Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Verstappen fumes at Stroll as stewards investigate collision in practice

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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The stewards are investigating a collision between Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll at turn one which cased the second practice session to be red-flagged.

The Red Bull driver was trying to overtake the Racing Point on the inside of the corner when the pair made contact.

Verstappen had abandoned a previous attempt at a timed lap and was preparing to begin another fast lap. He let Stroll overtake him before the final corner, but remained close to him as he began a new lap. Verstappen pulled to the inside of Stroll and was partly alongside his rival when they turned into the corner and collided.

A furious Verstappen launched a expletive-ridden tirade at his rival on the radio. He accused Stroll of spoiling his lap by “opening DRS and staying on the normal line”.

However Stroll’s radio communication indicated he was not intending to back off after his lap and was beginning another fast lap. His race engineer had told him to “keep pushing” before the collision happened.

Stroll also said on his radio he hadn’t seen anyone near him when the collision occured.

Asked about the collision after the session was over Verstappen said: “I don’t want to talk about it too much because I was so surprised that he just turned in when I was coming up to him.

“So I don’t know where I had to go. I was starting my lap, he just finished his lap. We’ll see what happens. It’s just a shame that we touched, it was just very unnecessary.”

Asked if he was concerned anyone might have taken offence at his choice of words in response to the collision on the radio, Verstappen said: “Not my problem.”

The pair have been summoned to meet with the stewards at 5pm local time.

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Radio messages from Verstappen and Stroll’s collision

To StrollKeep pushing, Lance, keep pushing.
StrollThey collide
I didn’t see anyone. I’m in the gravel.
To StrollTurn the engine off, Lance, turn the engine off. Completely off. Car to P0.
VerstappenVerstappen aborts a lap
Yeah the tyres are not ready.
To VerstappenOK look out for Raikkonen and Albon behind. You’ll be out of phase now.
To VerstappenKimi behind now. Alex is three seconds behind him. I think he’s aborting as well by the looks of things. Yeah Alex has aborted. Alex has aborted.
To VerstappenSo first car on a timed lap Stroll at turn 11. Gap to Stroll at two seconds.
To VerstappenStroll behind you.
To VerstappenStroll passes Verstappen
Perez behind him.
To VerstappenRecharge off.
VerstappenThey collide
What, is this fucking guy blind? What the fuck is wrong with him? Jesus Christ. What a retard.
VerstappenYeah I have damage. What a, what a Mongol, I swear.
To VerstappenOK, box.
To VerstappenRed flags.
To VerstappenAnd recharge on, please.
VerstappenHe fucks his lap, I’m trying to prepare my lap, and he just fucks my lap by opening DRS and staying on the normal line. It’s no respect. But it doesn’t matter.

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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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80 comments on “Verstappen fumes at Stroll as stewards investigate collision in practice”

  1. Strange unexpected situation with stroll taking 2 flying laps (?!).
    Verstappen should have stopped the move and Stroll should have checked where Verstappen was. Probably ending with 3 place grid penalty for Verstappen

  2. Verstappen’s radio outbursts have become tiresome. He screams and curses at every single incident.
    Honestly, it’s cringy to hear.

    1. Yes , but i think in this occasion he bang on 100%

    2. So you obviously never competed in any sport.
      If on top of your adrenaline its not uncommon to say the least to “let your emotions flow”.

      Most of the times the *peep* saves the day for drivers.. Now we see the complete story and then you will noice some bad language.
      If you listened tot the length of the *peep* when Ricciardo cursed a little earlier (latifi joining on the raceline) you know there is little difference.
      Life with it or find another sport.. checkers maybe?

      1. One.
        The other.
        Yep exactly the same both reactions, can’t spot a difference at all…

      2. @erikje you reply to me? Or the commenti above mine…. I think verstappen is 100% correct…..

        1. no i replied to carbon_fibre..

      3. @erikje I have competed in sport internationally (specifically, disability swimming). While minor swears occasionally happened, they were always censured by team members (let alone team leaders) and any of the three slurs Max used would have led to the competitor being ejected from the venue. It was part of the rules, and made clear to all of us. No, the rules were not there for the benefit of television – they were there to make the event enjoyable and appropriate for all competitors.

        It is obvious that you have never competed in a sport that could be bothered to enforce reasonable rules regarding how one expresses oneself.

        1. @alianora-la-canta

          Yet clearly the rules that you competed under are not the rules Max is competing under, because he was not ejected from the race track after swearing, nor was he censured by his engineer.

