Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2018

Verstappen-Vettel collision not a repeat of China – Whiting

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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FIA race director Charlie Whiting rejected Max Verstappen’s claim his collision with Sebastian Vettel in today’s race was comparable to the collision between the pair in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Verstappen was given a penalty when he hit Vettel while trying to pass the Ferrari driver during April’s race in Shanghai. However the stewards took no action when the pair collided today as Vettel was trying to pass.

“It was a bit similar to China this year,” said Verstappen after the race. But Whiting said his recollection of that incident was different.

“He came charging down the inside into the hairpin and almost T-boned Seb,” said Whiting. “I don’t think there was any similarity between those two.

“My recollection of that incident was a very clear case of causing a collision and I think what Sebastian was doing was a genuine attempt to overtake and I think what Max was doing in China was opportunistic at best.”

Vettel made a “reasonable move [and] got halfway alongside” said Whiting. “As you know [the] stewards don’t normally give penalties unless they are sure that one driver was wholly or predominantly to blame. And I think opinions will vary whether it was equal blame but certainly no driver was predominantly to blame, we felt.”

However Vettel remains adamant he was unable to avoid the collision between the two.

“I was side-by-side but then I can’t go anywhere,” he said. “I can’t turn even further on the inside because I’m already two wheels on the kerb.

“Then he just needs to give way and fight back the corner after or whatever. I’m sure that I wouldn’t have got a great exit out of Spoon so it wouldn’t be over there.”

Vettel and Verstappen’s team radio after their collision

Vettel:Is it believable what this guy is doing? I don’t think so.
To Vettel:Car damage?
Vettel:…give the space. Maybe have a puncture on the rear-right.
To Vettel:Tyre pressures fine.
Vettel:OK. I mean this guy, honestly, where is he thinking we can go?
To Vettel:OK, stay out.
Verstappen:What the fuck is he thinking to overtake there? So fucking stupid.
Verstappen:Guys I think I have a puncture, check it please. No, I think it’s fine.
To Verstappen:Stay out, stay out.
Verstappen:Please let me know as quick as possible with the damage.

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Dieter Rencken
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  • 41 comments on “Verstappen-Vettel collision not a repeat of China – Whiting”

    1. I agree with him on this as well.

      1. I don’t. This man has lost the plot 15 years ago, and it seems he is incapable of admitting that the FIA penalty system is:
        Disastrous for proper racing.
        Utterly clueless and inconsistent.
        Always in favour of Ferrari.

        Please FIA, when you want to attract young viewers, start with kicking out old, clueless jokers like Charlie. He’s turning this sport in to a geriatric debacle.

        1. @Oconome Charlie doesn’t decide on penalties, the race stewards do. So what do you think it will achieve “Kicking Charlie out”? Please give us the benefit of your boundless wisdom how that will attract younger viewers. And maybe you should think a bit more before making clueless joker type comments yourself. And by the way, the FIA don’t attract new viewers, Liberty does.

          1. “Charlie doesn’t decide on penalties, the race stewards do.” True, nothhing to argue, but my point is:
            “and it seems he is incapable of admitting that the FIA penalty system is:
            Disastrous for proper racing.
            Utterly clueless and inconsistent.
            Always in favour of Ferrari.” (generally, to be fair)

            If only he came out, once in a while, to admit what most (and I literally mean 95% of viewers/pundits/former drivers) people see, a very inconsistent and flawed penalty system, he would never hear from me.

            “Please give us the benefit of your boundless wisdom how that will attract younger viewers.”

            In my boundless wisdom I’m pretty sure that most people, and young people in particular, would love to see drivers wheelbanging all over the place, defend hard, and once in a while punch each other after a race without picking up what arguable feels like pretty inconsistent penalties. Like I did when I was young. But if you, in your “boundless wisdom” disagree, fair enough. (And most young people dislike inconsistency more than old people, who have grown accustomed to it.

            “And by the way, the FIA don’t attract new viewers, Liberty does.” It’s the FIA that makes the rules, and live complicated for Liberty. So FIA’s inconsistent penalty system is bad for “the show”, and doesn’t help LM attract new viewers.

            And you know, Charlie is a clueless joker who has lost the plot decade ago!

            1. In my boundless wisdom I’m pretty sure that most people, and young people in particular, would love to see drivers wheelbanging all over the place, defend hard, and once in a while punch each other after a race

              I would suggest that’s not wisdom, IMHO.

              I know if few spots which allow people to intentionally take a competitor out of action. In a hundred meter sprint, you don’t see competitors trying their competition up. In football, that would earn at least a free kick. Even in rugby there are strict rules about contract with other players.

              F1 should be a test of driving skill, not of who can manage to keep their car pointing in the right direction when there is a collision, or whose car can stay driving after a crash. This isn’t demolition derby.

              The penalty system is inconsistent at times, but the answer to this is not anarchy, nor is it putting driver’s lives in danger. It certainly isn’t to encourage off track violence!

            2. @drmouse

              I had 30+ years of watching hard racing, hard defending and punches without seeing a single driver being in danger as a result of hard, uncompromising driving. It’s racing, not driving around in circles. The display of driving skill is on saturday.
              This safety nonsense ended the moment they put proper fuel tanks in the car.

