Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2018

Verstappen: ‘Next time I’ll just cut the chicane like Bottas’

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says his penalty for colliding with Kimi Raikkonen in the Japanese Grand Prix was a consequence of him trying not to cut the corner.

However the Ferrari driver accused him of deliberately colliding with his car in the incident at the chicane.

Verstappen was under pressure from Raikkonen when he ran wide at the corner. As he rejoined the track the pair made contact, and the stewards held the Red Bull driver responsible, penalising him five seconds.

“If I get five-second penalty for that then next time I’ll just cut the track and do like Valtteri [Bottas],” said Verstappen, who spent the latter stages of the race trying to pass the Mercedes.

“I was just trying my very best to do the corner and not make it look like ‘OK I lock up. I’ll just lot the corner’. I know what to do next time.”

Raikkonen said Verstappen hit him deliberately, damaging his car. “Obviously he ran wide and went off the track,” said the Ferrari driver.

“I just went on the outside and the next corner leaving him a space on the inside. But he obviously knew that I’m there so he just drove into me and pushed me off the track. I had quite big damage so obviously it was far from ideal.”

Verstappen tangled with the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel later in the race. Vettel also accused Verstappen of making contact with him, but the Red Bull driver said Vettel’s move was unlikely to work.

“With Seb it’s just not a corner where you can overtake. For me it was a bit similar to China this year where I made the mistake because I was a lot faster and he could easily have overtaken me the next lap. I think even the most experienced drivers make mistakes.

“We both already got penalised with damage. Looking back I think it was a similar scenario to China, and I got a penalty there, but at the end of the day it is like it is and it’s just not nice that it happened.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 58 comments on “Verstappen: ‘Next time I’ll just cut the chicane like Bottas’”

    1. Well, Honestly he has a point

      1. It seems his only way out of this stewards rant is for Verstappen to fully support the stewards when given his next penalty. He should state he totally agrees and feels they have been lenient. Furthermore expressing that he one day would like to become a steward as well and have the utmost respect for their incredibly difficult task

      2. Also on his license.. again

      3. Which one? He said that the corner Vettel attempted to pass was not a corner people pass but it was a fairly common passing corner this race. So he basically lied out of his @&&.

    2. Leaving aside the question whether or not Verstappen deserved a punishment, he’s absolutely right in that this sets a bad precedent. The goal should always be to make the corner fairly after such an incident. He more or less did so. If drivers can run on freely, that is bad, and the stewads shouldn’t be punishing drivers for trying to adhere to the rules and the spirit of the game. That’s what makes the situation troubling.

      1. he’s absolutely right in that this sets a bad preceden

        It doesn’t. The worse precedent to set would be the FIA saying it’s ok to ram a competitor when rejoining the track.

        If drivers can run on freely, that is bad

        Maybe the FIA should institute a penalty for “leaving the track and gaining an advanta …. oh wait”

        1. What nonsense. FIA has that penalty and only uses it when drivers have been passed or pass someone by going off the track. As Verstappen was ahead before his lock-up, he would not have received that penalty. He would have got off free for that, and that makes no sense, and makes your argument pointless.

          Also, he’s not ramming anyone. If you think that’s ramming, watch the incident again. They barely touch. Verstappen definitely doesn’t leave enough space, but it’s racing, and by rejoining the track he’s at least not blatantly circumventing the rules.

          1. blatantly circumventing the rules

            Blatantly not rejoining the track safely is blatantly circumventing the rules….. blatantly.

            FIA has that penalty….

            That was my point

            and only uses it when drivers have been passed or pass someone by going off the track

            Wrong … which makes your argument pointless

            1. Verstappen had full steering lock on, so he couldn’t turn tighter. If Raikonnen used his head he would have held back a bit cross behind Verstappen, have better traction out of the corner and blasted by him on the straight.

              They deem this unsafe, yet Magnussen causing a collision at 300km/h by blocking Leclerc if perfectly fine.

            2. Verstappen had full steering lock on, so he couldn’t turn tighter

              Entirely irrelevant. Seriously this is not complicated. Either

              1) Verstappen shouldn’t have put himself in a position where even with full steering lock he cannot join the track safely (by not turning so much to the right in the first place)


              2) he should have let Kimi passed before rejoining the track.

              If Raikonnen used his head

              If Verstappen had used his head he wouldn’t have got a penalty.

