Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

Verstappen: I’d’ve done the same as Hamilton in China

2018 Chinese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said he would have dealt with Lewis Hamilton in the same way his Mercedes rival treated him in their Chinese Grand Prix encounter.

The Red Bull driver went off the track in Shanghai while trying to pass the Mercedes at turn seven. But he said he has no concerns about going up against Hamilton again.

“Lewis is a great driver, he knows how to overtake and defend,” said Verstappen. “It’s racing, we’ll just race again.”

He justified the unsuccessful move which dropped him behind eventual race winner Daniel Ricciardo. “I think it was a fair chance,” Verstappen said.

“What Lewis did, I would’ve done the same as Lewis. In the middle of the corner he just run me a bit more wide, I went a bit more on the marbles while being flat-out and then as soon as you have to make a correction it’s easy to lose your car. It was a fair racing moment.

“I had better traction out of the corner before so I had a bit of a run on him. I knew he was not flat in that corner and I was. I went around the outside, it didn’t work out this time, it was a good try.”

In China Hamilton said he hadn’t been aware Verstappen was trying to go around the outside of him.

“I didn’t even see him there,” said Hamilton. “I was doing the corner normally and when I watched the replay… I don’t understand what he was up to there but it wasn’t a problem for me”

“There’s actually a really dirty line on the outside of turn seven,” Hamilton added. “It’s a very fast corner, very long. I don’t think any top driver’s been overtaken on the outside before.”

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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...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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31 comments on “Verstappen: I’d’ve done the same as Hamilton in China”

  1. “It’s a very fast corner, very long. I don’t think any top driver’s been overtaken on the outside before.”
    Well, not really. But in Max’s head, he’s not a top driver, not at all, he’s absolutely convinced he’s a driver above all others ….. and then it’s what you see …..
    When it was enough to make a simple rational exercise of deductive logic:
    Is Daniel a top driver ?????
    In the eyes of the world the answer to the question seems obvious !!!!!

    1. And who says Max isn’t better at making passes on the outside, like the one he did at Spa in 2015? So now F1 drivers shouldn’t be challenging what has and hasn’t been done before? That pass was going to happen if Hamilton didn’t jerk to the right. And personally I think it was a very questionable defensive move.

      1. It was not a questionably defensive move at all. What do you expect Lewis to do? There was only one racing line you can take for that corner, the rest is off line and on the marbles. So he should back off and send himself in the marbles because a driver behind him is trying to overtake?

        1. @todfod No, that was not the racing line. Hamilton clearly weaved to the right while there was a car practically alongside him. But this is Hamilton, he can pretty much do whatever he wants

          1. bobec, of course he can move off the line if he’s still giving Verstappen track room! It’s only ‘questionable’ because, presumably, the outcome wasn’t the one you wanted. Hamilton actually said he didn’t see Verstappen was there, but it’s irrelevant: he drifted away from the inside corner, Verstappen overreacted by steering suddenly right, which meant he lost adherence and went off.

          2. @david-br What outcome I wanted is irrelevant, this is not about me. You say Verstappen “overreacted”, except if he didn’t do what he did, there would have been contact, it’s as cleat as day.
            And then you say Verstappen steered “suddenly”. But Hamilton didn’t…..
            Whatever Hamilton did, it was sudden enough to cause an evasive reaction, where all Verstappne could worry about is avoiding contact.

          3. @david-br One more thing – what Hamilton said is irrelevant as well. Hamilton said Mercedes didn’t have a party mode, and hours later Toto said they did. Hamilton said before the last race of 2016 that he isn’t going to try and bunch up Rosberg as a strategy for him to win the title, and then he blatantly did just that. Not someone who values honesty much.

      2. You max fans are truly daft.

        That was never ever coming off and Lewis did nothing other than straighten the wheel on his racing line.

        Honestly the entitled max fans are now starting to sound as though everyone else should stop racing – completely!

        Your lad is struggling with the fact he is up against the big boys early in a title fight when they are uninterested in giving him free passes.

        1. @DrG

          I’m reposting my analysis from a previews discussion, where someone else also claims Hamilton merely “straightened the wheels”, while the limited footage contradicts that:

          But still, looking at the limited footage of that Hamilton-Verstappen encounter, Hamilton’s move seems just way too sudden, and Max has no way of knowing what Hamilton’s intentions are, and where he is going to stop. And maybe they would have made contact if he didn’t react at all.

