Verstappen disagrees with ‘brake test’ penalty and claims he’s treated ‘unfairly’

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen believes he has been treated differently to other drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, after receiving two penalties in last weekend’s controversial Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was given a five-second time penalty for gaining an advantage off the track while fighting for the lead with Lewis Hamilton. He was later further penalised by 10 seconds for braking sharply in front of the Mercedes driver, prompting a collision between the two. Hamilton accused his rival of performing a “brake test”.

Verstappen believes other drivers committed identical moves to his off-track defence without collecting penalties.

“Clearly things don’t apply for everyone because things I did in terms of defending two other guys, in terms of racing, also did and they didn’t even get a mention or a penalty,” he said. “So I don’t understand because I thought I was just racing hard.

“What happened, for me, didn’t deserve any penalty and clearly the other two people who did it didn’t get one. Clearly it’s only me who gets it. Of course fighting at the front people are a bit more critical I guess. But for me, I don’t understand.”

The Red Bull driver insisted he didn’t deserve penalties for either incident. “For me I was not wrong. Clearly only I was wrong somehow, like I said, while other people do exactly the same thing they get nothing. Both of us we were off the track, we were outside of the white line into turn one. Somehow they judged that it was my fault, which I don’t agree with.

“And then also the other penalty as well I don’t agree with.”

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Verstappen believes Hamilton should have been penalised more severely for forcing him wide at one point during the race.

“Basically afterwards he pushes me off the track, he even looks at me and doesn’t turn in and just pushes me outside of the white line at the track edge and only gets a warning for that. Definitely it’s not how it should be and not fair because it seems like other drivers can do different things and only it seems like I get a penalty.”

He does not intend to change his approach to racing because he believes other drivers get away with moves he is penalised for.

“The only thing I ask for is that it’s fair for everyone,” he said. “Clearly that’s not the case at the moment.

“But like I said I don’t feel like I was wrong and clearly it’s not wrong for others so why should I then change when for others it’s allowed to race like that? I think everyone should be allowed to race like that.”

Ahead of this weekend’s championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, F1 race director Michael Masi has reminded drivers the stewards have the power to confiscate points for breaches of racing ethics.

Asked whether he intends to congratulate his rival if Hamilton wins the championship, Verstappen said: “If everything is fair, for sure.”

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Dieter Rencken
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171 comments on “Verstappen disagrees with ‘brake test’ penalty and claims he’s treated ‘unfairly’”

  1. Hahahahaha

    Ha

    1. I came here to write the same comment. The arrogance and rationalizing that come from Max (and his bosses) can be mind bending. But same for Senna and Schumacher I suppose. Lewis has 7 championships. Has he ever resorted to questionable tactics like Senna/Schumi/Max to clinch a title?

      1. Yes.

        The stewards have placed blame on Hamilton for three crashes with Verstappen and gave him a warning for an illegal move. One could say Hamilton has a penchant for colliding with Red Bull drivers, last year he was penalized for crashing into Albon.

        But I would assume all that is not “questionable”.

        1. Which 3 were those? There was an incident where the stewards stated Hamilton had more blame then Vestappen but it wasn’t entirely him.

          1. Saudi-Arabia, Monza and Silverstone.

            In none of those incidents the stewards deemed one driver to be wholly to blame, so in all three incidents the stewards decided that Hamilton did something wrong and was in part to blame for the crash. Saying Verstappen is worse does not obsolve Hamilton of wrong-doing.

            The driver, who is not predominately to blame does not directly receive a penalty, but he is in fact penalized, because the penalty of the driver predominately to blame is reduced. I would like to see this rule changed, so that both drivers who are both to blame receive penalties.

          2. @uzsjgb That’s not how that works. Some of the blame can be attributed to circumstances outside either drivers control. Saying the incident is 60% driver 1s faults does not mean that 40% is driver 2s fault. You can imply that if you wish – there are enough mental gymnastics going on to make that unsurprising – but that’s definitely not the whole story.

          3. “circumstances outside either drivers control” would be mitigating circumstances. I think I remember the stewards listing such mitigating circumstances, if that leads to a driver receiving a lesser penalty. I would have to look up a concrete example.

            I would find it very weird if a driver gets obsolved of complete blame due to mitigating circumstances, which the stewards then keep secret. And I don’t think that would be accepted by the parties involved, the press and the fans. So, if the stewards do not list any mitigating circumstances for the partial blame, that puts the rest of the blame on the other driver. That is also the interpretation the press has used. Autosport has even commented on the fact that we do not know how much blame is really placed on a driver, if partial means 51% or 99%. One can deduce from the severity of the penalty applied if it is closer to 51% or 99%, but little more.

        2. @uzsjgb Using that logic, they also blamed Verstappen for Silverstone.

          1. Ham was on the racing line should have been penalized, he only got away because was at home

      2. FWIW I think OP is talking about title clinching crashes as discussed in the article not just trying to rehash again the discussion of who is more at fault for this seasons clashes.