    2. The only difference is the make of the car.

      1. Nah, the other difference is that Vettel is (be it marginally so by now) in the fight for the championship. Wouldn’t be the first time they factored that in with a desicion sadly @pietkoster

    3. The main difference is that like Vettel at Monza, the guy who caused the collision was the one who suffered damage and spun.

      I guess if Verstappen had spun/taken damage instead, the stewards might have seen different.

    4. I think what Sebastian was doing was a genuine attempt to overtake and I think what Max was doing in China was opportunistic at best.

      Absolute nonsense. Both moves were equally opportunistic and unwarranted, but the only difference was that Max ‘T-boning’ Vettel, as Charlie put it, was purely down to the fact that the hairpin in China is a far sharper turn than Spoon.

      1. Exactly, in China it was a hairpin, not a normal corner. VER knew the track and that EVERYBODY will suddenly turn the car by 180 degrees in that point. Plus, there was too much distance between VET and him when they entered the braking zone to make it happen even tho VER was +1sec per lap faster. So, it was opportunistic at best indeed, that’s why VER’s move in China is a lot more dumb than VET’s.

        1. “that’s why VER’s move in China is a lot more dumb than VET’s.”

          Agree with you on that, but it would have been fair to give Vettel a 5 second time penalty whereas Verstappen got a 10 second time penalty in China.

          1. On a first it did look like Vettel’s fault, but after reviewing records multiple times it more looks like Verstappen’s fault. They’ve been almost wheel to wheel alongside. Verstappen should have let Vettel a window to operate.

            1. At first it looked as vettel’s fault, but after carefully viewing what happend several times, it still is without a doubt vettel who is causing a collision.

              you see? now you know what happened. spare us the ‘at first but’ line of ‘argumentation’ as it is merely an disguised accusation that others did not look at it properly.

              ver left vettel a window, but vettel was sliding out of the corner into verstappen because he was not overtaking at all – he was simply plunging in with too much speed. probalby caused by pure frustration, vettel red mist and the italian monday-media that could possibly blame vettel for ruining another race all by himself.

          2. @ Lekkerbek: sorry, but no. VER got a 10sec penalty in China because that move affected VET’s finishing order in a negative way, more exactly VET got car damage and lost places. Today, VER’s race wasn’t affected negatively at all after the accident, so the stewards labelled it as a racing incident and let them be. The priority is to let them race, not punish them. VET sending himself to the back of the grid was enough punishment for him. Fair decision. If VER would have lost places because of that, be sure VET would have been penalised.

            1. @Racefan
              Watch the replay again. Vettel is on the inside curb when Verstappen comes over and hits his front tire, then they understeer. Spare us your i saw everything perfect the first time line, thats what replays are for mate. Just like the replay of hamilton breaking his steering in germany, its there to watch if you dont stick your head in the sand.

    5. Also, I find it kind of weird that as a person who’s supposed to stay neutral during the course of a race weekend, Charlie has an unnaturally high number of opinions about people’s intentions behind overtakes, et al.

      1. I think it is absolutely fine for him to give his opinion in reaction to what people have said about incidents. It helps us understand what they look for in terms of what is fair hard racing and what goes beyond that. There is no question Whiting is never ‘cheering’ for any one driver. All incidents are up for debate and discussion and that’s how they learn what they can and cannot do and why.

    6. Vettel is rights Verstappen drives like he is in bumpers cars running to to people trying to push them off track.

      1. Max leaves the inside open (but he does not have to) – just enough. But to no avail, because vettel could not hold the inside at all and slides into verstappen – and not gently at that. Clearly vettel’s fault. Even the german channels instantly blamed vettel for this stupid move. I think vettel was redding-out again seeing tha hard-to-pass red-bull between him and hamiltion, who was beyong reach not just on the tarmac, but in terms of skill and championship points as well.

        The only thingh Whiting should be answering at the moment is how vettel did not get a penalty for causing a collision, which may have cost perez championship points.

      2. While of course we have all seen the incidents Max has been involved in, or involved himself in, I think in terms of him being an absolute hard charger in an inferior car. We all know it is inferior, and so Max goes out and has to overextend himself at times because he feels he is there to race and win. He has the traits of a WDC and he will no doubt achieve several of those in his career imho. I’m not saying he has always been right in his decisions etc and Max himself admits the ones he made a bad decision about, but then defends the ones he feels were racing incidents. My bottom line is that given what Max can do in a solitary third place car in the WCC, it is both scary and exciting what he would be able to do in a car like today’s Mercedes. And I have no doubt that he will have that chance in the future as he will remain highly sought after as a driver throughout his career. The only thing that may change is that the new direction for F1 post 2020 might mean that there will no longer be runs of dominance like Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes have enjoyed over the last 20 years. Max may have to fight for his multiple WDCs more than MS, SV, and LH have had to.

