Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Monza, 2018

Verstappen: Other drivers got away with worse at Monza

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Max Verstappen has continued to defend his driving in the Italian Grand Prix following his penalty for clashing with Valtteri Bottas.

The Red Bull driver was given a five-second time penalty after tangling with the Mercedes driver at the Rettifilio chicane. Verstappen acknowledged the rules required him to leave a car’s width for Bottas, and insisted he did, though only by “millimetres”.

“Looking back at it initially I felt I could have given him a few more millimetres,” Verstappen explained. “Not centimetres but millimetres.

“But still he was on the white line. To avoid an accident there was still room to the left but he clipped wheel.”

A similar incident between Williams drivers in Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa last year did not lead to a penalty, Verstappen claimed.

“I was analysing other videos from the year before, because when you go back 10, 15 years it’s a bit irrelevant with rules and stuff. The same happened between Stroll and Massa where Massa was very clever and didn’t clip his wheel but stayed on the white line – took a little bit of the green but his tyre was still on the white line.”

Verstappen also pointed out other drivers made contact with each other at Monza but were not penalised.

“Of course I always try to make it a difficult as possible for them to get by and I will fight for every millimetre on the track, which I did.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“So at the end I think it’s still very harsh also looking back at what happened in Monza, other drivers pushing each other off the track, damaging each others’ cars, running into each other, and we didn’t have any damage. He clipped my wheel and had to go wide and there was no damage.

“That’s why it’s very hard. You can’t change the decision. I still think it’s harsh.”

Red Bull’s straight line speed disadvantage means the team’s drivers have to race more aggressively, Verstappen added.

“I have to defend this hard because I’m always down on power on the straight. If we had the top speed you would never be in this position. With the clipping we have, that’s more than the others, they suddenly arrive very quickly to you so you have to be quite aggressive in your defending.

“I could also easily just let him go by and still have a great race and everyone would say ‘oh Max did an amazing race’ but I’m not there to finish fourth. If I have a chance of finishing third I will give 101% to try and stay third.

“With the penalty if I’d let him go by straight away I might have finished fourth but then for me it’s already over with the penalty I don’t care any more if I’m fourth or fifth.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

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...

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

58 comments on “Verstappen: Other drivers got away with worse at Monza”

  1. You are good value Max#33

  2. The photo does not lie.

    If “You can’t change the decision…” just let it go and concentrate on the next race.

    1. The photo at the top says it all. It was such a stupid maneuver by Max, Bottas was not going to overtake him from there. Worse of all, Max still refuses to learn his lesson. There is no doubt… Max is brilliant and a future champion. But he is his own worst enemy. He is still unable to properly judge some of his moves. This wasn’t even the worst from 2018, that would be Malaysia.

      1. To get on the grass BOT still had to get across that scary piece of green concrete.

        1. That makes it better somehow

        2. @johnvl so Bottas should leave track limits to avoid a collision got it. Listen Max os great, but this was another utterly stupid move. The sooner he comes to grips with that reality the better.

        1. Same team, so who’s going to complain? Right, to the outside world, nobody!

      2. He won’t be champion. Mark my words.

      3. Malaysia was NOT on the 2018 calendar, unfortunately cause it was one of the tracks red bull could challenge the other top teams.

        1. Nothing to do with the massive public sector debt and falling attendances, just a Mateschitz preference eh?

      4. Can someone explain to Max that he needs to leave one car’s width space INSIDE the track.

        1. Sure, no problem. Can we then at least agree that all cars should be INSIDE the track at ALL times (that includes qualifying)?

      5. This wasn’t even the worst from 2018, that would be Malaysia.

        Malaysia? The track that wasn’t even on the calendar in 2018?

  3. He needs to grow up. It was his fault, and all he got was a 5 sec penalty, move on and grow up. He should have given atleast a foot (30cm) and not only centimeters or millimeters. Bottas should not have to drive off the track on AstroTurf to avoid him. So dumb!!