        1. There are no title clinching crashes discussed in the article.

          The OP thinks there are “questionable tactics” from Verstappen to clinch a title. He hasn’t explained what he thinks they were, so I assumed it must be something that Hamilton hasn’t done, because Hamilton is not on the list. There isn’t any such thing, everything Verstappen has done Hamilton has also done. So I guess the OP is really saying that he thinks so far Hamilton has not used “questionable tactics” to win a title, but if he wins the title this year he will have.

          1. everything Verstappen has done Hamilton has also done

            @uzsjgb when has Hamilton ever brake-checked a rival?

          2. @uzsjgb I point you to this article from racefans, also posted today (9th December). That article does talk about title clinching crashes (or crashes in the final race that affected the championship).

    2. You can clearly see this site is british by looking at the comment-section. The articles are good but the comments are just silly.
      Max is correct. Lewis can run anyone and their mother off the road and not get a penalty. Anyone does it to him gets a penalty. It’s silly really. Hamilton has finally found someone racing his standards and he can’t stand it.

      1. Hear hear….Unfortunately Max is right. He is the underdog. Tired of the LH show. Fingers crossed Sunday. Go Max!

        1. To: Allsop,

          After all the comments from fans of both Sir Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, I think the best outcome for Sunday’s Grand Prix will be for Max to gain a resounding pole position and then, at the start of the race, pull over and let Sir Lewis Hamilton go on his way to an unchallenged victory and his eighth Driver’s World Championship – after all it is Hamilton’s given right from above to win.

          To me that is the only way to prevent an entire year of arguments that should not be necessary. I am sick and tired of reading about stewards’ inconsistency, ‘dirty driving’, cheating and all the rest of it.

          Be gracious Max, you did try.

          1. That would be a good thing from Max to do
            Provided that about half a yard from the flag and about 60 second ahead of the second car, #44 would explode and burn.
            Max proves his point, gets his WDC anyway, and some ashes are scattered in the desert wind. How poetic.

      2. So why wasn’t Verstappen penalised for running Hamilton 25m off track in Brazil?

        What happened at the last corner in Saudi Arabia was different because, while Hamilton did push Verstappen wide, he himself stayed within the white lines. This is something Verstappen clearly struggles with – how many times has he been penalised for overtaking off-track?

      3. Posting that after Brazil is comical.

      4. The ‘British bias’ argument is so reductive, lazy and conspiratorial. If you cannot see how much more aggressive Max has been of the pair (and as he has been throughout his career) then you have to be wilfully misleading yourself.

      5. LOL!!

        You’re clearly on the money as we can see from the stewards decisions at Silverstone and Sao Paulo.

        Clearly they love Lewis.

      6. It does amuse me that commenters on this website talk about British fans making silly comments when what I assume people want is a fair fight.

        There’s just too many occasions where Max has crossed the line – and then not been punished for it, particularly this season. I’m not exactly Lewis’ biggest fan but Max makes himself really hard to like.

      7. Max is not correct. And just a vague handwaving of “muh british bias” ain’t going to work.

    3. Moral gymnastics from Max Max there – What a silly sausage

  2. If this is how he really feels, perhaps rather than just penalize the FIA/stewards should sit down with him in front of a TV screen, go through the incidents and point out what he had done wrong and why he was penalized. If he doesn’t know why he’s being penalized he’ll continue with the behavior.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th December 2021, 13:05

      @velocityboy I think if the stewards sat with him and went over every incident, Max would lose his license as they wouldn’t see him fit to drive in the sport.

      1. Plus, they don’t have days to go over that many incidents with him. He should have learned this already, and if not it should be his team going over the incidents with him, but this is RBR we are talking about and Max can do no wrong for them. Given their behaviour this season, I believe that if Max aimed his car at a marshal on track and ran him over deliberately, Horner and Marko would still try to find a way to make it the marshal’s fault.

    2. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      9th December 2021, 17:05

      @velocityboy when journalists ask him about incidents he says things like: “I don’t want to discuss it, I don’t want to THEM [who?] the satisfaction”, or something like that. That was his line after Jeddah, anyway.

    3. It’s not that he doesn’t know, he doesn’t want to accept it as a rule. He has different view about how racing should be. That’s the issue, therefore he says he will never change. You could see that some psycho came into sport when he waived like a crazy in front of Kimi on the straight when they almost crash. A normal person would not do that, a crazy guy does and still finds it ok.

  3. “Basically afterwards he pushes me off the track, he even looks at me and doesn’t turn in and just pushes me outside of the white line at the track edge and only gets a warning for that. Definitely it’s not how it should be and not fair because it seems like other drivers can do different things and only it seems like I get a penalty.”

    Because Hamilton was already fed up of your behavior the entire race. After seeing that the incident was judged with Verstappen being predominantly at fault, I agree that his penalty was alright along with the penalty points. However, I expect the stewards and race control to be more severe with their judgements this weekend.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th December 2021, 13:07

      @krichelle did that happen when Max finally gave him the position?

      If so, did Max expect to racing side-by-side into the corner as he gave him the position.

