Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monza, 2018

Verstappen had a ‘joker’ warning for cutting the chicane

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen was given a one-off warning for cutting the chicane during the Italian Grand Prix while trying to keep Valtteri Bottas behind him.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirmed the Red Bull driver was warned for cutting turn two when Bottas closed on him in the first stint of the race.

Bottas told his Mercedes team on the radio: “I think he gained a small advantage.” His race engineer replied: “Yeah copy he left the track and gained an advantage.”

According to Whiting teams were advised their drivers would get a single warning if they cut the track in that way and a penalty if they did so repeatedly.

“The ‘joker’ is cutting the chicane, not actually gaining a place, but staying in front by virtue of cutting the chicane, which is an advantage of sorts,” Whiting told media including RaceFans.

“We told the teams we would give them one ‘free’ one. Unless of course he cut the chicane the first time and gained five seconds and kept it, then we wouldn’t let him have that.

“But this one he just stayed in front of Bottas and he could, in theory, do that every lap. He wouldn’t gain a position but stay in front.”

After Verstappen cut the corner Red Bull told him: “He was nowhere near a pass then Max, didn’t need to worry.”

Whiting added he wasn’t bothered about Verstappen’s outburst on the radio claiming the stewards were “killing racing” by giving him a penalty for a separate incident with Bottas at the same corner later in the race.

“I don’t think you can take too much from comments made in the heat of battle,” he said.

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Author information

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...
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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52 comments on “Verstappen had a ‘joker’ warning for cutting the chicane”

  1. Max thought Bottas would crash into him if he turned in when he saw him locking up. He is driving with his mind en head straight on.

    1. But as Horner said Bottas was really far behind but those mirrors could be the problem here.

      1. Verstappen knew exactly where bottas was.

        1. Unlike Bottas, who normally bounces his way past or punts people.

          1. @maxv I think you spelled Verstappen incorrectly.

          2. @canuckfan

            phew, i thought for a sec he meant someone other than Verstappen too :) maybe his autocorrect is tired of correcting for Verstappen’s mistakes

      2. @macleod Gianpiero Lambiase (his race engineer) to be precise or did Horner also say the same on a separate occasion afterwards?

    2. Where is this going to? I mean…unbelievable….to many rules, Bottas who thinks Verstappen got a small advantage….dude you weren’t even close of overtaking Verstappen…Whiting happy to listen to all the complainers. What’s happend to real racing? What’s happend to real men?

      1. With likes of crashtappen, petulant child and other domesticated felines joining F1 racing through Red bull ranks(exception of Ricciardo) died off. That attitude of not accepting fault and cursing stewards and then costing team points from potential 4th place these drivers are a liability for team.

        1. At least try to sound like an adult.
          Giving childish names does not support your claims.

          1. So its ok to weave on straight(seen before this year from overglorified Verstappen in Baku) and purposefully destroy other drivers race and when stewards penalise this rash behaviour name calling stewards. It seems like a pattern amongst drivers coming through Red bull ranks that they dont accept their fault and bully stewards and other drivers instead of fair racing. Again as with anything there are exceptions and in case of drivers coming through RBR ranks Ricciardo is very intelligent and fair racer.

          2. @Chaitanya Try to understand what you read. erikje didn’t contradict your “opinion”, he just said something about your childish misspelling of Verstappens name. Your “opinion” itself is not worth contradicting.

      2. Real racein is what’s needed , none of this he when on the grass. Nobody cares. Watch F1 from years goin all over was the nom.

      3. I think it was very fair. Verstappen gained a huge advantage (if it had been Monaco he would have a very broken car trying to do that). However he was let off with a warning. I think that was fair and he needs to be more careful from that point on. Remember a few years ago Hamilton was given a 25 second penalty for simply leaving the track while gaining an advantage! So I think a warning is light when considering that!

        1. Edit…. ” while NOT gaining an advantage” lol… Silly fingers…

          1. if Verstappen drove in 2008 spa, he would have more than swear words for stewards… not only he gained advantage he kept his place…. hamilton gave the place back and the guy crashed out soon after on his own anyway, ham was given 25 sec penalty for being a gent :) i guess verstappen learns that being gent in this game gives u more penalty, when u swear and crash u get off with a slap on the wrist…

  2. Well if all teams/drivers got the same message that’s fair enough, but it must be policed more strictly for everyone in the future. These are supposed to be the best drivers in the world, so if they can’t stay within the bounds of the track to compete they should be penalized.

    1. It was not a matter of can or cannot. It was deliberate to prevent himself from being hit by Bottas who locked up.

      1. In the photo above it looks like there’s plenty of space on the track next to Bottas.

      2. @silfen
        Well that’s what you say while others say Bottas was not even close. I certainly did see the incident and although I think Verstappen did not need to leave the track maybe he was being careful….maybe.
        This is the second time I can think of that Verstappen has done this using the same excuse (US GP 2017). But I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, I am not laying blame. As some other drivers are guilty of cutting corners sometimes as well.
        But As I said above and before on this forum and others. The track limits are very clear and these drivers are supposed to be the best, they need to keep on the black stuff. I think it’s past time to impose a time penalty for repeat offenders.

      3. Dont think this was evasive action by MV – he tried to make the corner but locked up and outbraked himself. Go to 2 minutes in:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d1ppvK9npY

        Shortcutting a corner is just cheating – it’s not Mario Kart, can’t believe stewards let him off. He should have been made to zig-zag through the escape road like Bottas did later on, or spin his car around and rejoin the track before the left hander that he skipped. This idea that people skipping corners don’t gain an advantage is nonsense – if you lose control and go off you should suffer in some way, not be allowed to carry on regardless.

