Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Losail International Circuit, 2021

I never get presents from the stewards, rues Verstappen as penalty compromises race

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen said he was unsurprised to receive the grid penalty which dropped him to seventh on the grid for the Qatar Grand Prix, and compromised his race.

The stewards handed Verstappen a five-place penalty for failing to slow sufficiently for yellow flags during qualifying. It is the third time in the last four seasons he has received a penalty of this type.

“No surprises there,” said Verstappen after the race. “I knew already last night that I never get presents from them, so it’s okay.”

The penalty cost him a front-row start alongside championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who went on to win the race and reduce Verstappen’s lead to eight points. The Red Bull driver managed to salvage second place, having worked his way up to the front quickly.

“At the end, once I knew I was starting seventh, I was just very motivated to move ahead and that’s exactly what we did,” Verstappen told Sky Sports. “We had a good first lap, and then after five laps, we were second again.

“I just tried to keep the gap small, which we did throughout the whole race, so they couldn’t do an extra stop and it gave me the fastest lap at the end. So I was definitely happy with that.”

Verstappen finished the race over 25 seconds behind Hamilton after making an extra pit stop to secure the bonus point for fastest lap. He said the team’s deficit to Mercedes during the race wasn’t too great.

“I did the extra stop so the gap was, of course, a bit bigger than it was the whole race,” he explained. “In general, throughout the whole race it was seven, eight seconds, so that isn’t too bad.

“We were a little bit too slow so that naturally means, after qualifying, the race is going to be tricky as well. But we just need to try and stay focussed, and there are two races to go – and as you can see, a lot of things can happen even in a qualifying, so anything is possible.”

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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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89 comments on “I never get presents from the stewards, rues Verstappen as penalty compromises race”

  1. I think you got a rather large gift last time out, Max.

    1. The stewards disagree

    2. What gift? Got a witch hunt.

    3. Indeed, a bit rich coming for the guy who defended by clearly driving another off track in the fight for the race win last time out and got away without even getting it investigated @sham

      1. There wad no incident, only a creepy fantasy by some looking for a guilty party.
        Two drivers left track and regained in the same order. Nothing to see. Even the king of moaning did not see a problem.

        1. (meanwhile, back on planet Earth)…

          @erikje I am unsure what you are or are not choosing to read. MV is suggesting that he does not get any leeway from the officials. You are suggesting that the officials correctly did not penalise MV for the ‘incident’, however others are pointing out that if his assertions were true they would have penalised him anyway (or at least looked into it) regardless of whether it merited such actions or not.

        2. And Donald Trump won the US election? and the world is flat?

          1. Hey man, you should check out The Lincoln Project if you want to.

    4. That was Hamilton snatching it from him at Brazil!

  2. RandomMallard (@)
    21st November 2021, 17:02

    Max I’ve been pretty supportive of you this season but I can’t think of anything better to describe last weekend than a ‘present’

  3. Keep it clean Max. Any tangle with Lewis in the last 2 races and you will not be a Real Champion. Win it cleanly and everyone will respect you.

    1. Well Max lost quite some points because of crashes with Mercedes cars that in balance were more their fault then his.

      So would it be the same then if Lewis win the championship?

      1. Not on this website. The process for this site to be renamed has already begun.
        I 100% support people cheering for their favourite driver. That said, I’ve noticed the comments on here getting as divided and tense as comments for world events. It is really disheartening.

        1. Indeed, I noticed the last few weeks I wasn’t interested in reading the comment section here because of the Hamilton fans.
          Seems to get worse every week.

          1. That’s weird – I’ve been keeping away because of the anti-Hamilton fans who’ve been getting worse every day.

          2. I would say that until a month or so ago the amount of toxic anti-Hamilton and pro-Max comments in here has been making it hard to follow the comment section, basically all year long. No Hamilton fan here, but the hate and bias towards him has really been too much.
            But that seems to have switched a bit, especially it seems that people are being put off by the attitude coming from RedBull, and lately also Max himself, so that now its moving to the other side..

      2. For me it will. I can’t ignore Silverstone and Hungary. Lewis is strong, but this season his has met his match. The fact he is still in it and will win it, is up to luck. Luck he already wasn’t shy off.

        1. Actually it is more than luck. Mercedes persuading a tyre change (in-season!) to better fit their grip level was also quite a contributor.

        2. geoffgroom44 (@)
          22nd November 2021, 11:02

          luck – labour under controlled knowledge.
          seems a good description for the 7 times world champion.
          There was nothing to stop Max overtaking Lewis in this last race except the RB couldn’t manage it.

        3. Well, Silverstone was a racing incident by 100%. The people who said it was a racing incident stood for the truth and still stand for the truth months later.

          1. You found some body that has/holds the absolute truth? Let’s make that/them a racing steward then!

  4. Is he old enough to have dementia? Come on Max…

    1. no, just severe case of narcissism

    2. No, he is only to old to spot yellow color.

      1. Toxic comments coming from deeply frustrated people.

        1. The only frustrated people are Verstappen and Red Bull. Believing he shouldn’t have been penalised for ignoring double waved yellows.