      1. Yes it happened as Hamilton had finally, definitely got past, he then made sure Verstappen couldn’t do another of his too-late lunges to get back yet again @freelittlebirds, it’s the move that got him a black-and-white flag warning.

        I do think it’s forgivable not to give a penalty for that, given how lenient they have been on Verstappen with those moves before, but they might also just have given a 5s penalty (like Verstappen’s penalty for a heavier infraction, wouldn’t have changed a thing though). Also, Hamilton at least made sure to stay within the white lines, as he did for all of the race, which I think might have informed Masi’s mindset on that, in the ‘let them race spirit’ (hah).

        1. Actually, IIR MV did not get a warning for the T4 incident, he got the warning for weaving in the straight.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          9th December 2021, 15:29

          @bosyber it’s shocking Lewis got a black and white flag for that. For what? Moving to the racing line after being given the position back? What was Max thinking trying to come around the outside the moment he gave the position up on the outside?

          1. One was threatened if more moves like that were made, no flag was shown to Lewis.

          2. dont think Lewis got a black and white flag. I believe masi said it was borderline black and white flag for that final overtake were he stopped Max performing his usual s housery. Happy for someone to correct me there though

    2. He was probably looking as you were supposed to give the place back, not run alongside him straight after you let him pass.

  4. It’s a bit delusional to not admit fault for any of it. Sure we can discuss a few aspects, but to say he deserved no penalties at all. Even Marko himself has come out and apologised for getting it wrong for the brake test incident.
    Zero contrition at all is a bit much for me at least.

    1. I am absolutely stunned he has the audacity to say this. If he honestly believes that this is all just “hard racing”, he needs to go. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like it.

    2. Give me another meaning of delusion yards beats this one.

    3. @john-h Except Marko’s “apology” was one of those politician apologies. In other words, it wasn’t an apology.

      1. Even that’s a big step for Marko

  5. “So I don’t understand because I thought I was just racing hard.”

    And now you know you went a bit too far on some of those moves, Max, and can adjust accordingly. You’re good enough to fight, and win, without going to such lengths. You only think you’re treated differently because you’re the only one going as far as you have done on a fairly regularly basis lately. Sure, you have been sent a few mixed signals with the likes of Brazil not getting penalised, but by now you should see that kind of driving won’t be allowed in the future.

    Just tone it down slightly, and you’ll be just fine.

  6. A list of incidents and outcomes (penalties or otherwise) would be interesting to see.

    Max though, boy, I wish you’d just start driving clean. Prove you’re the quickest, not the most aggressive (we get it, you are). And don’t whine if someone gives you a dose of your own medicine!

  7. Some differences for Max to think through:

    – When Lewis hold the inside line, and runs a competitor wide on the exit of a corner, he makes sure that he himself will make the turn. In Brazil, he forced Lewis off track as he was not able to stay within track limits. He didn’t get a penalty, although he should have He did this again in Saudi, and got a penalty.

    – When Lewis yield a place, he doesn’t stomp on the brake pedal and drive erratically.

    – When Lewis cuts a corner, and gains a position as a result, he yields the position. No penalty needed…

    1. When Lewis cuts a corner, and gains a position as a result, he yields the position. No penalty needed

      Like at Spa 2008

      The penalty was absolutely and unavoidably deserved (see Alonso at Suzuka 2005) but however I was absolutely amazed that it was enforced. Absolutely nothing was being enforced for the future Sir, and there always was a crane at hand.

      1. Really? Because the rule at the time was that you had to give the place back, which he did. It was only after the race that race control explained that when you give a place back, you have to wait until after the next corner before you can have another go. Part of the problem with last weekend is that Max chose to give the place back on the final corner – and tried to get DRS to assist. Technically legal but hardly fair.

        As for Lewis’ 2008 penalty, yes he took the place back immediately – though in mitigation the weather being terrible, Kimi was extremely slow going into turn 1 and then proceeded to crash out of the race later in the lap. At the time I thought 25 seconds was too harsh, and especially now when Perez lost all of 5 seconds for not giving a place back at Monza this year.

  8. You’ve been treated differently from other drivers, correct. But (Silverstone aside), your conduct has been beyond any other driver. Grow up.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th December 2021, 13:15

      @hahostolze I agree but I find Silverstone to be one of Verstappen’s biggest mistakes this season. Double defense as they went into the turn, then a very tight angle turn as if he’s running by himself, a realization that he didn’t make it, an insufficient correction, and a crash.

      The concoctions that Lewis understeered, oversteered, carried too much speed, wasn’t pointing at the apex were just fabrications to penalize Lewis as Max was out of the race. If not deemed a racing incident, Max probably deserved a penalty for Silverstone – it would have added insult to injury but fair is fair. The sympathy penalty made zero sense.

      Lewis doesn’t tackle into corners. He gets along-side and pushes out wide but they never got to the end of the corner due to the erroneous driving by Max. His turns are wildly uncontrolled – he’s cutting through a different angle than he should be. Sometimes he’s nearly perpendicular to the track going in another direction to hold position.