  4. LOL. BTW, you can’t give it 101%. 100 is the maximum one can give.

    1. Aren’t you used to Fernando saying he will push 120% or 200% every weekend?

      1. He definitely gives 200% when it comes to politics.

    2. He is also encouraging (pushing) other drivers to use 101% (if not more) of the track width…

    3. I see no reason you can’t give 101%. It only depends on what your reference 100% is, it doesn’t have to be the maximum.

  5. Maybe the other guys don’t have a list of incidents that by far overcome their results, like him.
    Finally there is going to be another guy of the new generation on a top car next year.
    If Leclerc becomes the new real deal, Verstappen is going to look very silly with all the head start he had to learn how to race, instead he chose to be like this.

    1. “If Leclerc becomes the new real deal, Verstappen is going to look very silly with all the head start he had to learn how to race, instead he chose to be like this.”

      Grtz for posting this ignorant piece of information.

      Verstappen is on a different level then Leclerc, Ocon or Gasly. Leclerc gets to drive the best and fastest car on the grid…that doesn’t make him the real deal…it makes him a lucky son of a gun. Leclerc is good but certainly not brilliant like Verstappen

      1. Let’s just wait and see. You really want to compare Leclerc’s Sauber with Verstappen’s way superior cars?
        You didn’t wrote a single word to make your opinion better than mine to call me ignorant. You’re just moaning.

        If Leclerc joins the winners club, race with Vettel and Hamilton, something Verstappen never did more than once or twice, then he will be the main driver of the generation, you like it or not.

        1. Like I said again…F1 is all about driving the right car at the right time…and Charles driving a Ferrari is a big big plus for him and gives him a big advantage on anyone including Verstappen.

          Don’t forget..Verstappen is driving a Honda next year and is driving a RBR which isn’t a WCD car for the last few years.

          It’s like comparing Alonso to Kimi, while Kimi is driving the better and faster car and scores more points than him..but it doesn’t make him a better driver,

          Verstappen vs Leclerc in karts wasn’t a battle at all because Verstappen won everything. The talent that makes Verstappen this good at 20 years of age (1 week older then Leclerc) is his incredible speed and craft, something I haven’t seen with Leclerc yet. Also the Sauber car is much much better this year. And beating Marcus doesn’t make you a great driver.

          Let’s wait and see how Charles will do next year driving next to Vettel.

          IMHO Verstappen>>>Leclerc

          1. kart racing is not Formula One.
            Verstappen had enough time to mature and grow being the only boy in the men’s club for 3 seasons and he didn’t quite get there.
            Next year he will have another driver his age to race against and share the spotlight of the future and everybody expects him to act accordingly.

            He is going into his fifth full season. If he wanna go somewhere he has to stop banging wheels and gets penalties to prove he is capable. Red Bull could not care less about the points lost. A smaller team certainly would.

        2. And to come to your logic….

          Verstappen, the boy who was 16 when he got into the ranks of F1..the youngest winner in history, the boy who drove some historical races, the boy who drives a RBR as fast as a full powered Mercedes (Monza) outspeeding te car he drives in…the boy who has been chosen 3 times personality of the year and 3 times overtake of the year…the boy who drove a magical race in Brazil, the boy who overtook Nasr outside Blanchimont…..the boy that doesn’t drive te best car in the field since his time in F1 but still fights with the top guys on sheer speed and willpower……will NOT be the main driver of his generation because Leclerc happens to luck into Ferrari, replacing a 39 year old who is over his top since a few years….and has more chance to fight for podiums or titles because he drives a freaking Ferrari powered engine car..will be, in you honest opinion, the main driver of his generation because he can fight with Vettel and Hamilton for the title?