  5. Even when he’s had his ass handed to him on a plate by the stewards, he still can’t put his hand up and say, “Yeah, I screwed up.” Always someone else’s fault.

    1. ” Always someone else’s fault.” Was clearly expressed by Max after he speared Lewis at Monza. When he said, ” This what happens when you don’t leave space.”

      1. Or in other:yield or bust!

  6. Looking beyond the obvious here what is really interesting is that Max said he ‘knew already last night he wouldn’t get any presents from them’.

    What was said or implied last night? Why did it take until an hour before the race start to confirm any penalties? Being very cynical, is the hand of Liberty at work to manufacture late pre-race drama?

    1. He knew last night, because he knew he’d broken the rules. But it wasn’t his fault he doesn’t get presents.
      Was some marshalls fault. Mean marshall.

      1. It was a strange situation maybe that was why it took so long. I saw also no flags but that was not strange as it seems they were ordered away but a marshall didn’t get the message on time orsomething like that. (the pictures i saw was at a certain time not the whole onboards)

        1. Look at Verstappen’s onboard. The double waved yellows were very clear. He screwed up and won’t admit it. Just like all the other times he’s been penalised, it’s always someone else’s fault.

  7. What a pointless comment considering the events of this week. Yeah the five place penalty with oddly double waived yellows could be seen as harsh. But this isn’t it.

  8. He is fast, very fast. He made aantastic start today for example and drove his car much faster than Perez could dream to do.
    But just like Horner he should keep his mouth shut sometimes. I really want to like the guy but he’s making it very hard.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      22nd November 2021, 11:05

      I admire his talent, not so much the man anymore.
      He’s hanging around Karen Horner and Groucho Marko too much,huh?

  9. Not sure actually. Verstappen got to start on the clean side, breezed past a hapless Bottas and got nicely onto the inside, placing him very quickly behind Gasly and Alonso. Here a momentary pause to consider the ‘resistance’ offered by Gasly after (a) Max mentioned being stuck behind him and (b) totally-not-at-all-coincidentally Gasly was told on the radio that Max ‘wasn’t their race’. Gasly promptly went wide and Max breezed past. Then Alonso. Surely a mega defence like the one he put up against Lewis? Oh no, he wants Max to win, remember? Breezed past again.

    Imagine Bottas in third, on the clean side, jumping to second at the start and finding his race pace earlier. Max would have still got past, I’m sure, but I’m also sure it would have been more difficult. That is presuming Bottas got a decent start of course, which is probably expecting far too much.

    1. Yeh the Gasly one looked like an arranged move for sure. The radio call may as well been from Marko saying “Max is faster than you”. They couldn’t just have Gasly slow down to allow Max past as that would cause a lot of issues so it’s better to have him accidentally run wide.

      All conjecture of course on my part but it looked like a gift

    2. You are right, if it is max it must be his luck.
      If it is Lewis he is superhuman.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        22nd November 2021, 5:12

        dude, I hope you’re not crediting Max for the overtake on Gasly or Alonso. That was hard to watch. It was disgusting but then again Bottas has been doing that too and we’re scratching our heads trying to understand why Max is just driving as opposed to racing for the championship while Lewis is racing all the time against everyone.

        At least Perez defends like any racer should…

    3. Yeah I’m sure starting seventh was a blessing in disguise. No way lining up on the same row as Hamilton would have been advantageous /s

      1. @paeschli Looking at their respective pace, it honestly wouldn’t have mattered where Verstappen started. He could have taken all new engine components and started P20, he would have still finished P2. He was never getting P1 all weekend.

      2. @scbriml If he had started P2, he maybe could have overtaken Hamilton on the first lap and try to keep him behind.
        The penalty ruined any possible race between Verstappen and Hamilton.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      22nd November 2021, 5:06

      @david-br yeah, it was hard to watch. Verstappen has had it very easy this year. There’s really not much competition except from Lewis. On the other hand, Lewis is competing with nearly every top 10 car. Max’s car is just another car that he has to deal with.

      You can say that this championship has been one-sided in terms of difficulty with Lewis fighting much harder and having to win the championship. Max just needs to show up and crash, if necessary. That’s pretty sums up Max’s season – show up and crash if Lewis is ahead or overtaking.

    5. geoffgroom44 (@)
      22nd November 2021, 11:08


  10. @david-br So now it’s also Max’s fault that Bottas can’t start well?

    1. @omarr-pepper ? I didn’t say that at all.

  11. “It is the third time in the last four seasons he has received a penalty of this type.”
    Maybe, just maybe, he should not expect presents from the stewards but instead start to learn from things like that.
    As fast as he is this” I can’t possibly ever wrong” attitude is costing him valuable points throughout his career.