      1. +1 well said on all points

      2. The race in England was the 1st. big incident so it was judged differently than it would be now. Silverstone was instant karma.

  9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    9th December 2021, 13:02

    Here’s a guy who has received the lightest treatment on the paddock for his actions on track and believes he’s treated harshly.

    He shouldn’t be saying these things as it’s going to be hard for anyone to talk to him as he’s clearly delusional and lives in a world that doesn’t exist.

    1. leclerc did worse things at the 2019 season but he can get away with more for some reason…
      I guess because it was pretty obvious he wasn’t winning the Championship..

      double standards for when Max is involved.

      1. Leclerc was told that he was in the wrong, and he’s not done anything grossly similar on purpose since. Look at the way he gave Lewis far too much room at Silverstone. Some drivers actually learn from their mistakes and consequences. Max will not try this garbage with Leclerc because he knows that they will just crash (unless it benefits Max to crash like in Brazil and Saudi Arabia).

    2. Even Horner looked a bit horrified at the brake test. He and Helmut and even Jos have been urging him to play it fair this weekend – because he needs urging. Masi dropping a heavy hint too, drivers joking about it, but nothing seems to get through.

  10. 7 seasons in and Max Verstappen is not maturing or learning from his mistakes. Someone should ask him of any incident, with anyone, where he thought he was to blame. The answer will probably be: “none”.

    1. @blazz His answer is always the same – “I don’t want to talk about that.”

      1. We should talk about racing and not penalties, unless of course it’s Silverstone (hehe). Down the line, I want these comments to be dug up should Max be unfortunately be on the receiving end of a brake check, though I strongly doubt that anyone is crazy enough to do it.

  11. Max is heading to fairly lonely place at the moment and needs a reality check from the people closest to him. I don’t begrudge a new name on the trophy but his name has become tarnished with most things negative from a sportsmanship perspective. Nobody’s perfect but acknowledging your mistakes demonstrates a level of maturity that he is yet to show. Jeddah qualifying aside, he only seems to go off track when the threat of losing a position is imminent. Otherwise he’s immaculate and very impressive to watch! That gives me an impression that these ‘off track’ moments are not an accident at all, generally because he’s around Lewis at the time. When other drivers talk about brake checking to get an advantage over an opponent, he should know he’s lost the argument.

    1. He has become more aggressive after those Mercedes caused incidents.
      No choice i guess because he needed to regain the championship lead and because Red Bull wasn’t developing the car as fast as Mercedes. That might be because the Budget Cap as Red Bull lost millions in those Mercedes caused crashes.

      Maybe he is less likable then Lewis but he was the better driver by far this season.

      1. “No choice i guess”

        He does have a choice though. Clean driving at Jeddah he still would have finished 2nd.

      2. Max has been aggressive on track all season, and indeed his entire career. The whole ‘one defensive move’ and ‘no moving under braking’ rules came about after a couple of incidents he was involved in, and I remember Kimi in particular complaining about Max’s dangerous driving after a Spa race (can’t remember the year).

        He flew under the radar for a couple of years because Red Bull was stuck between Mercedes/Ferrari and the midfield so he often drove lonely races, but still often found trouble whenever he was competing seriously against someone (Vettel – Mexico and Ricciardo – Baku).

        He’s incredibly talented but also amazingly stubborn and refuses to change his approach. It’s wearing a bit thin now.

        1. Why should he change his approach? In his mind, and according to the echo chamber around him, he hasn’t done anything wrong, therefore, why change?

      3. Seann Sheriland
        9th December 2021, 18:10

        HA HA HA HA….what an analogy. Mercedes caused incidents…..? HA HA HA…

      4. If Max were the better driver, he would have been able to stay on track more often.

        1. Or had a faster car, say a Merc, and would not need to constantly overdrive and force it.

  12. I dont agree with Max on the two turn one incidents and thought Brasil was wrong too. Other than that he is absolutely right. Looking at the overall season and all that has unfolded, this years championship holds zero value. This ‘sport’ has some serious challenges and the wrong owner to address them since they sell circus for a living. I find it admiring Max still fights for a lost cause. Did you really think for one second that Lewis was not going to win this season? Apparently RB were that naive leading to the shenanigans now at the final races. But it was decided in the back rooms, with Pirelli and the FIA quite some time ago. I am of the opinion that Lewis tally is somewhat exaggerated given there was just one car that won over the course of the entire regulatory period and his wing man always came second despite being at best a mediocre driver. I now feel this year holds even less value. Lewis is a great driver, but because of his mind games antics vs Alonso, Rosberg and now Max and total lack of any reflection skills on the unprecedented luck he has had for so many year, he will not be remembered as a great sportsman.

    1. Did you really think for one second that Lewis was not going to win this season? Apparently RB were that naive leading to the shenanigans now at the final races. But it was decided in the back rooms, with Pirelli and the FIA quite some time ago.