          Yep….grtz again I would say lol

          1. This looks like Ed is trying to have a logical, rational discussion with you and you’re just trying to defend your favourite driver.
            There is absolutely no way to know if Leclerc would have performed better or worse in the same circumstances as Verstappen and vice versa. You can’t deny however that Leclerc is an obvious talent. Acknowledging that is the first step to an enjoyable discussion about our favourite sport. Calling other commenters ignorant while displaying ignorance of your own only weakens your position in any argument, and makes comment threads unnecessarily toxic and unpleasant for everyone.
            Sure, support your favourite driver. We all do that. But it’s not necessary to insult other fans or drivers to do so.

      2. Leclerc’s record speaks for itself. . .Brilliant

        1. Yes, both should be great drivers, verstappen came in f1 earlier and already had the chance to drive an A-series car, leclerc not yet, BUT he will get one supposedly even better than verstappen did, so we’ll see, if they’re even and their cars’ level is anything like this year then verstappen is better, otherwise still debatable.

          1. Verstappen allready had the chance to drive an A car? You can’t possibly be serious to say the RBR is comparable with this or (maybe) next years Ferrari? The speed deficit between those two teams is pretty big. Verstappen, as I see it, is fighting against two faster cars bringing him (somethimes) in rather odd situations.

            The logic of you guys is seriously debatable saying if Leclerc manages to fight on a daily basis for points with the Mercedes, that he is somehow better than Verstappen or saying that he will the main driver of their generation?

            Maybe it’s me, but I need a big cup of coffee to digest all of this

  6. I’m a big Max fan, and I like what he has said above, and at the same time I’m not that bent out of shape that he got 5 seconds. I just get such a kick out of his drive and determination as indicated by what he feels he has to do to compete in an underpowered car. In a WCC car he is going to be unstoppable.

    1. We were all in awe of Perstappen when he entered F1 racing but since then the promise really hasn’t materialized. He’s more or less maintained his level but seems to have become frustrated with his lack of progress and that surely causes him to use desperate measures during racing. Will he be an eternal promise? He still has lots of time to mature and get wiser.

  7. Verstappen was actually penalyzed over ‘forcing a driver outside the track’, though the picture above shows very loud and clear Bttas was well within the tracklimits when they touched. Concentrating on the front wheel Bottas had at least 20 cm to go before really going outside the track.

    Then there’s that ~meter green strip in turn one, covered with rubber tracks. All cars have used this ‘outside of the track’ piece of tarmac. Bottas chose touching with Verstappen (hard to hard) above giving that 10-20 cm extra space wich easily could have avoided touching… even without going outside the track.

    The Fia should have let it slide as an incident, merely cause at least 4 more couples forced each other of track (with all four wheels) without even an investigation.

    in don’t blame Bottas, but he raced as hard as Verstappen did.

    1. I think that a simple question to ask is this – would those who so strongly defend Verstappen be equally prepared to say that, if the roles had been reversed and Bottas had been the driver on the inside, with Verstappen ending up being hit, would they still claim that the FIA “should have let it slide” and issued no penalty? Or would they, instead, choose to attack Bottas, saying that he has no situational awareness or that he was a clumsy and incompetent driver?

      Frankly, I suspect that a number of those who defend Verstappen with such vigour would, if the roles had been reversed, not simply say “oh, he could have moved over further” or “oh, it was just a racing incident” – rather, I suspect that they’d be screaming for Bottas to be hit with a penalty instead.

    2. You might want to check out what happened to the Sauber that left those tyre marks before you assume that they are helping your case….. drivers have ben avoiding that piece of green tarmac all weekend.

    3. Anyone who thinks Verstappen deserves the penalty should Google Hamilton – Webber Monza 2008.
      By the book Verstappen deserved the penalty – just.
      By earlier stewarding it was a race incident. Bottas came back on track behind Verstappen, but if he had rejoined ahead – like Webber did – he should have given the position back!

      Strange how in 10 years the exact same situation can lead to opposite outcomes.

      1. Taking the regulation litterly Verstappen was not in the wrong, if Bottas would have left another 10 cm he still would have been inside the track limits and they would not have touched, so their actually was one cars width left.

        F1 and we’re arguing about 10 cm of tarmac,while there’s another meter left before Bottas would have really been compromised…..