            3. Kimi Raikkonen admits he could have given Max Verstappen more space to avoid Suzuka clash

              Speaking after the race, Raikkonen said that looking back in hindsight, he could have handled the situation differently. He also stressed that Verstappen wasn’t looking to make contact with him.

              “In an ideal world I could have left a bit more [space],” said Raikkonen. “I tried to go outside and leave him as much room as possible. I know that sometime when you come back over the kerbs it’s impossible to turn the car after you bounce over it and I don’t know if that was the case.

              Kimi, knows, Max knows, most people know: It wasn’t worth a penalty, simply a racing incident.

            4. It’s not full steering lock. It was understeering. He could simply slow down to avoid collisions. If Verstappen would use his head, he would understand that he isn’t alone on the track and he should always return to track carefully to avoid any collisions.

          2. Yet in Mexico he did get a penalty for going straight while Vettel wasn’t even close to him when he had a slight lock up forcing him to go straight. So in the end it all doesn’t matter. The stewards were going to penalise him either the way they did or for gaining an advantage by leaving the track.

      2. The goal should always be to make the corner fairly after such an incident. He more or less did so.

        Much more towards less. He outbraked himself on the corner under pressure from Raikkonen. Rather than accept his error, you could see he was immediately driving back onto the track, Maldonono-style, ‘accidentally’ heading towards Raikkonen in a desperate attempt to stop him passing. The fact he says Raikkonen should have slowed down to let him rejoin – the guy he had just that second before been racing! – tells you precisely what the objective in his head was. Logically he should have just sailed across the chicane safely and then handed the place to Raikkonen. Why didn’t he? Precisely because he didn’t want to do the latter.

        1. It kind of reminded me of Raikkonen getting back on the racingline shortly after the Austrian GP start.
          He completelt drove Verstappen off track there.

          Don;t get carried away both played it hard and they will always play it hard

      3. Hamilton, Raikkonen 2008

        Forced off at chicane (not self inflicted lockup), cuts, avoids raikkonnen, gives place back, repasses. 25s time penalty.


        1. I rewatched that video from 2008 on freeze frame – interestingly at 28s I couldn’t understand that massive “leap forward” Hamilton took relative to Raikkonnen when he cut around behind. Then, after single framing it I did.

          As Hamilton cut across left to right, Raikkonen LOST the car. The Ferrari slowed down, and was lucky to regain control.

          The reason Hamilton repassed so easily was because Raikkonen lost it and recovered. In a straight. From 27s to 29s Raikkonen’s steering inputs (look at the front wheels) were berserk.

          The 25s penalty was a travesty. Ferrari International Assistance was live.

    3. If he can’t rejoin the track without crashing then he should totally do this.

      1. Yeah but we’ve seen before drivers cutting chicanes and getting away with it because they didn’t gain any advantage. If you cut the chicane in Canada for instance all you have to do is go beyond a bollard and you are fine. But here there are no bollards.

        I didn’t think the penalty was desrved and even less to give him penalty points

        1. @fer-no65 The penalty indeed was deserved. He shouldn’t have attempted to re-join the track that soon. He should’ve done that a bit further into the run-off area, i.e., he should’ve re-joined a bit later. The incident was all down to him re-joining too quickly a bit like with Kimi in Silverstone in 2014.

          1. He had to rejoin the track while there were curbs to avoid punishment. Next time Max doesn’t give a damn and drive straight ahead like Bottas did he said. Inconsistency all over the place.

        2. I don’t think the fact that some stewarding decisions are wrong should be used to justify making more wrong calls.

          Ballestre would have had him disqualified for not going the full distance.

    4. If he cuts it he will also get a 5sec penalty. Rest assure the stewards won’t let an opportunity get to waste

      1. Valtteri cut the chicane.. no penalty

        1. Yes thats kind of his point

        2. @jesperfey13
          Didnt Max cut the corner at turn 1 in Italy and was let away with the warning? I remember his engineer telling him that it was “The Joker” (card lingo) for the race and that he shouldnt do it again.
          I only believe Bottas was using his Joker this time.
          Max has a fair point though. Bottas could have been given a reprimand.