          And your opinion that only your preferred rules are ‘reasonable,’ while rules that allow (more) swearing are not, merely demonstrates an intolerance for other cultures (and opinions). It’s no more objectively reasonable to ban swearing, than it is to forbid women to show their hair, which certain cultures consider perfectly reasonable and not all at oppressive.

          You prefer to burden people who like to swear, while islamists prefer to burden women. Others prefer liberalism, where people have extensive rights on how to behave and others have to have a thick skin and can’t demand to be free from exposure to swearing or female hair.

          1. @aapje All that says is that F1 cannot be bothered to enforce a reasonable standard of conduct with regards to communication (apart from Helmut Marko, who did censure him).

    3. @carbon_fibre what is also rather unpleasant is his continued use of that “mongol” term, which is a rather derogatory term for somebody with Down’s Syndrome (and, from the context that Verstappen is using it in, it’s quite clear that he knows what it means and intends it to be used in that derogatory sense).

      It is not the first time that he has used that sort of term either – he’s used it to abuse some of the stewards in the past – and given his continued use of that term, he should be ashamed of his language and frankly should be facing disciplinary action for it.

    4. As a Dutch person, my perception is that in our culture swearing is more common and not taken as much offense to as in many other cultures. Also, our swear words tend to be a bit different (with many swear words referring to disease and handicaps). Many of these swear words have become ossified and people don’t really interpret them or in some cases even know the meaning of what they are saying.

      1. @aapje While such would explain why Max used such terms at the beginning of his F1 career, it does not explain why he continues to use them despite being told off for using one of the same slurs in F1. It is necessary for people to adapt to the culture they enter to some extent, and F1 cannot allow that sort of slur because if accepted, some territories won’t be able to broadcast the world feed due to their broadcast rules.

        (I can tell you that three of the terms Max used in the conversation have not ossified to the point you describe, though at least one of the other insults has).

        1. @alianora-la-canta

          When has he been ‘told off’ exactly? I’m not aware of F1 having specific rules banning drivers from swearing or banning certain types of swearing, that Max violated and got a penalty for.

          And your point about the broadcasts seems incorrect, because the broadcasts already beep out words that aren’t allowed to be said on air. So your claim that Max’ words threaten the broadcasts is just wrong.

          I also don’t understand what culture Max is supposed to be adapting to. Broadcast rules are not a culture. Your globalism might blind you to what real cultures are.

          1. @aapje I suggest, then, that you familiarise yourself with Article 151c of the International Sporting Regulations and Article 1 of the FIA Statutes.

        2. Mate. The cultures that are ultra conservative toward that language don’t even speak English.

    5. Yeah I hate it every time…

  3. I assume Max meant ‘mongrel’ not Mongol. Is being a Mongol (someone from Mongolia) even an insult?

    1. Mongol (mongool) is mongrel in dutch, he probably just shouted whatever came in his head. @sato113

    2. “Mongool” is a Dutch insult which refers to people with Downs syndrome @sato113

    3. GtisBetter (@)
      23rd October 2020, 16:42

      In Dutch mongol is used for mentally handicapped people, loose translated as retard

    4. @sato113 Both terms are derogatory in the English language. In fact ‘Mongrel’ is FAR worse if you consider in the context of the anti-racism efforts the FIA are making.

      1. @chimaera2003 Well, the term “mongol” itself is also racist as it was used to refer to people with Down’s syndrome because of the supposed similarity between the physical symptoms of the condition and people of Asian descent. I think we can say both are completely unacceptable and leave it at that.

        1. I think you should review the pre-requisites that constitutes racism when you make your remarks. The term “racism” is abused so much that people do not even accurately use it correctly. It’s now used anytime to show displeasure. Down syndrome is not a race and not exclusive to any race. Yeesh.

      2. @chimaera2003

        Mongol in the meaning of a person with a Down’s syndrome was first used in English and presumably later adopted by Dutch speakers.

  4. Verstappen should be disqualified for Stroll crashing into him.

    1. He should be penalised for use of derogatory/racist language over radio as well.

      1. he should be penalised for torpedoing stroll. Maybe difficult to judge from the footage shown on television broadcast, but it seemed max’ front wheels weren’t even passed strolls rear wheels. Generally that means stroll had the right keeping the racing line and max should’ve backed off. But… it is hard to judge when you didn’t see the footage from other angles

  5. From my point of view a driver either has to be aware of where his competitor is or be cautious of where he places his car if in doubt. Stroll would have initially seen Verstappen behind, and will have known he was at least partially alongside going into turn one. Should have left more space. Of course, equally Verstappen could’ve backed out.