        If feel the FIA should have left it as an incident, not cause it was Verstappen, but cause penanlizing these arguable incidents ruins racing in general.

        1. Luckily enough there still is a difference between demolition derby and f1 racing.

    4. Steven Van Langendonck
      13th September 2018, 19:58

      I think Bottas just played it smart and Verstappen…did not.
      Bottas was in no position to really attack. But he tried anyway.
      Verstappen fell for it and defended. Bottas moved to the other side of the track knowing that Verstappen was now forbidden to squeeze him off the track.
      By going to the very edge of the track but not further he gave Max the choice: force him off the track or allow him to keep that position which could potentially give him an opportunity on the next straight.
      Verstappen fell for it again and tried to pushed him wider and they made contact.
      By the way the incident unfolded Max is perceived as the agressor who wants to keep his opponent behind him ‘at all cost’. In this way the stewards were practically forced to have some kind of sanctions applied.
      Max should learn to go to the limit but keep the perception of ‘hard but fair’ racing intact at all times. As an example he could do worse than look at Hamilton who excels at this.
      Btw I’m not a Hamilton fan.

      1. Well said @steven van langendonck, I really think this is the thing Max needs to understand and internalize, it is something we frequently saw Rosberg get wrong too, when he tried to emulate Hamiltons moves.

    5. The white line indicate the track limits.

      1. “any white lines defining the track edges are considered to be part of the track but the kerbs are not”
        Taken from 2018 FORMULA ONE SPORTING REGULATIONS.

        As in tennis, the ball was in, so was Bottas. It’s not about being smart or arrogant, it about driving the car on the edge.
        Verstappen streched the rule to it’s outher limits, but fairly can’t be prooven wrong.
        Ironcly this was actuallt the third time Verstappen went over the line as third, getting a 5 sec penalty other drivers weren’t penalized for.

        1. Thanks for confirming what I said, the white lines do define the track limit’s. I don’t think Verstappen is being arrogant. He is pushing as hard as he can until the stewards say enough, which is fine.
          But he needs to exempt that and move on and concentrate on the next race.

        2. After making a defensive move, you must leave a car’s width at the edge of the track. For the avoidance of doubt, the white lines define the edge of the track. Since Bottas has a portion of his tire over the white line and they still made contact, Verstappen did not leave the required space.
          Bottas was in the track, but that doesn’t matter. The required space was not provided.

    6. Verstappen was actually penalised over ‘forcing a driver outside the track’,

      I don’t know what you’re quoting there but that isn’t what the stewards’ verdict said. He was found to have been “involved in an incident as defined by Article 38.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations” because he “moved over into Car 77 at the entry to Turn 1 and caused a collision.”

  8. Pragmatically, arguing over the few millimetres seems a bit nonsensical. The fact is that the contact had a dramatic effect at that precise point of the circuit of sending Bottas off track and into the bollard dribble thing. So Max is asking us to believe his judgement of those millimetres was correct and Bottas could have somehow avoided the contact within the track limits. It’s a bit too much to ask, though, to be given the benefit of the doubt over +/- 5 millimetres. On the other hand, Bottas certainly could have used more asphalt (rather than ‘official track’) and got round the corner, only pushed far too wide to get ahead. Should he have done? He had no obliagtion too, and that’s the point.

    It goes back to the way he allowed his car to drift at Bahrain, overtaking Hamilton, leading to his puncture. Just unnecessary overkill, he had the position. Wanting to seal it, like against Bottas, by removing any chance of the other driver staying close and responding right away is actually – of Max thinks about it – contrary to racing. He doesn’t want the racing to continue at that point. The best duels are sustained over several corners. Not ‘Max gets past and its over.’

  9. What an immature loser. He messed up and hit an opponent, forcing him off the track. He should own up to it instead of blaming everyone else.