          Even if you are right about the racing line, Max was way too alongside Hamilton for such a sudden “realignment”. And you do bring up an interesting point. But it really looks like Hamilton goes right a little too deep in the highlights video, and actually seems to pass too far from the second apex


          Don’t know what the guy is saying, but it’s a good spot to pause the footage.

          I found an onboard from Hamilton’s 2017 pole lap, and he seems to stick tighter to the second apex, letting the car drift away seemingly less (asfaik there is no onboard of Hamilton from the Max incident). But you can also see something else that’s interesting – if you play the highlights video, right after Max jerks right (3:40-3:41 for me https://youtu.be/uiub1DnUnkg?t=221), and right before Hamilton’s right wheel hides behind the leaderboard on the left side of the screen, there seems to be a very significant steering action of the wheel to the left, which I did not see on his 2017 pole lap at the same spot or anywhere around that second apex. And that could mean he was too far out to the right.

          1. he was too far out to the right

            That’s just pure nonsense. There’s no such thing as ‘too far out to the right’. There’s either track room, or there isn’t. If Verstappen chose to overtake on an area of track with low-adherence, that’s his problem and part of racing.

          2. @david-br I’ll say it again, Verstappen was almost alongside. Hamilton can’t do whatever he wants in that case, the rules of F1 also say there shouldn’t be a significant part of another car. Hamilton can’t just do whatever he wants, just because Rosberg put up with it.

  2. It’s a fair call from both drivers. Max just needed to lift off and go again soon. He is young and a bit impatient but that’s fine.

  3. I was honestly more surprised by Verstappens move on Hamilton then on Vettel.
    On Vettel he just got a little too eager locked up and went sideways into him. Mistake yes, but it can happen.

    What he was trying to pull on Hamilton was just unnecessary and just not really there. There was no way Hamilton would’ve taken the inside line through that corner. What seemed like Hamilton moving across was actually him just taking his normal line. It seemed like a move just for the cameras on Verstappens part. Impetious showmanship. Still… gotta love it. Haha

    1. In fairness to Max, he did have some good traction ahead of that incident, and probably tried to carry that momentum toward getting himself alongside LH, but there wasn’t the time or space.

      1. There was time and there was space. But Hamilton jerked suddenly to the right and that made things different. No, Hamilton didn’t take all available space, but the suddenness of the jerk would not have made it clear where Hamilton was going to stop.

        1. Will you stop pedalling that line!

          Hamilton did nothing of the sort.

          Max tried one on in the wrong place and on the wrong person.

          He spent most of the day doing that.

          Simple as.

  4. When I was watching it at the time I couldn’t be sure if Hamilton actually ‘did’ anything other than drive a standard, slightly defensive line. Looking at the way other drivers pulled out of attempting the same move, presumably because they knew it was very dirty out there, I was surprised Verstappen even attempted it.

    1. What I saw was a line that was different from Hamilton’s pole lap last year. Also, right after the jerk, you can see the right front wheel steering back to the left, and that was also absent in said pole lap. It’s not the move itself that is questionable to me, but the suddenness and abruptness, and there was no way for Max to tell whether Hamilton was driving him off the track completely, or if he was going to stop just before that. Also, if Max didn’t react at all, the two cars would have made contact. But this all is nothing new in Hamilton’s defensive move arsenal, which in previous years would often see Rosberg completely pushed off the track.

      1. You are unreal.

        At no point did Hamilton do anything wrong.

        Even if he had moved when are you going to concede he would have been perfectly entitled to and to run Max off the line and into the marbles.

        By the way exactly who got most penalty points of anyone on the grid for poor driving in 2016?

        1. @DrG How many comments do you have to post? Dude, I got it, you dislike Max. That doesn’t make it OK.

          Max did it “against the wrong driver”? What does that mean? Maybe that some drivers are entitled to more than others? Would Hamilton have ever tolerated such a defense? And no, Hamilton is not entitled to run Max off, because he is practically alongside him. The rules do mention something about “a significant part of another car” being next to you as the cutoff where you can or can’t. And like I have repeatedly said – but no one likes to listen – it was the suddenness of the move, which was a bit reckless.

          And nice try about the penalty points. Hamilton has been F1’s darling for years and there’s no way they system wouldn’t help him. The stewards are incredibly biased as well. One example – Warwick, whom I otherwise respect, said on air (Sky F1) prior to Japan 2016, that all he can say is that he really hopes Lewis wins that race. Warwick was one of the stewards and should not be doing his job with such undisguised bias.

