Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Verstappen and Stroll cleared over practice crash caused by “misunderstanding”

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll have been cleared over the collision between the pair in second practice session.

According to the stewards, the two drivers agreed the collision was the result of a misunderstanding. The stewards ruled neither driver was largely responsible for the clash.

On the lap before the collision, Verstappen had abandoned a timed lap and backed off, allowing Stroll to pass him. As indicated by their radio messages, Verstappen assumed Stroll would back off at the start of the next lap, and was not expecting the Racing Point driver to continue at speed.

However he did, the pair charged into the first corner side-by-side and made contact.

“Stroll was on a fast lap and was allowed to pass by Verstappen on the lap preceding the incident,” said the stewards in a statement. “Given the information from his team and usual practice, Verstappen assumed that Stroll would back off for the next lap and moved to overtake along the main straight.

“However Stroll was instructed by his team to go for a second flying lap. Stroll assumed that Verstappen would have backed off to gain a gap between them, also in line with usual practice, and so was not looking for the overtaking Verstappen.

“The drivers agreed in the hearing that the incident was the result of a misunderstanding between them and that with hindsight, both could have contributed to avoid the incident.

“The stewards therefore find that neither driver was wholly or predominantly at fault and take no further action.”

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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...

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66 comments on “Verstappen and Stroll cleared over practice crash caused by “misunderstanding””

  1. Max, your language on the radio is unacceptable.

    1. 100% agree.

      My older sister has Downs and my parents didn’t institutionalize her as was the norm at the time. So my youth was spent defending her against people who use terms like VER did today. He used the R word and worse the M word.

      Heat of the moment, he gets a pass once. But apologies are in order for his language and it needs to serve as a lesson on words to remove from his vocabulary.

      1. Mark,
        very generous of you to give him a pass.
        His penalty should be a substantial donation to a Downs Foundation.

      2. @blueruck it is generous of you to give him a pass, but given that he has previously used the term to criticise others – he described Connelly in the same way in post-race interviews after the 2017 US Grand Prix – I would suggest that stronger action is needed than just an apology.

        Something along the lines of dutchtreat’s suggestion, and being discouraged from using that term in that manner, does seem like an appropriate suggestion.

    2. He still acts like a kid

    3. Masi and stewards have officially approved use of such derogatory language all the while claiming they “stand against” racism.

      1. Well, as long as Vettels F Charly is accepted… Kind of gives the wrong message, doesnt it.

    4. Betray Verstappen for me. I’m his traitor since Baku 2018.

  2. Fair enough, and as I expected. I am still shocked as to how Stroll turned into the corner, as he definitely should have seen Verstappen. Considering this was practice, I thought he was going to leave space for #33. I ain’t gonna mention how Verstappen should have aborted his lap due to it already spoiled. This was FP2 not the race. Anyone remember Malaysia 2017 after the race with Vettel?

  3. I don’t see why Stroll is getting any blame here. He was clearly ahead & on the racing line. Max was the car behind & should’ve backed out from a corner that was always not going to work. He had the most sight as to what was around him. He saw Lance was on a new fast lap or at least still at full throttle & far enough ahead. Another Max incident that’ll get blamed on someone else by the media.

    1. This was practice, not a race. Racing rules don’t apply here, just like there are different rules for quali.

  4. Stewards once again bottling making a big decision on a big driver (Hamilton notwithstanding).

    100% Max’s fault, he should have had a penalty, and after listening to his radio, I think I’d be inclined to send the lad home for the weekend.

    Grow up son.

    1. He’s showing very clearly who his father is and what he learned growing up. It’s almost sad but then again, he is an adult now and should know better than repeating learned behavior.

      1. I think its worse to drag someone’s family in than using a swear word in the heat of the moment.

    2. @Gav https://youtu.be/Xib2lFnw6dM
      Massa as the driver in front received a drive-through penalty for what was more or less a carbon copy of this incident.

      1. Haha, Massa. So happy he is no longer around

      2. And he was unlucky. Hamilton at fault there.

  5. I don’t understand all the harsh reactions to either Verstappen or Stroll. It was clearly avoidable yes, but also clearly just a misunderstanding. Verstappen assumed Stroll was on a cool down lap and he would let Verstappen pass, while Stroll was told to keep on pushing. Also, I don’t think you should condemn drivers swearing in the heat of the moment. It has always been like that, in any sport.

    1. Swaer words are running aorund in many heads and slip out under stress. Okay, but to have retard and Mongul in the head, let alone use the words, is totally unacceptable today.