      I’m not going to argue with your conspiracy theories (because arguing with conspiracy theorists is a waste of time), but here’s a cool web comic about the subject

      1. That is indeed funny. Not a conspiracy person at all, I am claiming fraud. Wouldnt be the first time in sports.

        1. The fact that you are claiming fraud is the conspiracy theory I am speaking of. You are suggesting a high-level conspiracy within the FIA/Pirelli etc to fraudulently place Lewis as champion.

      2. Ref the not arguing with conspiracy people, I tend to do that too, because it is tiresome, but its arrogant avoidance too and doesnt make their worries go away. I find it best to keep talking how tiring it might be. On this site many people counter arguments with personal attacks. If these people really think that is the way forward (to just ignore whatever sound doesnt fit your narrative) in this society than thats a serious concern.

        1. If these people really think that is the way forward (to just ignore whatever sound doesnt fit your narrative) in this society than thats a serious concern.

          I would suggest you take a long, hard look in the mirror. I doubt it will do any good, but try to evaluate your own actions under this and you may not like what you see…

      3. Mark Twain:
        Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience

        1. @deanr what a great quote, it will live rent-free in my mind coz I reckon I’ll be needing it plenty in future 😄

      4. There truly is an xkcd for everything

        1. Yep. My wife hates that… LOL

    2. Aaaaand WOW.

    3. Now, that’s interesting. I’ve felt, since Pirelli started fiddling with tires, and the “absolutely necessary reduction in downforce” (that turned out not to be necessary at all, but seriously hampered the two fastest low-rake cars on the grid), the heavy-handed penalties given out early in the season, and Red Bull’s almost miraculous improvement in engine performance and reliability, that the deck has been stacked against Mercedes all year.

      F1 seems to be divided into two camps– one really wants to see the 7 times world championship record fall, and the other is desperate for a new face as the world driver’s champion for 2022.

      Of course, Red Bull left some points on the table that they could really use about now– Bahrain springs to mind, and if Max had given Lewis a bit more room in Silverstone, he’d be at least 18 points ahead of where he is now, if not the actual champion.

  13. Isn’t this evidence that the guy simply should not be allowed on track? The utter disrespect for the rules and safety of his colleagues is ridiculous.

    1. are you talking about Hamilton? because everybody felt that at Silverstone… Lewis was saying im sooooo proud im soooo proud.. no concern about verstappen until the Dutch TV said he was still in Hospital .. then he said should i call him?

      indeed a disgrace… Self-absorbed guy..

      1. Oh please stop with the hospital nonsense. It was a routine check, he wasn’t airlifted to hospital, he wasn’t in a come for six weeks, he didn’t need life-saving surgery. He was well enough to post selfies and Tweet angry messages while he was there.

        You even admit yourself that Hamilton was unaware Verstappen had gone to hospital.

      2. He asked during the race if Max was ok, what are you talking about?

    2. Agreed, brake testing should be an automatic ban in my opinion. A 3 race ban would be an appropriate penalty. The fact that many people are heading into this weekend expecting him to cause a collision says it all.

      1. Please have a look at the telemetry of both cars before parroting the media. On top of that Lewis contradicts himself reviewing the incident. First he doesnt know what happened, then he clearly says he knew exactly what he was doing ref the drs line. He could have easily go alongside Max without overtaking, but chose to annoy. Dirty episode once again. Unworthy but in his defense probably a result of the toxic Mercedes team that clearly projects foul play is part of racing.

        1. doesnt matter what Lewis did after, or why he was behind Max. you dont brake test another driver. period.

        2. Hamilton was confused because Verstappen was still weaving a bit, and unlike most drivers ceding a position, didn’t move over to the right and slow down– he slowed down, weaved a bit, and kind of drifted right, and then the telemetry shows that he decelerated suddenly, and hard.

          The inconsistency here is in how you’re interpreting multiple stories that were breaking at once– and that’s being kind, and assuming you aren’t deliberately misinterpreting what happened.

  14. Weaving and then telling the stewards he says hi sums up Max’s view of “racing hard.”

    1. There are so many of his examples, this one isn’t even mentioned any more. But let’s hear Max remind us once again about how he knows the rules.

  15. Whatever your views are on all of this, he’s not showing much maturity with these comments. He’s said “it’s only me getting penalties” for driving the way he does but he won’t change how he drivers. That means he’s going to continue getting penalties….

    He needs to find the limit of what he can get away with rather than knowingly stepping over the limit because that’s only going to result in a penalty handing the title to Hamilton.

    I appreciate that going up against someone in a faster car probably means he feels a bit helpless – Hamilton would have won the last 3 races with or without penalties to Max so I guess he feels like he has nothing to lose but if he does somehow have a chance at winning in Abu Dhabi (however unlikely that looks), he needs to make sure everything is clean.

    1. Part of the problem is that he’s been allowed to get away with this kind of “racing” for so long. It’s like the spoilt child whose parents finally put their foot down and set boundaries: The kid has no idea how to respect those boundaries coz he’s never had them before.