    7. Should have been a Vettel penalty, especially as the stewards were throwing out penalties everywhere. I think it was because he ruined his own race

    8. The similarity max was talking about was in the fact he should’ve waited because he was much quicker.

      Or at least in the stuff I read or saw

    9. I agree with Whiting on this comparison, but at the same time Max was only claiming they were ‘a bit’ similar.

    10. There is no comparison between the 2 incidents

      Look how much further back Verstappen was coming from in China, in comparison Vettel was more than 50% alongside Verstappen in Japan.

      Also notice that Vettel gave Verstappen more than a cars width on the inside, Verstappen squeezed Vettel even though he was entitled to room.

      Thats why Vettel didn’t get a penalty and Verstappen did in China.

      1. i can clearly see max almost making contact with the ferrari while vettel still on the curb, yet people claiming vettel understeered and caused the collision, max is a dirty driver, in china vettel gave enough room, almost 1 half cars but max still decided to do a kamikaze dive. thanks for the image

      2. First of all Verstappen didn’t squeeze Vettel he was on the racing line and turning in to make the corner .. what should he have done .. not make the corner and go straight? you can clearly see that there was enough room on the inside but Vettel had simply too much speed and couldn’t make the corner and crashed into Verstappen.

        Also you say that Verstappen was way further back in China but that doesn’t say anything because both corners are totally different .. in a hairpin corner you brake much harder and if you brake a fraction later you can gain a lot of metres of track in an instance .. look at the overtake of Ricciardo at Bottas in Monza 2017. Obviously there was no gap in China so Verstappen was 100 procent at fault but that argument of “he was way further back” doesn’t hold because of the differences of the 2 corners!

    11. What I can’t understand is that Vettel knew Verstappen was getting a penalty for his contact with Raikkonen. Trying to overtake at Spoon was an unnecessary risk with a championship at stake. Everyone knows what Verstappen is like, its not like these guys have not got a history. Ferrari told Vettel about the penalty. For me, Vettel was impatient and it cost him.

      1. the biggest farce in FIA race management is the so called VSC.this should be abolished ..serves no purpose and at best stops racing .they should just deploy the full safety car ..period.. no ifs or buts

    12. ”I think what Sebastian was doing was a genuine attempt to overtake and I think what Max was doing in China was opportunistic at best.”

      Sounds a bit like an educated guess about a drivers intent & skills. While I would expect a judgement on the actual event taking place. Where the cars are relatively to each other at what stage etc. Appears another clue in the search to understand why the stewards have a strong image of being inconsistent. Seems strange though to factor this very subjective thinking in. You would need to have a very clear picture of every drivers capabilities at any time in the year combined with the exact performance levels of all individual cars (even brake balance adjustment right before going into a corner needs to be known) to label something opportunistic or not.

    13. Verstappen “clearly” deserved Suzuka penalty – Whiting
      Unfortunately we have to suffer in the races to Crash Max, the most unsportsmanlike driver of the current generation. Of course the “hooligans” of formula 1 are delighted with this subject and enjoy all the dirty maneuvers he does and his intentional crashes against his rivals. Patience, sooner or later the end will also come to this poor guy.

      1. Last week the most so called sportsmanlike became second, and yesterday again. LOL.

      2. He cuts the corner, joins unsafely, crashed into Kimi and gains an unfair advantage
        To follow that he tries to push vettel offtrack crashing in to him also. If his name was Grosjean he would be blacked flagged and expelled for the rest of the season.

        1. He made the corner .. yes he went outside the track but before the apex he regained the track so technically he made the corner. This in contrast with Bottas who also locked his tyres at the same spot and went straight through the grass and was cutting the corner! And Marcelh to say that Verstappen is to blame for the Vettel crash is just insane!!

    14. A little clarification on the definition of “racing room” would clear up most of these arguments. i.e. a cars width is measured from:
      1. inner edge of the painted white line.
      2. outer edge of the painted white line.
      3. outer edge of the kerb.

      Alternately, Don’t bother ’cause Max will ignore it anyway?

      1. I hardly think that needs clarification, the rules clearly say that the track is defined by the white lines. Anything outside them (doesn’t matter if it’s a kerb, astroturf or a gravel trap) isn’t part of the track. I don’t think they could give a definition of “racing room” that would imply that either car needs to go outside track limits.

        1. I which case, Max failed to give racing room when he turned in squeezing the ferrari onto the kerbs.

          1. 1. Max was on the racing line
            2. Max was in front of Vettel
            3. He turned into the corner the same way he did the laps before. To say he was squeezing is insane .. what should he do go straight and not make the corner at all?

            Vettel had too much speed and couldn’t hold the corner and crashed into Verstappen. There was enough room on the inside but he just braked too late. All the tv pundits said it was Vettel his fault as well and most of them are ex drivers so i guess they know more about it then you!

            1. The racing code of conduct does not mention racing line. It is vague presumably to let the stewards have leeway in it’s application.

              Chapter IV: Code of Driving Conduct on Circuits

              1 – Overtaking

              a) “during a race, a car alone on the track may use the full width of the said track. However, as soon as it is caught up on a straight by a car which is either temporarily or constantly faster, the driver shall give the other vehicle the right of way by pulling over to one side in order to allow for passing on the other side.”

              I just feel a clarification or definition of racing space in the rules would provide for more wheel to wheel racing & fewer bumper car tactics throughout the grid.

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