      1. Not to defend much because swearing is not nice.. But what others perceive as nastiness is because he is Dutch. It’s sad but true, the Dutch constantly swear with diseases and disabilities. Only swearing with cancer is truly and universally considered offensive though. So reading what he said it’s only considered a meagre 6 out of 10 for his swearing. There were a few diseases he could throw in there. You can score bonus for combining, or throw in the odd mother and her alleged profession here and there.

        So there you have it, the context no-one asked for. The Dutch have bad swearing habits, sorry.

        1. Don’t try to defend the undefendable. His language is shocking and a disgrace to himself and his family.
          How can F1 or anyone else can tolerate the ridiculing of the disabled is beyond me.
          Max, hang your head in shame.

          1. I actually said I’m not trying to defend. All I’m saying is that by Dutch standards his swearing was nothing out of the ordinary. But I never read your name here before. And you seem to reply without reading my comment. So I’m pretty sure this reply will also make no difference.

          2. Baasbas
            “Not to defend much because swearing is not nice.. But”
            Sorry, but your use of the word “but” sure sounds like a defence to me.
            I have watched F1 since 1989 and been a human being all my life.
            Abusive and potentially racial slurs like this (Mongolia being a country after all) have absolutely no place in modern society.
            These terms are taboo to native English speakers.
            The use of “retard” has spawned from pubertal North American kids and is something from the playground, not a grown man.
            It is also highly offensive and is intended to demean those with learning disabilities.
            No buts.

          3. I do appreciate Baasbas that you are not condoning his words and adding context so thank you for that.

          4. I didn’t expect a proper reply, so thanks for that. Also, I’m not necessarily trying to prove you wrong, I’m trying to provide context. I’d say the “but” is appropriate. As a lawyer pleading insanity does not make the murder any less bad. It’s an extreme example, but I think it holds up. You could say I’m pleading (a bit) for insanity. But you could argue it’s not so much a bad character flaw from him personally, but more of a cultural flaw.

            To provide more unwanted context, I’m assuming you’re from the UK. That means see you next Tuesday is the most offensive word one can utter. Correct? I’m not spelling it out because this post would be moderated and I know it offends other people. But let me tell you this, in Dutch it’s not considered a proper swear word. I’ll build my ‘insanity’ case: (google translated for you)

            Article from Quest, a respected popular science magazine. I don’t know the demographic of readers but I believe a large part to be teenagers, young adults. The absolute worst swear word you can image is right there: (don’t be offended)
            https://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.quest.nl%2Fmaatschappij%2Ftaal%2Fa25546045%2Fvloeken-schelden%2F

            A genuine (so it appears) question by a random reddit user, asking why swearing with cancer is bad? I mean, to ask the question… (facepalm):
            https://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2Fthenetherlands%2Fcomments%2F3o8hr0%2Fwaarom_wordt_schelden_met_kanker_zo_erg_gevonden%2F

            RTL news article (respected news source). By now you should be accustomed to the idea that the Dutch have a bad mouth (in general). Noteworthy point in this article: there is an “alliance against swearing” (I prefer my translation over googles) A non profit organization aimed at trying to make people stop swearing. Everybody knows of them…
            https://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rtlnieuws.nl%2Fnode%2F1026081

            Ok, one more then. From the NOS (respected news source), not the date.
            https://translate.google.nl/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fnos.nl%2Fartikel%2F2351478-youtubers-en-kwf-willen-af-van-gescheld-met-kanker.html
            There is an actual movement to try and make people stop swearing with cancer. It’s legit, it has youtubers and a custom hashtag. So you know it won’t help.. at all…

            What insane society has these initiatives?

            Still, I found a ‘flaw’ in your post I have to address. You said: “It’s highly offensive”. But you needed to say: “It’s highly offensive to me and a lot of other people”. The average Dutch person will definitely say it’s not nice of him to use those words. And if you search, you’ll find people being offended in the Netherlands as well. But most people will not blink an eye and not bee offended. In fact, most will be surprised about the amount of flak. Also you said: “these terms are taboo to native English speakers”. Sure. But he isn’t one of them. So you’re judging with your own views as a framework of reference.

            I would guess a standard Dutch reply would be; “Well, stop being offended then”.

            Should he be more mindful of other people who do not share his cultural background of flying verbally off the handle because he is a public figure and not in his home country? Yes. Should he be disregarded as a person for a character flaw? I don’t know, I guess it’s more fair to disregard Dutch people as a whole.