    1. Quite @roadrunner, that would probably be good advice.

    2. To be fair he didn’t say the stewards were wrong

      1. That was Horner but Max didn’t said the Marshalls were wrong indeed.

      2. @anunaki He didn’t, but still manages to sound entitled and still refuses to accept or admit that he screwed up in not seeing the double yellows.

  12. i don’t understand how BOTAS slips from 6th on starting grid up to 11 on lap one…its just crazy. Today he did mercs a disservice forcing them to do an extended long stint hoping to rescue his race..then bang..a puncture

    1. Absolutely shocking. When he said yesterday that he had nothing to lose that is what he meant then…

      1. Someone at Alfa Romeo is having intestinal pain…. Hello, Kimi? how about one more year?

  13. Why should he expect “presents”?

    1. @waptraveler I interpreted his comment to mean something like, “I knew I was in trouble when the stewards sent for me, because they only do that if they’re going to give you a penalty” – in other words, that they wouldn’t send for you just to give you a present. I don’t think he was saying he was harshly treated by the stewards or that he expects a gift from them of some kind.

      1. OK, I’ll go along with that. Point taken.

      2. That’s exactly how I read it as well.

        But it’s not how the headline in the article presents it and understandably the majority of the comments are responding to the headline.

      3. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
        22nd November 2021, 12:46

        @red-andy He said “I never get presents” not “we never get any presents”. It’s pretty clearly a self-pitying remark from an enormously entitled young man.

  14. I find it cringy that nobody gets that there is no good reason to get a call from the stewards…

  15. I feel sorry for Max.

    He seems to have trouble retaining memories from even the previous week.

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      22nd November 2021, 11:09


  16. Or free points in Spa…

    Anyway, he knew he wasn’t improving his position anyway, he was already 2nd by a margin. No need to push past a stranded car. However you look at this, of course it’s not Max’s fault. Just keep the storyline alive, and maybe next time the stewards will be more careful in their harsh an inconsiderate rulings. /s

    1. Like (@bosyber) says, I might have misinterpreted the comment. Still, it’s a mess that distracts from the championship.

    2. the points from Spa was really pathetic. And those points from a competition that never happened may very well be what he needs to edge hamilton in the end.

      1. More like Hamilton needing multiple Mercedes based dnfs by max to keep following.

    3. Yes, admitting he made a mistake wouldn’t feed the “Verstappen the plucky underdog” narrative.

  17. FWIW, the stewards report none of them have received a gift from Max.

  18. Oh, the audacity!

  19. Of course it’s not his fault. Of course it isn’t. When is Max going to admit he did anything wrong, ever. The answer is that he isn’t because if the way he was raised.

    1. @john-h, this is a rude and stupid remark. You have no business in bringing up his youth talking about this 2021 championship. He was a child, you want to blame him for that? Shame on you.

      1. Bit of an overreaction @petterson. I’m sorry but it’s never ever his fault in his mind, that is all about how someone is raised. There is zero contrition. Some people like that, that’s fine, but personally at least admitting fault once instead of being so arrogant all the time would win him more fans. Max is an amazing amazing driver, but a little humility, at least once, would be refreshing.

        1. I would give this comment an upvote if I could.

          1. I wouldn’t need it.

        2. +1

          ..with that dad we shouldnt really be too surprised..

        3. And you base all this because you were part of the family so know this all first hand? Or did you by any chance just base it on a document some one made, a produced movie .. you know that medium that can only exist if a lot of people see it..?

    2. @john-h Absolutely right. All Verstappen had to do was say “Yeah, I screwed up and missed the flags.” But he can’t. His penalty was 100% down to him and adds ammunition to those that say he doesn’t learn.

  20. Michael E Ingraham
    21st November 2021, 20:45

    Max may want to have his short memory checked. It appears that he forgets things that happened just one week ago!

    1. No, he doesn’t forget. With an asphalt run-off, there was no danger in Verstappen’s defense of Hamilton in Brazil. Qatar qualifying, with the discrepancies in yellow flag application between race control and the marshals, Verstappen really didn’t deserve a five-place grid drop.

  21. Petulance wins no respect.

  22. These kinds of statements are ridiculous. Next time, Max should just follow the rules instead of hoping for ‘gifts’.

    1. Every driver and team principal needs to take a cue from Kimi and just shut up. Nothing good will come from too much talking to the press.

  23. Apart from the FIA repeatedly trying to help Red Bull close up to Mercedes (and Ferrari). Granted they messed up the opportunities given mostly, but the last time when they went with the floor changes which were know to specifically hurt low rake cars it clearly helped a lot. Plus all the debatable stewards rulings which have been going in favor of Verstappen mostly.

    Just comical really.

  24. To rephrase, when I said I like Verstappen, it meant I would bet on him. It didn’t mean I like him personally. But wow. It’s not the same, to give a present to someone who demands one. He demands every corner like he’s entitled to it. Italy was stupid. And it looks like we are in for more. Yayyy!

  25. Impressive lack of self-awareness

Comments are closed.