    Entertaining crash but not really worth investigating nor penalizing. Hope they just get on with it.

    1. Covid seems to influence your spatial awareness , at least with Stroll that is.

    2. GtisBetter (@)
      23rd October 2020, 17:01

      I agree. Seems like two egos clashed here. It’s a FP with 30 min to go for Pete’s sake.

  6. There is more than enough blame to go around here. Either driver could have backed out to make this avoidable if they decided to be mature about it.

    The problem likely has a psychological basis since they both want to build a reputation of never backing down (Max certainly does) so when it comes to the crunch other drivers will back down when they see them going for a gap.

    Personally I think both deserve the same penalty as neither was more at fault than the other. However there should be a penalty rather than a simple telling off to discourage high speeds games of brinkmanship in future.

    1. to discourage high speeds games of brinkmanship

      yeah.. we do not want those in Formula1 do we….

      1. What, in practice sessions?

        1. i am looking at FP to see F1.. not a party of technical chess.
          So yes, even there i want to see “brinkmanship”.
          ( and high speeds for that matter..)

          1. Not everyone likes to see that, mate. Brinksmanship in Sundays is more than enough given they’re putting their lives at risk even in this era of safety, let’s not forget that. But good that you clarified how you feel about that

    2. sounds like reasonable, well balanced answer

    3. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
      23rd October 2020, 18:54

      Learned a new word today!! Brinkmanship = Max needs to be handed a snickers bar!

  7. 50-50. Both should’ve backed off, as it is only FP2 and too much risk to take for track position and nothing else, neither didn’t.

  8. Referring to people as ‘retards’ and ‘Mongols’ is unacceptable. The slogans about F1 diversity clearly mean nothing in practice for Max.

    1. Good thing I’ve been Verstappen’s traitor since Baku 2018!

  9. Seems to me like a simple case of misunderstanding between both drivers. Max was told that Lance was on a push lap, when he let him pass the lap before. So he thought that the RP would back out of it after he crosses the finish line, but that didn’t happen. Stroll on the other hand, just didn’t expect the RB coming down the inside into T1, but he should’ve definitely looked in his mirrors, because he knew there was a chance that Verstappen was still there.
    I think the main reason for the crash was the fact that Max expected Stroll to already move out of the way on the start/finish-straight and he still thought the RP was on a cool-down lap heading into T1.
    Max should’ve realised that wasn’t going to happen and just prepare for the next lap, instead of going side-by-side into T1.
    I hope the stewards don’t issue any kind of grid penalty, because IMO it was just a misunderstanding between both drivers.

  10. This is 100% Max’s fault.

    Regardless of the collision, it’s FP2 and the crash should not have happened. Max has no right to assume that someone is going to let him have the racing line when that person is in front and on a lap. Just because Max thinks he should give way doesn’t mean they should. The arrogance of his position was alarming. He had plenty of time to back out when it was obvious Stroll wasn’t slowing down especially when he even out braked Stroll just to get his wheels in front of Strolls back wheel. The earlier comment of Brinksmanship is right, Max tried to bully his way past someone who had every right to be where they were and quite frankly, they weren’t racing so he should have backed down. His arrogance got in his way as his anger clearly showed.

    His language was foul and has no place anywhere, let alone on a broadcast to public airways. the ‘m’ term has extremely unsavoury undertones regardless of whether it was dutch or english. He should be censured by the FIA for that alone.

    1. Pretty sure F1/FIA controls what radio comm we get to hear. It would hardly be fair to censure him for heat of the moment comments that they can keep from the public’s ears at their discretion. Not condoning any derogatory insults, but it’s not like Max is saying this at a press conference in a calm atmosphere.

      1. You are right that the FIA controls it, but its a simple radio frequency which is omni directional and broadcast in the public domain, therefore it is subject to the public broadcast laws. In the UK, if someone complained, there would be a legal vehicle for prosecution. No idea if Portugal has the same laws but there is likely something there if they were that inclined. It’s not the FIA’s airspace.