            I know it’s a problem, yet I do it myself. Especially in the car. It’s really liberating to spout your bile against your own windscreen for a good 20 seconds after someone cuts you off. I wouldn’t step out of the car or shove them of the road. But it’s just too nice to vent and cool off that way in private.

            I guess the fix for him is easy. You can’t change someones background quickly, it would take many years. But he can learn to throw it all out there… and THEN press the radio button…

  6. lexusreliability?
    23rd October 2020, 19:13

    Max Verstappen is the Raheem Sterling of F1. Hugely talented but always has a big error in him. Reminds me of Hungary when he binned it on the way to the grid.

    1. For me he’s the Tense1983/xQc of F1. Swears a lot and can be easily angry.

  7. Bottled giving mad Max a deserved penalty and spoiling Sundays race

  8. As expected.
    Nothing to do with some of the aspects people like to use regarding both drivers.
    And swearing is never nice to experience or listen to. But in the heat of the moment things slip out.
    Nothing happened, Next…

    1. dear god he swore? oh noes what on earth shall we do?

      1. Well, use it as an excuse to vent frustration about Max

    2. Swearing is one thing Erijke. We can all f and blind in the heat of a moment. But using language like that about the disabled is utterly utterly disgraceful. Shameful.
      He demeans those less fortunate and you think that’s OK?
      What century does his mind live in?

    3. @erikje

      Having been a part of these boards for a very long time I have grown accustomed to your blind defence of Max Verstappen- even when criticism is warranted. You conflate swearing with the other nasty comments about those with diabilities- that Max thinks that- well he’s a petulant boy racer, that much we know. But that his fans also accept that is quite a damning indictment.

  9. This pathetic little man Max is without a doubt the worst racer in Formula 1 today from a sporting point of view.
    His action on the track. and his statements outside of it are shameful and deserve the repudiation of those who love this category.

    1. I am glad you occassionally get the chance to vent your disapproval of him as soon as he makes the slightest error. Jump right on it! Good for you

  10. Both drivers had a different kind of tunnel vision. Max was convinced that Stroll was going to be on a cool down lap and obligated to get out of the way. Lance was simply not paying attention to other drivers and merely focused on his own lap.

    I think that Max’ mistake is a bit more reasonable, since he did pay attention and it is rare to do two push laps in a row. His team also probably couldn’t warn him, since judging by the team radio, it was only decided at the last second that Stroll would do another fast lap. In contrast, Max was clearly preparing for a push lap, which was clear because of the radio chatter and Max’s driving, so Racing Point should have been aware.

    On the other hand, Max should have noticed that Stroll was going too fast for a cooldown lap.

  11. Clumsy incident, both had some blame in it. Good decision by the stewards though, no one wants to see penalties in practice and no driver was wholly to blame

  12. I’m not blaming Max because the incident looked 50-50 to me but his argument, or anyone using it, about “he just finished a fast lap”… I’m sorry, isn’t this FREE practice? You might “assume” someone will back off after a fast lap but what if he’s trying to do two laps straight (or more) at speed? It’s both totally reasonable and perfectly legal…

    Maybe just don’t assume anything… He had his DRS flap open, why would he let him go?

  13. F1 markets itself as the premier race series in the world with the fastest car and the fastest drivers. This incident makes a mockery of the latter part of this assertion.

    Neither acted in a way worthy of an F1 driver claiming to be one of the best 20 racing drivers in the world. Stroll saying he didn’t know Max was there is beyond ridiculous (he overtook him literally two corners before) and Max deciding that Stroll must be doing a cool down lap whilst driving that quickly is equally silly.

    People can say that the cars are too fiddly to drive with all the various settings, track is new, they are young and still learning etc but they are in F1, not F3 or any other junior series. F1 isn’t a finishing school for drivers, the expectation should be that silly things like this are ironed out by this point.

  14. Are we going to completely disregard that Stroll did exactly the same to Bottas in FP1? Albeit, Bottas slammed on the breaks to avoid this outcome.

    Stroll is just showing over and over again that you can take the billionaire out of his billionaire environment, but you can’t take the bilionaire out of the billionaire. This guy is no sportsman.. he is a poor rich hobbyist. F1 needs none of this.

    1. Well, I must admit Stroll has improved dramatically and is really putting in an effort with private training, showing his commitment. This was just a misunderstanding from both. Nothing really special.