          Here’s a fun question – how many drivers have gotten the privilege to be taken back on track…….with a crane?

          Please understand I’m not disputing the fact that Max is sometimes immature and a bit too aggressive (and he is young after all). I’m just showing how biased people can be here, and how according to some, Hamilton can do no wrong. Max isn’t always at fault.

  5. It’s a very fast corner, very long. I don’t think any top driver’s been overtaken on the outside before.

    That depends on who the attacking driver might be. It’s very difficult but not impossible. I’ve seen two top drivers being overtaken by another exceptional racer in turn 3 in Barcelona in a single overtaking maneuver.

    1. First lap 2013, and his last win

  6. That move wasn’t going to stick. I remember a race a few years back when Grosjean and Alonso tried the same move and had to take the same avoiding action.
    It can only be done if your exit is so much better that at that point you’re already ahead, like Vettel with Ricciardo last year.

  7. There was time and there was space. But Hamilton jerked suddenly to the right and that made things different. No, Hamilton didn’t take all available space, but the suddenness of the jerk would not have made it clear where Hamilton was going to stop.

    1. @bobec Did I read this post of yours 3 times in the comments? The more you say it the more you believe your own words?

      Honestly, I didn’t see Hamilton behave the way you describe it.

      1. @homerlovesbeer

        I have posted this comment only once. I don’t know why you claim I’m spamming, but if that’s all you have to say, go ahead.

        I guess I should have expected this, daring to criticize F1’s darling, who is allowed to do whatever he wants on track.

    2. the suddenness of the jerk would not have made it clear where Hamilton was going to stop.

      It’s not Hamilton’s job to make it clear where, when or if he is going to crash into Verstappen – his job is to make Verstappen uncertain about it, so that he either backs off or takes avoiding action, but without actually crashing into him and potentially ruining two people’s races.

      Job done. End of.

      1. @johnny Five

        Interesting, so you do agree there was a defensive move. You see, I don’t recall anyone trying out such a sudden and intention-wise unclear move in such circumstances and it being considered ok, even in the good old times, when a move like the Mansell dummy was perfectly legit to do on track. Again, a bit difficult to see, as there was ONLY ONE camera angle for the incident (oh, I wonder why), but being too late in taking defensive action is a thing in F1 racing, and always has been.

        1. I’ve re-read what I posted, and can’t see the bit where I agreed with anything. However, Verstappen attacked from behind and Hamilton came out still ahead, so I guess some defending happened.

          I don’t see, nor do I feel responsible if your memory is defective. There is such a lot of F1 history, after all, and no-one can recall everything that’s happened in the last 50-odd years of motor racing. Don’t feel too bad about it.

          You do rather spoil a good discussion by suggesting, however obscurely, that the TV director was somehow part of the dastardly plot to rob Verstappen of his rightful place on the top step of the podium. As it turned out Verstappen was quite capable of doing that for himself, and providing some of the more entertaining moments of the race in the process.

          Good on you, Max, keep it up, please.

          1. @Johnny Five WOW, you are some piece of work. First of all, where did I say Max deserved to be on the podium, or even talked about anything Max-related, apart from the situation we are discussing?

            You also clearly stated Hamilton gets to be allowed to do whatever he wants on track (presumably as long as there is no crash – which would happen every time if Hamilton’s opponent had the same mentality, or even if they just refused to yield). Obviously for you there are no rules of racing, and there are no rules of overtaking. The only rule is that Hamilton can do whatever he wants. Including swerve in a threatening manner when there is a car alongside.

            Finally, saying Verstappne “attacked from behind” means nothing. All attacks start from behind at some point. If you were a little more versed in the rules of racing, you would know that what matters is where the attacking car is positioned at the moment when the patch of track is being contested (apart from reckless and hopeless moves like dive-bombing, which this wasn’t, though the incident with Vettel was). If Max didn’t take evasive action, the contact would have been side to side, not Max hitting Hamilton from behind.

            And last, it’s just weird no other footage of the incident was shown, during or after the race. I bet there is some in the archives.

  8. Hamilton: “I didn’t even see him there”. That’s ridiculous. Of course he saw him and made a move to defend (which was quite aggressive, but still fair racing). I guess that’s what drivers have to say just after the race, when it still isn’t clear whether they might get a penalty.

Comments are closed.