        It would be fair to censure anyone for heat of the moment comments if those comments breach hate crime laws and certainly are contrary to ‘We Race as One’

        1. but its a simple radio frequency which is omni directional and broadcast in the public domain,

          i do not think that is true. The rights are with FOM and they control the airspace around a race. To use this channel you have to pay to get access.
          To be clear..
          i am not a fan of swearing in any form. But a emotional reaction just after a crash with 300KM/h is not “normal” under any view.
          Most people are not even able to speak as a result of the shock. Of course F1 drivers are hardened but still.

          1. No worries, I can only tell you about what happens in the UK because I need to know this for what I do.

            2 way radio frequencies are licenced by Ofcom to ‘owners’ such as FOM. The Radio signals will have a range of somewhere in the region of 2 to 10 miles and anyone who has the equipment to tune into these signals is free to do so. The content of the signals is controlled by the communications act 2003 under which sending of malicious communications is a criminal offence. If anyone hears and complains to Ofcom, expect a visit from the Police and a loss of licence.

            Other countries will of course have different laws but almost all countries will have some system of regulation, especially in the coherent EN systems of Europe.

          2. @marvinthemartian it does not matter if they are aired free . They are scrambled and only via the FOM accessible.
            So there is no “public” without consent.

          3. @erikje

            The radio messages are specifically not scrambled.

            8.7 Driver radio
            Other than authorised connections to the FIA ECU, any voice radio communication system
            between car and pits must be stand-alone and must not transmit or receive other data. All
            such communications must be open and accessible to both the FIA and broadcasters.

            How do you think Racefans got hold of it? Open Radio can be intercepted by any hack with a scanner

          4. @marvinthemartian

            accessible to both the FIA and broadcasters

            Read this again ( and again) a broadcaster is…. ( not the public!)

            How do you think Racefans got hold of it?

            Just like me. Via formula1 app by paid access.

        2. Disagree entirely. Censorship has no place anywhere. This is not even remotely close to hate speech.

          1. @hollidog
            You are entitled to your opinion. You may be right, it is not for either of us to say. Fortunately.

            Hate speech is defined as being threatening or abusive. Calling someone a ‘r’ or ‘m’ is abusive in my book

      2. @robbie Max has also used the term in that derogatory sense before, calling Connelly, who was a steward at the 2017 US Grand Prix, a “mongol” multiple times because of the penalty that he was awarded in that race. This isn’t just a one-off incident – there are precedents for Max using that term before, though it seems that evidently there are those who seem to think that it is acceptable to use such abusive terms given no action has been taken against him.

        1. And even then it was made clear that the term does not has the same meaning people are trying to suggest here.

    2. let alone on a broadcast to public airways.

      so it was not..
      Nothing “public” on listening to a paid channel only available to a few . And the aired part was heavily censored
      The uncensored part here.. is a choice to read.

      Normally speaking VER had every right to expect Stoll to back off. Stroll just finished his fast lap ( and VER even let him pass) He should have known VER was still on his tail or closer ( but reading the transcript, he obviously did not).
      Stroll stayed on the race line and kept his DRS open. Maybe to give Perez a tow ( at least that could have been the original plan as Perez was direct behind VER)

      In hindsight it was quit stupid from both.. but to put the blame on VER is not right.

      1. Normally yes, Verstappen would expect Stroll to back off or give him room. But this is free practice where you are required to give space to people on full speed laps. Both were on one and Verstappen should not have been fighting for track position with someone in front of him on a hot lap.

        It was definitely stupid from Verstappen. His arrogance that Stroll should yield even when Stroll had every right to be there is unfortunate. It’s practice. Max bears the responsibility for safety in this case as he should have backed out when it was obvious Stroll was still on a hot lap, but he chose to out brake him and try to bully him out of the corner. Stroll expects safety to be paramount, he would not expect anyone to be stupid enough to contest a corner in practice when the guy that can see best can see it’s not going to go well. It’s Max’s arrogance that is the cause

        His language was broadcast on a simple omni directional radio frequency which are usually subject to national laws on decency. See my comment above, just because the public version is censored by the FIA doesn’t mean only they get to hear the bad words. Guarantee the whole thing will be in YouTube tonight

        1. Both were on one

          Stroll just finished his.. VER even gave him room to do that. So he had every right to expect Stroll to back off.
          That is the normal behavior after a fast lap: you start the outlap. Two fast laps stacked are very uncommon. Normal is slow, fast, slow, fast.
          Stroll should have known VER started his fast lap. Reading the transcript his engineer gave him not enough info and Stroll did not used his mirrors.

          1. It’s Practice, you can do as many laps as you want. Just because Red Bull do something different doesn’t mean their way is normal.