        1. because he was overtaking a mercedes and not a ferrari… if he did that to either rai or (god forbid) vet, all hell would get loose! imagine bumper car racing between vet n ves? both sometimes leave their brains at the pit lanes…

  3. I don’t particularly like Max, especially when he compromises (compromised?) someone else’s race. But he did an amazing job in Monza, with a car that was over one second slower in quali. He crossed the line third and to me that was the position he deserved.

    1. I disagree with that. He drove extremely well, but if the only way he could keep Bottas behind was to drive him off the circuit – in contravention of the known rules of engagement – then he did not deserve third place. If he was not smart enough to realise that – having lost third already due to the penalty – he needed to let Bottas go to stay ahead of Vettel then he didn’t deserve fourth either. I don’t imagine Red Bull were thrilled that he ‘didn’t care’.

      1. Red Bull’s marketing department is still having a party, following MV’s refusal to give up third and loose fourth. 2 points that have no influence whatsoever on the price money allocated to the racing team at the end of the season, given the fact that they are third and will stay third, no matter what. (He actually saved them $100.000,- in bonus payments.)
        it’s almost a week now, and still mentioned on every frikking F1 website all over the world. Talk about publicity.
        And imagine how happy RBR will be when Seb wins the title with a 2 points lead over Lewis……..

      2. Max and RB explained this. If he let Bottas through he would have been 5th anyway as he would lose 1-2 seconds on that lap and Vettel was generally lapping faster.

        1. Which is why he told his team he didn’t care he was doing the wrong thing? Some people will believe anything.

    2. In general red bull is a good race car, it was absolutely terrible in qualifying here, mostly due to the engine ofc, to the tune of being unable to beat ferrari q1 times in q3 or something like it!

      But in the race verstappen was only 18 sec behind, which is an average of like 0,33 sec per lap, a fairly competitive car, ofc had vettel been there it’d have likely been further off, but also verstappen could’ve been closer had he avoided the 5 sec penalty.

      1. 13 sec behind, not 18 sec

  4. Verstappen just cut the chicane to prevent being hit by Bottas who locked up. I didn’t see him getting any advantage in that action, because Bottas was nowhere near enough to try an overtake.

    1. Rubens Cheriballo
      7th September 2018, 9:27

      If Bottas was nowhere near how could he possibly hit Verstappen?

      1. he wasn’t near enough to overtake, to hit him is a different story

    2. Going off the track should never be faster than respecting track limits…period. I don’t care for any explanations about avoiding actions or not gaining measurable advantage.

    3. Yeah I agree, I think Max checked his mirrors and saw Bottas coming in hot, and decided to avoid an accident. By the time he navigated around the speed bumps and rejoined the track he didn’t gain any time.

      But what I don’t get is, after the “joker” warning – say Bottas has another attempt in Ricciardo dive-bomb fashion, and locks up which Max notices in his mirrors; is Max then to just grit his teeth and hope to not collide? Or does he avoid the collision thinking of the bigger picture, cutting the corner, and taking a 5 second penalty? Effectively being penalised for avoiding a collision. Sure if Bottas actually caused a collision he’d be penalised – but if collision doesn’t occur, there’s no penalty.

      You don’t want to prevent racing – but if a collision is being avoided, allowing both drivers to continue racing and neither gain an advantage, let them continue to race.

  5. is this really worth an article? it was pointed out in commentary during the race and they broadcast the race radio when his team told him he couldn’t do it again. it’s hardly news 5 days later.

    1. Any article on Verstappen generates lots of comment and attention… lots hate him, others defensing him, a dream for this website

    2. @frood19 Fair question. I thought Whiting’s explanation added new information which was worth sharing. In retrospect perhaps the headline doesn’t pitch this one as well as it could.

      1. @keithcollantine that’s true but maybe it could have gone into the round-up. I pretty much read every article you publish anyway so i don’t know what i’m complaining about really!

  6. Hulkenberg in a Williams did same thing almost every final laps during his defense from wild Coulthard’s Red Bull.

    1. you mean webber obviously!

  7. Max and RB explained this. If he let Bottas through he would have been 5th anyway as he would lose 1-2 seconds on that lap and Vettel was generally lapping faster.

  8. I saw a race with some cool moves by Raikkonen and Hamilton. I also saw Verstappen not even following the simple rule of keeping the car on the track. Yet he is upheld as the Future of Racing. Why?

    1. Exactly, you never see Kimi do any dirty racing…

      1. You never see him winning races either.

        1. No, never. Except for 20 times. And 100 podiums. And world championship. But apart from that, never.

          1. You had to google that right?
            You saw him winning races. That is past tense. (believe me: 2013 is in the past)
            I don’t think you will see him winning ever again.

    2. Vettel held the car on the track……..facing the wrong way.

  9. Sorry. I don’t get it. Verstappen cut a chicane, witch all drivers are allowed to, one time. And on a saterday night that somehow becomes a headline?

    1. No driver is allowed to cut the corners at all during a race, but the rule has not been enforced. Giving some drivers and fans the idea it’s OK, well it’s not. It’s cheating to hold position against a faster driver, or they get impatient with a slower driver and pass illegally.

  10. I think an automatic penalty should be issues to who ever goes with all 4 wheels outside the track .The way it’s been handled in recent years you end up with a far too debatable situation:
    -you gained an advantage.
    -no i didn’t.
    I think this should be avoided and rules should be clear black and white not greysh and debatable .

    1. Maybe racing tracks should not be designed in such a way that drivers need to go off of them. What’s the point of designing tight corners if they spend the race cutting them?

  11. I’m getting a bit annoyed with all the whining 5-year old on the grid. Not so long ago some of these “men” would have gone home crying.

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