    2. The pressure is understandably getting to him and unfortunately he has too many enablers. Harsh as it may sound, i think losing the title may be the best thing that could happen to him. He needs to escape the toxicity of Horner, Marko and his dad – he’d be truly formidable with the right attitude.

  16. It is quite depressing to see such a great sporting talent embracing “alternative facts” philosophy. This “If everything is fair (I will congratulate Lewis)”, is so Trumpesque…

    1. I agree, especially coming from a multiple WDC. Why throw away your legacy so simple? Same goes for Mercedes. Why? All they achieved now is questions around their past victories.

      1. lexusreliability?
        9th December 2021, 21:42

        Are you being paid overtime for all this pro Max propaganda?

        1. Just trying to level the playfield.

  17. Lewis used to think the same

  18. He’s entitled to his view I guess. Even if he is dead wrong. Just like when Mercedes pitched a huge fit about their wing slot gap in Brazil that was simply out of spec. Horner talking about rogue marshals or whatever. Everyone should think more before they speak. They are speaking for hundreds of employees and representing the sport.

    Going into the finale I feel like both teams should at least publicly be taking the high road and saying we’re going to have a fair fight and whoever wins will deserve it blah blah. Instead people are trying to work the refs before the game even starts.

    1. @dmw

      Just like when Mercedes pitched a huge fit about their wing slot gap in Brazil that was simply out of spec.

      A broken component that due to being broken didn’t pass a technical test. When normally teams are allowed to repair such damage and retry the test

      If they had simply been allowed to fix the two broken screws then the wing would be actual spec and pass the test just as it did on Thursday.

      You think it’s odd they were upset? Even after being treated that insanely unfair, did you see an outcry even remotely comparable to the circus that Horner and Marko put up when the tiniest thing goes against them?

      1. The worst part is that the wing actually hurt Lewis’ pace, and the FIA claims to agree that there was no malice or naughty intent.

    2. My respect for Massa went up one hundred fold by the way he conducted himself after 2008, despite the massive heartbreak that he experienced. Some drivers and team principals need to learn something about humility and grace.

  19. Both of us we were off the track, we were outside of the white line into turn one. Somehow they judged that it was my fault, which I don’t agree with

    Is he just dumb then? Or just think everyone else is? Hamilton had to go off too or run into him given Verstappen was right in front of him, blocking his path on track. As in Brazil. Of course, that’s a risk Verstappen can afford to take. Coincidentally.

    1. This might be part of the problem. Looking at his behaviour, if the positions were reversed Max wouldn’t have left the track to avoid the collision, he’d have hit Hamilton and left it to the stewards to sort out. Therefore, to him, Hamilton chose to leave the track and avoid the collision, which puts him in the clear.

      1. @drmouse I think deep down you’re right. In Brazil, Verstappen went with the line that they were both ‘racing hard’ and braked too late for the corner. That’s just false, though. Hamilton would have made the corner easily. But in a way it goes back to Silverstone and the line Red Bull tried to push that ‘Hamilton would never have made Copse’ as ‘proof’ that he was far too fast/late on the brakes and was reckless therefore. Again, highly contentious. Come Saudia Arabia, though, and it is precisely as you’ve put it: ‘Hamilton chose not to crash, and so went off-track, so we did the same, so why was I the only one who got a penalty?’ Totally spurious.

  20. Up until a couple of races ago I thought this was a really good season, a good fight, maybe a wheel or two over the line but nothing hugely terrible. Thought both drivers had conducted themselves reasonably well (ignoring their excruiatingly boring teams) and whoever won the title at the end would be a worthy, respectable winner. Went into the season as a neutral and would be happy with either outcome.

    Brazil onwards, Verstappen’s really disappointed me. He’s been driving against Hamilton like someone who doesn’t care if he drives away from a corner, so long as the other guy doesn’t drive away either. The only reason they’re level on points is that Hamilton has taken evasive action to avoid a possibly race-ending collision four times – one in Brazil and three in Saudi. The brake test was just the tip of a pretty rotten iceberg of bad driving, not aided by the ridiculous stewarding in Brazil… Saudi was one of the most unpleasant races I’ve ever watched.

    That isn’t racing. At best it’s pointing your car at another car and hoping they’ll move out of the way, at worst it’s trying to engineer a collision. It’s not exciting, it’s not fun and it’s not worthy of praise.

    I’m not a ‘fan’ of either, so I still won’t be particularly bothered on a personal level whoever wins… I’m just desperately hoping it’s clean. The entire season’s title fight could have been ruined by any one of Verstappen’s four reckless moves in the last few races… and I can’t put into words how devastating it would be for my own love of the sport to have an otherwise great season ended by another one in Abu Dhabi.

    1. @neilosjames Just now this is all Hamilton-Verstappen. But next year, who knows. Plenty of other drivers could be in the mix (will be in the mix – or will think they are – in the first few races) meaning that the driving standards established as ‘legitimate’ from Brazil to Abu Dhabi 2021 will be tested on track by all of them.