        3. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          7th October 2018, 14:00

          But the gap was about 2.5 seconds. Bottas cutting the corner brught that gap to just over half a second. It wasn’t gaining advantage. If he didn’t lift and gained an advantage, then i can easily see a penalty. Pretty obvious why he didnt get a penalty. Verstappen looked like he rejoined and tried really ahrd to push KImi off. When you rejoin, you shuld be careful of what is around you. Bottas did a better job of this than Verstappen.

    5. The real question is, what would have been the outcome if Vettel made this move and the ‘victim’ was Verstappen. What would the steward do in that case?

      Also in what would have been done if the ‘spoon’ incident was the other way around, with Verstappen torpedoing on the inside?

    6. Sheeesh, stop it Max. I bet you could have, if you had been 2s ahead like Bottas was (Max wasn’t …), and were prepared to lose a second (yeah) – maybe he should look at that Alonso penalty before he says something though. Bottas rejoined the track safely, Verstappen didn’t, end of.

    7. Well, HE made a mistake and missed the corner. Then he suggests on the radio that kimi should wait for him to rejoin? I mean sorry but if you screw up it is YOUR responsibility to safely rejoin. You have no right to be left your previous Position by your rivals.
      Actually i think making him give the position to Kimi would be the most adequate penalty . And Let The fact that Vettel got by through this incident be his problem. Would actually love a rule Tweak to allow this. After all, the 5 s didn’t hurt him at all eventhough he quite possibly cost Kimi a p3 finish.

      1. I would agree, except he caused damage to another car. Give the place back immediately plus serve a 5 second penalty would be what I would be wanting to see.

        Had it simply been that he drove another car off the road, but didn’t cause damage, and kept his place – give back the place and be issued a warning.

        To me he’s a very unsporting driver – he knew he screwed up, yet wouldn’t admit it to himself so did everything he could to keep his place. A more mature driver would have conceded the place and re-entered the track a little further down safely.

        To me it’s somewhat similar to Mexico a few years ago where he cut the chicane and stayed ahead of Seb (who got ropable) – should have given the place, but didn’t. Ended up with a time penalty, but he actually did far more damage to Seb’s race by not giving the place (backing him into Ricciardo in this case), and the rules are such that a driver has three laps before they have to respond. Very unsporting, to me.

    8. He rejoined the track dangerously crashing into another car. Where’s the contentious point here? Take the penalty and be contrite for once Max.

      1. I actually think the penalty should have been for forcing another driver off the track. He made a mistake and made Räikkönen pay for it by running his car wide.

      2. +1 @john-h I agree, I can’t see the point of contention either. Verstappen lost the corner and went off the track. At that point everything is zeroed. It doesn’t matter where he is in terms of the race, who he was racing etc. He had one job at this point: rejoin the track safely. Which he didn’t. If he has to wait 5 or 10 seconds, that’s his problem for leaving the track (in this case because of his own error, but even if he’s pushed off). His demand that Raikkonen should have slowed down to accommodate him driving back onto the track is comical.

      3. Agreed. Max made a mistake in the first place. He quit the track and then expects others drivers to slow down for him to rejoin the track?
        On the other end, Vettel rejoined safely both in Italy and Japan, even if it meant waiting for the entire field to pass.

        I just don’t understand why fans are arguing on this point.

      4. Thanks for helping maintain my sanity everyone!

    9. This is a bit being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

      At Mexico 2016 Max went straight when Vettel was chasing him, though he was in front and came out infront losing a couple ot tenths he still received a penalty that cost him P3, meanwhile Ham and Ros cut the first corner and didn’t get a penalty. Max was also penalized for cutting the corner in the US 2017 and again cost him P3.
      So it seems pretty obvious cutting the corner could have been a tricky thing to do

      Verstappen chose not to cut the corner, Alex ander Wurz, commenter for Austria TV mentioned the green parts have freshly been painted, though Verstappen steering 100% left, his car slided in a straight line.
      Verstappen pretty much didn’t have any other options.

      When Verstappen came back on track Kimi chose to attack him on the outside, it wasn’t like Kimi was already there.
      In the end they touched cause netiher of them backed off… to my opinion a race incident.

      Further motivation, in (I believe Austrai) Kimi went wide in one of the first corners and regained the track by pushing Verstappen wide, who went with two wheels outside of the track to avoid a collision.

