Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021

‘Burn-out’ celebration wasn’t a safety risk, says Verstappen

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Max Verstappen says he took care to ensure he didn’t jeopardise anyone’s safety with his post-race ‘burn-out’ celebration at the Styrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver stopped briefly in front of his team members after winning last weekend’s race and spun his rear wheels as he drove away. FIA Formula 1 race director Michael Masi told the team a repeat “would not be tolerated” in future as it was considered a potential safety risk.

Verstappen joked he would “try to do a doughnut next time”. He said he would comply with the FIA’s order in future but believes he acted safely at the time.

“I understand of course about safety but I looked in my mirror, went all the way to the right, took it easy, everyone was on the left. I just did a burn-out. Okay, if it’s not allowed, I won’t do it again.

“At the time I thought it was really funny and safe but of course I understand they don’t want to see this happening again, which is fine for me.”

Nicholas Latifi, who hit a stationary car by the starting line at the same circuit six years ago, was the first driver to pass Verstappen’s car as he slowed.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“When I was coming to the finish line, I saw Max pulling to the inside to celebrate with the team like most drivers do. So I just make sure to stay as far to the left as possible.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Analysis: Is stamping out ‘burn-out’ celebrations a killjoy over-reaction?
“I guess in general, just as a rule of thumb, it’s probably not the best thing to really slow down that much.”

Latifi was unhurt in his huge 2015 crash with Roberto Merhi in Formula Renault 3.5. The Williams driver said the incident showed the potential danger involved.

“Obviously in [Verstappen’s] situation there was no cars directly behind him that were racing and obviously that wasn’t the situation all those years ago in 2015. I was racing with another car quite close and as a result, I kind of had my eye in the mirrors and was not expecting a car to be stopped right in front of me on the grid.

“So obviously, it can end very badly, as we saw back in 2015. I think it just has to be a bit of a compromise in that sense.

“Michael thought it was dangerous, so I don’t think a lot of other cars will be doing that in the future. So it’s probably best to not slow down that much.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Austrian Grand Prix 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.

26 comments on “‘Burn-out’ celebration wasn’t a safety risk, says Verstappen”

  1. Fair points from both.

  2. “I understand of course about safety but I looked in my mirror, went all the way to the right, took it easy, everyone was on the left. I just did a burn-out. Okay, if it’s not allowed, I won’t do it again.

    “At the time I thought it was really funny and safe but of course I understand they don’t want to see this happening again, which is fine for me.”

    The headline is chosen for the pageviews, I suppose.

    1. +1. And I shouldn’t respond, because that makes them right. But this one is really over the top.

      1. Near identical article is on The Race but with a far more positive headline… reads totally different and far more nuanced.

        1. Max Verstappen says he will not repeat his burnout victory celebration from last weekend’s Styrian GP despite feeling it was “funny and safe”.

    2. i guess so.. This “incident” is stretched till the fullest again.
      A pity on a most of the times neutral site.

  3. What I find a bit disturbing is how every driver’s action is so scrutinized nowadays (by the media and fans in general) Max’s burnout, Bottas’ spin and so on.

    Back in the day Charlie would probably have just given the team/driver a warning after the race and nobody would find out about it (which probably happened for example with Button’s burnout in Belgium 2012)

    But now you have the media asking Massi about it, asking other drivers about it, etc making it bigger issue than it should’ve been.

    1. @mantresx This rule was added when Whiting was still around.

      Hamilton had a slight moment of wheelspin in the pitlane and got a reprimand for it (that race when Vettel tried to push him into the Williams mechanics) also when Hamilton was breaking a tow.

      Whiting didn’t handle the penalties through. Neither does Masi

      1. @f1osaurus If you’re referring to the 2010 Chinese GP, both had a wheelspin moment. The other one is against Petrov in Malaysia the following season, I assume.

        1. @jerejj Yes so what’s your point?

          Vettel didn’t have wheelspin in China though. He tried to push Hamilton into a pit crew. That IS something that Whiting was furious about and berated Vettel, but then he does not hand out penalties.

          1. He did.
            He had a slight moment taking avoiding action because of Hamilton’s last-minute appearance.

  4. Hmm, I sure wonder why it wasn’t a safety risk when Lewis Hamilton did the exact same thing at the 2017 US GP…weird huh.

    Reply moderated
  5. G (@unklegsif)
    1st July 2021, 16:12

    OK, so Max says that her considers a burnout to one side of the track is “safe”, with cars passing at or near full speed to the left….

    Bottas proves on Friday that burnouts don’t always go according to plan….
    Masi states that it was considered a potential safety risk and “would not be tolerated” in the future


    1. Reading is difficult.

  6. I drove 200km/h on a 100km/h road, I looked and saw no other cars. So it was fine. There was this other car, as can be seen in the picture, but he didn’t look like he would crash into me

    1. Well, when Verstappen was parked into the wall on the right hand side of the Baku straight, everything seemed to be fine with Masi and most of the other drivers racing by his stricken car at speeds of 300 km/h. It was all fine it seemed.

      1. ouch.. that will sting for a while

        Sadly its one of those ‘it’s funny because it’s true’ ones :-S

      2. Yellow flags waving and lights blinking everywhere and still full speed? Would be penalties and license points.

        1. some slowed down.. not 340 but only 300

    2. I guess in your dimension your as able as a formula 1 driver ;)

      Do not forget to put your tricycle in the garage.

  7. Many things seem safe until something goes wrong.

    1. There is a fine line between safe and unsafe.

  8. Remember, fun will not be tolerated in F1! You need to go to IndyCar for that.

    1. In fact this is true in many degrees. The stakes of F1 is becoming to high to afford fun. Not only we as F1 enthusiasts are seeing that, but also people that watch F1 for an occasion. Still have the hope they would change that a little. When I watch MotoGP it’s fun without getting it dangerous. Doing wheelies, stoppies and Fabio hitting a golf ball. That kind of fun I would like to see in F1.

  9. Did a quick look at cars passing Ves after his crash at Baku. So just to make my point, Ves won’t do it again the rest is BS.

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'.