            Stroll was busy doing his thing. He does not need to know what Verstappen was doing as he is in front on a fast lap – see the radio messages. Verstappen can SEE Stroll on a fast lap, Stroll might be able to see Verstappen behind him but he is under no obligation to get out of his way, except if you are Max apparently. Safety and FP rules dictate Max should have backed out

          2. @marvinthemartian you are purposely ignoring my post and keep repeating the same thing.
            Its not RBR that did something “strange”, RP did ( or at least Stroll tried that)

          3. @erikje
            I am not ignoring your post. you appear to be operating under the assumption that teams can’t run whatever practice strategies that they like. If you are on a hot lap, you are on a hot lap regardless of whether the one before was or not. That people expected it to not be another one doesn’t make it abnormal. Racing Point can run however many hot laps they like in free practice, that’s why it’s called free practice. Stroll was in front and did not need to make any allowances for Verstappen running up his ass like some entitled teen tiktoker

            they say to assume makes an ass out of u and me.
            Verstappen assumed, he made an ass out of it.

          4. @marvinthemartian

            you appear to be operating under the assumption that

            they say to assume makes an ass out of u and me.

            Yep ;)

  11. 100% Verstappen’s fault, and as ever he was a petulant so-and-so afterwards. He’s a good driver obviously but I can’t like him. He has a nasty streak like his father (although Jos’ is more than just a streak)

    1. was a petulant

      ah, @tflb i recognize the standard language when talking about VER ;)

      1. it’s standard because it’s true

  12. Well Ive ticked off black, gay and mongol. Anyone else playing FIA WeRaceAsOne bingo this weekend?

    1. It’s standard because it’s true.

      1. Sorry, that was a reply to a different comment

        1. Not uncommon by you ;)

    2. Don’t forget insults to people with IQ-based intellectual impairment (yes, Max managed to find time in that little diatribe to use a separate insult to that group than the one against people with Down’s Syndrome (and by implication, also against people from Mongolia)).

      So we have on the “bingo card”:
      – racism by skin tone
      – racism by nationality
      – sexual orientation
      – disablism (Down’s Syndrome)
      – disablism (IQ-based intellectual impairment)
      – disablism (vision impairment)

      This will not go down as #WeRaceAsOne’s finest day in history.

  13. Stroll decided to do a fast lap in front of a Red Bull at the same time a Red Bull was going to do a fast lap. Stroll challenged Max and Max took it up. In practice. Bonehead on both parts.

    But it once again shows bonehead on F1’s part to not give drivers visibility. Putting cams on all corners has been too easy for too long. NASCAR and Indy have the same problem. Cams linked to a dashboard screen with views of all sides of the car is a no-brainer. Did Bernie grandfather in mirrors to spice up the show or what?

  14. Would be interesting if someone like Stroll senior had a word with Max and suggested that his language be tested in court refering to his son as being a Mongrel.
    This was Practice 2 not the race.
    Someone could be quite entiled to refer to Max as a rough and raw and uncouth Dutchman or an example of poor breeding?
    He comes across as so uncultured a humanbeing that I don’t believe it would not matter to him what anyone called him.
    Really so sad unbecoming and unnecessary.
    Just my point of view.

    1. Well people had to wait for more than a year to go loose on max. So i guess it was accumulating for a long time.
      In that case every incident is one to cherish for them .

  15. I was disappointed. Expected more swearing reading the article.

  16. This pathetic little man 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 think he is without a doubt the best racer in Formula 1 today, but he’s about as ‘cultured’ as his father.
      In the end it’s entertainment, if FOM isn’t happy about his comments, they are free to penalise him.

    2. José Lopes da Silva
      23rd October 2020, 23:51

      I fully agree with you, especially when he said “I did no test Covid because I didn’t though I had it”.

  17. Normally it is Max fault, like always. This time however the stewards (who, according to many, have no idea of motorsports especially F1) used a coin to flip but it landed on it’s side. So they couldn’t point a finger at anyone. By the way Max was not swearing, in Dutch we have way better words. He was just giving his opinion how you should not drive a practice session. Of course Lance is not a mongol he just acts like one.

  18. Me say alone ramp.

  19. Regardless of who is at fault, this is a negative for the sport.
    Ultimately it will come down to whether Verstappens employers and Corporate sponsors are prepared to defend his childish outbursts.
    I doubt that large Corporations will want to be associated with this kind of language.

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