  10. Of course I always try to make it a difficult as possible for them to get by and I will fight for every millimetre on the track, which I did

    Yes that is exactly what a true racer should do except.
    He does not know when to back off and potentially save damaging his car. If he is fast enough he will get an opportunity to come back at them later. He also got away with cutting a corner without penalty.
    So he should stop talking about what has happened and stop worrying about what others do and concentrate on improving his skills.

  11. Still claiming Bottas hit him just makes him look silly to me… not that he, or his full-time crew of derriere smoochers care much about what I think, since most of them apparently see things the same backwards way… even with all the video/photo evidence to the contrary, they still insist the opposite of happened in reality. Weird… I’ve never understood blind devotion to anyone or anything, really. To me, you have to be bit wrong in the head (or stupid) to tell yourself a lie & actually believe it. Or maybe they’re all just having a laugh trolling the rest of us while we’re having a laugh at them… either way, weird…

    1. We live in weird times, Aldoid.

      Max Swervestappen is just exercising his weird right to fight for every centimetre of clickbait headlines.

  12. If this had been Sunday or even Monday, I could have dismissed this as simply declaring perspective on an issue that clearly aggrieves Max. It might be possible to say he was right or he was wrong*, but it would be relatively run-of-the-mill.

    However, it is Thursday. Of the week after the race in question. There’s a fresh race weekend here. Max needs to get his mind management sorted out and not wax lyrical over something that is clearly not going to get his thoughts into a good position for the weekend. Yes, he’s probably unspooled these feelings in response to a relevant question. No, this is not the way to handle that question – whatever the wording of that question was. I can almost hear him getting worked up about the incident reading the quote. That is not what one would expect from someone who has compartmentalised this incident, which is the sort of thing (preceived/actual stewarding injustice) a typical racer might expect to have happen to them a couple of times in a typical season. Unless Max is very careful, that move will cost him a good result in two races, not just one.

    It still seems that Max is the good-but-not-optimised F3 driver that he was when Red Bull started taking an interest. His development seems to have frozen at that point; a very good point for a 16-year-old to be at, but not one to still be at four years later. Since Red Bull doesn’t appear willing to help Max resume his development, he’s going to need to find a way of doing so himself – in order to be able to reach the championships he dreams of gaining, or even to get the team leadership role at last. (Pierre will surely try to take the team leadership role if Max does not conduct himself as that leader).

    * – I think Max is wrong; his angle meant Bottas would not have been able to avoid him even by using the remaining run-off, which is where the “forcing Bottas off-track” comes from. Had he cut in more gently, he’d probably have been able to get the job done without causing a collision. Also, he’d already been warned for over-aggressive defence.

    1. @alianora-la-canta Verstappen generally gives short, to-the-point answers on most subject. But when he feels he’s been wronged he really goes for it, as here.

      1. @keithcollantine: Can we get one of Racefans Press Corp to ask Max this question about the grievous penalty again – on the grid in Singapore?

        Yes, I’m selfish and want an even more spectacular turn 1 ‘incident’ than last year. ;-)

  13. He got a clear warning to keep it clean when he skipped the chicane. Second time around he knew exactly where bottas was & nerfed off the track. Slam dunk penalty. crashtappen lives.

  14. Until Max learns to let these sorts of things go and move on, he’ll never be as good as he thinks he is.

    When I first started watch8ng F1, drivers like him were very quickly weeded out because his sort of behaviour resulted in fatalities.

    Thankfully, safety has improved so much, there’s little risk of even so much of a scratch most of the time, but it has led to some of the juniors coming through treating F1 like a video game where there are no consequences if you get out of shape or punted off track.

    Sadly things like respect are fading from all sports and F1 is not immune to it either.

    1. “Until Max learns to let these sorts of things go and move on, he’ll never be as good as he thinks he is”

      Or as good as he is as you don’t want him to be? please…….

  15. Lol, my Red Bull is slower, therefore I have to cheat.

  16. Yeah, let’s drag this topic out for the third time to get pageviews and lots of comments. Let’s do it now, before the next GP makes it really akward

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.