      1. @david-br

        the driving standards established as ‘legitimate’ from Brazil to Abu Dhabi 2021 will be tested on track by all of them

        Yep, and several of them have come out openly to say “If this is acceptable, I’m changing how I drive”. I’m really worried this could lead to a dip in driving standards across the board.

    2. Yet it has only been Mercedes that has actually taken out their competitors 3 times!

      1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
        9th December 2021, 15:39

        Hamilton at Silverstone and got a penalty.

        Bottas at Hungary and got a penalty.

        Where is the third time.

        1. Bottas took out Perez as well

      2. Verstappen took himself out in Silverstone, ignoring that Hamilton was alongside. And he took out Hamilton in Monza. Plus all his attempts in the last two races.

        1. Even as a Hamilton fan, I find this reasoning spurious. Silverstone was mostly Hamilton’s fault, just as if Hamilton hadn’t taken the avoiding action he has several times (Brazil and Saudi, where Max left the track doing so, are just the most extreme examples) and had hit Max, it would have been mostly Max’s fault. The fact that the other competitor had a chance to avoid the accident doesn’t change who is predominantly at fault.

          We all know Max could have done just as Lewis has throughout the year multiple times to avoid the accident, but it was still Lewis’ fault.

    3. Completely agree with you about Max’s behaviour, it is not good racing, it is not even racing.

  21. The Torpedo 2.0

    1. Maybe it’s Kelly?

  22. Max’s perspective on the world can be summed up best with the words of Mel Brooks.

    “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

  23. There’s an old saying: You reap what your sow.

    Maxie is trying to grow a WC title from crash-bashie tactics.

    Masi issued a statement that clearly says, don’t try it RB, or, Max. Race cleanly, or, get disqualified.

    I hope they listen & the final race is actually a race. When Max has his head screwed on straight, he is capable of a deserved world championship. If he tries the contact method again I sincerely hope the stewards throw the book at him & it’s that last time we see this in any championship.

  24. It is impressive how people talks about brake test when there was nothing like that. Please read the stewards veredict!

    In someway this season show that we need to stop allowing that the driver on the interior can push the driver on the outside freely in any case…

    1. This season should bring an end to this rule yes. Why can I watch sports car races with wheel to wheel battles around several corners but in f1 it’s car on the outside goes off or crashes? It also leads to interminable arguments and impossible or difficult stewarding situations.

      I’m not with you on the brake test. I read what they said and saw what happened. We would not even be talking about it but for an attempt to break a different rule in negating the position swap. It’s like complaining you were wrongly busted on an battery charge because you actually didn’t hit anyone in a robbery attempt, you just threatened them.

    2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      9th December 2021, 15:45

      Yes Verstappen was driving erratically.

    3. It is impressive how people talks about brake test when there was nothing like that.

      69 bar of brake pressure and 2.4G deceleration outside of a braking zone with a car directly behind you is a brake check. Just because the stewards didn’t use those words doesn’t make it untrue.

      1. I do not agree looking at the telemetry of both cars. Their braking was evenly matched yet Lewis chose to do two things: deliberately stay behind Max to not cross the drs line first, while he also would have achieved the exact same by positioning his car next to the RB (mistake 1) and he went on the throttle twice (!) during the breaking (mistake 2). A clear penalty for Lewis imho, yet I thought since there was miscommunication it would be ok to forgive him.

        1. the crash was caused by Max’s sudden braking, it doesnt matter what Lewis did.

        2. You haven’t seen the telemetry of both cars, and repeatedly saying that you have doesn’t make anyone believe that you have.

          1. I think he may be talking about the side by side video of the F1 app “telemetry”, which gives only a partial picture at best. If there is publicly available access to the actual telemetry, I’d love to see it.

            Even so, it shows sudden deceleration by Max while Lewis was right behind him in an area where no racing driver would expect braking. That’s a brake check, pure and simple, and would have resulted in a call to the pits for a telling off at least at my local karting track.

          2. @drmouse There was some telemetry shown, but not sure how authentic those are was. Either way what was shown simply confirmed what the stewards stated and that is that Verstappen braked “suddenly and significantly” when Hamilton ended up close behind him. Which any driver would call a brake test.

          3. I am talking the graphical lines over time of both cars with regard to speed, throttle, brake and gear. It shows Lewis accelerating (for the second time) just before contact, while the breaking of both was the exact same pressure up until that point and so was their speed and decrease of it. Hard to understand, let alone why he wouldnt do it next to the other car.

        3. “The Race” did a report on it with the traces for brakes and throttle, it was rather good.
          It showed Max did a brake test, but not in the traditional way and the assumption Lewis was about to pass him looking at the throttle data. It would appear that Lewis was about to go past where the track widens, but Max braked as he started on the throttle. It also showed the incident started much further back than the tv pictures with Max on and off the throttle as per the trace.
          Max was also mostly in the middle of the track and undulating side to side. It was not weaving, but there was still a small sideways movement.
          For people who think he should of just blasted past, he couldn’t see that far ahead, so possibility of yellow flags / accident. We already had 2 red flags, 1 safety car, 3 virtual safety cars so being careful is sensible. Finally if Max did have a problem I remember 1994 Hill v Michael, so why would you pass on a narrow section and have no where to go if Max has a mad moment. I am not saying Max would do it, but we all have moments in our lives we do things that we would normal never do in the heat of the moment and regret later. Why would Lewis take the chance. I am sure Hill wishes he had slowed down and waited.

