even go off the racingline so that the ‘overtaker’ doesn’t even has to steer around his ‘rival’.

          Now, when on a straight, especially before braking, it’s up to the car behind to not crash into the back of the car in front. So unless that car is swirling from left to right, closing the door is not illigal at all and certainly not ‘idiotic driving’. It would be on the highway obviously, but we are talking about a racetrack here.

          1. @jeffreyj, I presume that you have not seen how Verstappen defended against Auer during a Formula 3 race in Spa a few years earlier?

            In that race, Verstappen did exactly the same sort of move against Auer, although in that case he actually struck Auer as he turned across his nose in order to block him – would you still say that Auer was the one who was responsible for avoiding a collision when Verstappen did not give Auer time to react? Surely there comes a point where the driver in front has to start bearing responsibility if he starts to make defensive moves that the driver behind will not able to physically react to in time.

        2. You’re supposed to either leave a car’s width or cover the line, not leave it open until they’ve decided to go that way then slam the door. It’s similar to what Schumacher did to Barrichello in…Spain I think? Where he pushed him against the pit wall. I don’t know if it’s actually written in the rules but it’s certainly dangerous driving. What Rosberg did to Hamilton in Spain deserved a penalty too imo.

          1. @george, it was the 2010 Hungarian GP where Schumacher squeezed Barrichello against the pit wall, and even over the exit of the pit lane, in an attempt to prevent him overtaking him.

            It’s worth noting that Derek Warwick, who was the driver steward for that race, later stated that the stewards were considering disqualifying Schumacher for dangerous driving for that move – it was only because the race finished before they could issue it that they reverted to a post race penalty.

          2. That’s with a car significantly alongside. Verstappen and Rosberg made their moves while Raikkonen and Hamilton were behind which is why they didn’t trip over any rules or get any sanctions.

          3. @george – I also think that Rosberg was in the wrong with his driving in Spain. We seem to be in the minority there, but I’ve watched the available video footage from all the available angles and cannot fathom how anyone could reach a different conclusion. In fact, Sky is even reporting that Hamilton was ready to quit Mercedes over their lack of support for him with this incident and just walk away. Obviously, he did change his mind and stayed.

            Nevertheless, I do love great overtaking within reason and sometimes grey area exists when trying to interpret the rules or driver’s actions. Each incident is different I would rather lean towards good racing over penalties for every single incident.

            1. I agree. I can’t understand how Hamilton was really to blame for that as Rosberg had a small issue which lead to his car going slower than hamilton. I was under the impression the F1 was a race and if there is a clear opportunity to overtake then it should be taken. Hamilton realised that he was much faster than Rosberg and went for the overtake on the side that initially appeared to be the safest (especially as rosberg was already on the racing line) but then Rosberg pulled across to block him while also going far slower. Hamilton didn’t really have anywhere to go but on to the grass as which point he lost control and crashed. Any other driver would have done exactly the same. The question should have been, “Why on earth did Rosberg pull off the racing line so abruptly and aggressively?”

        1. @Lee1 Nico made his one legal move (not a block) to defend while LH was still behind him. Nico had the legal right to make his one move across the whole track if he wanted, and there is no rule about the rate at which a driver can cut across the track either.

          LH knew from Nico’s flashing light that there was an issue and decided he had to pounce immediately so he chose to go to the side that Nico was already closing up, legally.

          Nico did nothing wrong, and the only thing Lewis did wrong was to be a little impatient, as well as choosing the wrong side for his attempt as it was always closing. Nico didn’t have to leave a car wide while doing his one move, so it was Lewis who took the chance knowing he was not guaranteed a car width.

          This is why it was deemed a racing incident, and anybody that says Nico drove him off the track should be rethinking that. Just as Max has been reminded that you don’t try something on a driver who has already committed under braking, Nico could not have been expected to react to Lewis just because suddenly Lewis had a bit of his front wing beside his rear tire, because Nico was still doing his legal one move to defend.

    4. I hate what F1 has become. I don’t want to watch racing where they only overtake by means of the undercut in pit strategy. Why watch racing if it’s not “racing”?
      F1 drivers know the risk. Back in the day guys drove off cliffs to their deaths, and while that’s just crazy, comparing that to not allowing to touch is just too far.
      Likewise, I don’t understand why, on more than one occasion, Rosberg was only slapped with a 5 second penalty for deliberately bumping into drivers to overtake, and Verstappen has a whole new rule brought into racing for his driving.

      1. imo Rosbergs move on Kimi in Malaysia was fantastic after the race Kimi said he thought Rosberg had a funny line into turn 1 but wasn’t sure what was going on until Rosberg made the move into turn 2. I think it surprised him and he kinda tried to block or was just taking turn two on the racing line but yeah they bumped

    5. Inside f1 Max has faced some resistance from other drivers, but he’s getting accepted the same way as Montoya was back in 01. The difference is there’s massive outside pressure to accept Max, the new guy has a lot more sponsor and public support. Anybody that criticizes Max fears the consequences.

      1. Fears the consequences of being rightfully considered a Luddite, yeah.

    6. JPM makes some good points here. There was surprise and and even consternation from some when he challenged and passed other drivers, Michael in particular, with bold moves. But, getting ahead is the objective after all, is it not? I suppose the proper line of debate could be how much risk in overtaking moves is too much risk. F1 would certainly be a bit (more?) boring without drivers like JPM or Max.

      1. I remember him saying at the time that they thought he was “an animal for touching” other cars during a pass.
        I have always thought that was a shame.

    7. I guess Montoya can’t have been watching F1 when Lewis stormed onto the scene…

    8. Rookie driver comes along and shares the establishment by making audacious overtaking moves on the established drivers… Yep that sums up JPM and Max. My favourite moves of his were on Schumacher in Brazil 2001, on Schumacher in Nurburgring 2003, and Schumacher 2004. What a dude.

    9. Never watched F1 till 07 but Montoya was absolutely hated in the NASCAR garage. But me personally, I really loved his aggressiveness and if he would’ve had a top ( Mercedes,Red Bull, Ferrari) type team take him on in NASCAR, the guy would still be racing Cup and would probably have 15 to 20 wins and maybe a Chase Championship.

    10. Has anyone complained about Max’s overtaking? Or just the blocking?

      1. Its just blocking everyone is complaining about, ovrrtaking in many cases is brilliant.

    11. Toto called Sr Verstappen over dive bombs and protecting Nico.

    12. I really like racing the way Max does. Yes, I’m Dutch and I’m a fan, but BITD I also liked the ruthless way Montoya or even Schumi raced. Sure, sometimes I shout and curse at the TV, but it’s just exciting. Tough moves make F1 so much more fun to watch.

      Downside of bold moves is of course they sometimes go wrong and you get a DNF. And in these days of 90+% reliability that has become very costly (ask Lewis).

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