      Well at least it gave the, silenced by his performance, Max haters some fuel to fume their frustration

  15. The language is really beyond the pale. I don’t accept that these are normal Dutch profanities so it just rolls off his tongue. He was not speaking Dutch. When I’m speaking a foreign language I would not just transliterate some curse words from English. You keep in the framework of what you use in the other language. He’s fluent in English so he knows better.

    1. Agree Dave.
      Picking on and ridiculing the disabled is just about as low as you can get.
      What a low life.
      Perhaps he should spend time with those he choses to make fun of. Then again it might not change him one bit.

    2. Got to agree. What a rotten thing for him to say. I can think of very few things more repugnant than to persecute the disabled.
      Unbelievable that when asked if some could be offended by his words his reply was.. “not my problem”
      The incident was 50 50, but only a sick mind could think his language is any way acceptable.
      How this goes unpunished by F1 is astounding.

    3. I have an opinion
      23rd October 2020, 23:24

      The English version of this insult is “mongoloid”, while Max says “mongool” or “Mongol”, so I think he is swearing in Dutch at this point. It is not uncommon for people to revert to their mother tongue when emotional and swearing.

  16. I think Max decided long before the corner that he was going to put it up the inside, almost as to prove a point that he felt Lance was interfering with him. Once he pulled along side and it was clear that Lance still had his DRS open, on the racing line and pushing top speed he should have conceded that his lap would have to be aborted. I think that is the issue with Max, he can’t concede to others. To make things worse it resulted in damage which cost time / money and for what, a free lap in FP1? I don’t expect RedBull to be too hard on him either which means the same mentality and behaviours will always be there until someone checks him. Overall this season he has been really consistent and kept out of trouble, but this was just needless and brought out the worst side of him with his language.

  17. Davethechicken
    23rd October 2020, 23:18

    I am sure the Thai contingent in Red Bull will not be very pleased with their star drivers choice of words and seeming blindness (or disregard) to the offense he has caused.

      1. Indeed James. His lack of insight as to the affect on his reputation and that of the brand he represents is clear.
        His stock will certainly have dropped.

  18. Didn’t see it but the write-up of the practice session states that Max almost collided with another driver in the same spot a lap or 2 earlier and then Max ran into Stroll. I guess Max would do better if the 19 other mongoes weren’t on the track at the same time as he is.

  19. Probably more Verstappen’s fault than Stroll’s. He had a full view of the incident, and I can’t quite believe that any F1 driver could be in any doubt at all about what a rival is going to do when they’re going at full speed towards T1, with DRS open, on the racing line…

    But don’t mind no penalties for something like this in practice. I find Verstappen’s radio response far more bothersome than his driving.

  20. Corrupted FIA.

    Max was behind and clearly crashed into lance. Should be banned from racing.

    1. Then try to kill him. Hint: you’ll fail.

      1. Why would I do that to this clown. Lol.

        1. You do have a written note about this. Not kidding. XD

    1. Sick of these comments.

      1. Well he could see Stroll with both his eyes wide open, and still chose to crash. So yes, I wonder who he is taking out in the race.

        Crashtappen is back.

        1. You don’t think that Vettel hitting Verstappen back in Silverstone 2019 was “Karma for Austria”? You don’t think that Ferrari is a noob team right now? You don’t think that this is a killhouse?

        2. You don’t think that Vettel hitting Verstappen back in Silverstone 2019 was “Karma for Austria”?

  21. Weak decision by the stewards.

    Reckless and dangerous by Verstappen at those speeds. Could have easily sent Stroll into a somersault.

    100% Verstappen’s fault. The Sky commentators are pathetic trying to pin this on Stroll.

  22. Max drives angry at all times and until he grows up he’ll be involved in these kinds of problems. Angriest driver in the history of F1, compare him to any other driver.

    1. What about Montoya (Belgium 2002 qualifying), Webber (Monaco 2006), Vettel (Turkey 2010), Grosjean (Singapore 2014), Gutiérrez (Spain 2016), Ocon (Belgium 2017), Magnussen (Bahrain 2018) and every single angry team radio from every single driver?

  23. Red Bull 1-1 Racing Point: Max insults Lance in front of the referee. After the match, Max is only given a two-match ban, which Racing Point found totally unfair.
    Racing Point 4-0 Red Bull: Then…Anarchy Begins. Lance, Checo and Hulk team up and constantly foul Max whilst trying to avoid getting sent off, which eventually didn’t happen.

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