      1. @Matn How many times it has to be stated: Yes, Hamilton’s incident in Mexico a couple of years ago was similar to that of Verstappen ahead of Vettel later in the race, but the reason only one led to a penalty was that of differing circumstances. Even if any given two incidents itself are similar, it still doesn’t mean that they could automatically be treated the same way as the surrounding circumstances can be different like they were between these two similar type of incidents. It’s been nearly two years since that race took place, so it should’ve been entirely clear to everyone long ago already.

      2. Verstappen pretty much didn’t have any other options

        If that was the case then he should have stopped and rejoined the track when it was safe.

        Seriously. The onus was 100% on Verstappen to not hit anyone when rejoining the track.There is literally 0 grey area here.

        1. Based on this incident alone I like to agree, surely Verstappen played it hard with a risk… he could have stepped on the brakes, though that’s something drivers hardly ever do.

          Compare this incident to all the incidents that took place in Monza, compare it to Austria, in that perspective a penalty seems harsh. Is it okay to force another driver off track, who avoids a collision by going off track?

          The penalty iself I understand, but the stewards are hard on Verstappen and ging soft on Ferrari… Kimi and Sebastian both have been in similar situation.

          1. Typical whataboutism…

          2. in that perspective a penalty seems harsh

            He did significant aero damage to the side of Raikkonens car, in that perspective the penalty was very lenient.

      3. This is a bit being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

        Not at all. Both were the wrong call, easy as that. If you make this sort of mistake the correct thing to do is try to rejoin as quickly as possible without gaining an advantage/forfeiting it if necessary. Ie letting Vettel past in Mexico, or slowing down and waiting for a Gap to rejoin today. Of course many drivers act like Max in such Situations, doesn’t make it right though.

    10. That’s indeed what he should’ve done instead. That would’ve been a safer way to re-join the track than the way he did it in the end.

    11. Overtaking in F1 is already really hard, without Ver cutting corners when someone attempts to overtake him. And if he does then surely the only fair thing is to give up the position or rejoin safely and therefore losing position naturally. What he did was just reckless, he was racing off the track, forced Kimi off and then still has the nerve to question 5sec penalty that made no difference to his result. Its so black and white for me on this one. And still we have some siding with Max. Wish this article was a poll because I’m starting to question if my head works right.

    12. Next time I’ll just cut the chicane like Bottas

      Sorry, but isn’t this exactly what Max did in Monza? But UNLIKE Bottas? And he kept the place… until his next contact and penalty.

      Am i missing something?

      1. At this point i Really am all for reintroducing the ballestre Way to disqualify any car not going the full race distance ala Senna/Suzuka 89. Would put an end to track limits as well.

    13. Me, I thought both times he deliberately drove into the other driver.

      The first incident was a no brainer – if you leave the track it is your responsibility to rejoin safely. He didn’t.

      The second, he knew darn well that Vettel had him on the inside but chose to turn into him because he knew he could get away with it.

      Stupid childish driving about what we’ve come to expect.

      1. are a mindreader now? 😄

        1. Both Ferrari drivers are not that smart. They are lucky to be supported by race control.

      2. I thought he drove into Raikkonen deliberately as he regained the track, all part of the trademark Verstappen snowplough which calls him virtually all his problems and penalties, but the corner was his in the Vettel incident.

    14. Max always seem to push the boundaries – sometime he gets away with and sometimes not.
      He isn’t going to change so expect more in the future.

    15. Verstappen talking gibberish!

      He did the same thing he’s complaining about to Bottas at Monza!

      1. Time for RBR to send him back for a season or two to TR. He still has a lot to learn. Kvyat/Gasly would be a good pair for RBR.

        1. 8th top 3 finish though…. in a car that’s only good enough for P5-6

    16. I think that Ver was lucky not to get a more severe penalty for the Raikonnen incident.

      He was also very very lucky not to be punished for the clash with Vettel.

      He just left the door open and tried to close it when it was too late for Vettel to back out of it. He keeps making these last moment moves all the time (like against Ricciardo in Baku).

    17. Maybe in that chicane the run off should degrade the cars speed so that drivers who miss the corner cant gain or maintain their position. And the beacon thing should have been there. U go off u go around a certain beacon.

      1. Nikos (@exeviolthor)
        8th October 2018, 5:30

        One your first point I think that it is fine as it is as Ver clearly could not go fast there. He would have lost the position if he did not bump on Raikonnen.

        On your second point I totally agree with you.

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