    4. Maybe by mistake you watched a replay of another race last weekend. Cause in Saudi there was a brake test…

  25. When you finish all races as number one or two and have most wins, but yet you’re still even in points due to incidents that mostly are fault of the other team, that would make you feel bitter all day any day.

    If it was the other way around the press would look a lot different right now

    1. It’s called racing.

  26. How many times this season did a RedBull take out a Mercedes? How many times this season did a Mercedes take out a RedBull car? Tainted hollow season if you think this is the way to win a championship. Build all the narratives you will to silence what the rest of the world has seen from what should be an honorable championship team

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      9th December 2021, 15:47

      Since those incidents happened though Max regained the lead in the championship.

    2. And how many times was a potentially race ending incident avoided by Lewis when Max nearly ran into him and only Lewis’ reactions saved him? How many times the other way?

      1. Recently 3 from Max.

    3. Only because Lewis takes evasive actions. Two times he didn’t do that in Silverstone and Monza, we all know what happened.

      1. Silverstone and Monza were clearly clumsy mistakes from Lewis, whom you can’t blame since he hasn’t had to put up a fight for years and years.

        1. Silverstone and Monza were incidents where Hamilton was unable to pull out from Verstappen’s attempt on hi scar. In Silverstone he came close to braking out of it, but Verstappen turned in extra tight, so Hamilton didn’t stand a chance.

          Hamilton has put up a ton of actual fights. Against drivers with proper race craft like Raikkonen, Alonso and Rosberg. The incidents he had were with drivers who rather crash than let another past. Like Maldonado, Massa and Verstappen.

        2. Silverstone was Hamilton’s mistake, definitely, though it was a minor one (albeit with major consequences). He was penalised for it, and was very lucky for it not to end his own race. Max could have avoided it, as Hamilton has with Max many, many times this year, but it’s still Hamilton’s mistake. I think you can see that he realised this part way through, as he was trying to back out as they collided.

          Monza, I completely disagree, that was Verstappen’s fault. He went for a gap which was almost certain to disappear. Even so, Hamilton left just enough room on the inside of the corner, but Max’s aggression led to him losing control of the car. Sure, Hamilton has options to avoid the accident but, just as with Silverstone, that doesn’t negate the fact that it was Max’s mistake.

          However, I know you’re going to disagree with me, so I’m just going to leave this Tim Minchin quote:

          And if perchance I have offended
          Think but this and all is mended:
          We’d as well be 10 minutes back in time,
          For all the chance you’ll change your mind.

    4. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      9th December 2021, 16:55

      I think the right question to be asking is how many times did a Mercedes avoid a collision with a Red Bull compared to the attempts to collide with a Mercedes by a particular Red Bull?

      I think the number of times Lewis has avoided Max this season trumps everything.

    5. Tough day at work Mayrton? You seem quite upset. Way to hijack the comment section 👍

      1. Good argument

  27. A) Max has been overdriving the car ever since Lewis got his new super-engine. He overstepped the line in Saudi Arabia, he pretty much did that in Brazil too.
    B) Not everyone, but many people here (apart from some dedicated Max fans who seem to defend him no matter what) always seem to come here to hang Max from the highest tree. I know few pro-sporters who admit to making mistakes shortly after a game. Up to Brazil his driving was better and more complete than ever before, so for those who already commented ‘he never learns’ back when he was still clumsily spinning Vettel and himself off the track: he does learn (i.e. now he runs them off track knowing what he’s doing ;). And for years we didn’t have any driver who got his elbows out, now we have one and it’s up to the FIA to deal with it properly. I don’t think the FIA has, at least not consistently, done so.

    1. I agree. There’s not more to it.

    2. Not true, Ferrari did it with both Vettel and Leclerc. Hamilton still avoided contact with both.

  28. This website and F1 as a whole is so biased towards British drivers it is absolutely insane.
    There is a reason why Alonso has been addressing this exact problem for years. Hill’s offensive commentaries towards Verstappen are an absolute disgrace.

    1. Knowing that and given the stakes this year, being able to get the record from a German guy, I did expect the media bias and irrational comments you see all throughout this website. I just didnt think it would be fueled by Mercedes whos legacy has been thrown in the bin. Absolute disgrace.

    2. lexusreliability?
      9th December 2021, 18:10

      @Deurmat

      I am not Dutch, but it seems it’s a bit of an echoe chamber over there in the Netherlands. Do you have a problem with Dutch bias towards their own as well?

    3. I’m not Dutch or British and I find this nationalistic sniping boring and odd. These are British teams with third country branding. and the head of the team the Dutch people seem to want to win is British! Yes the drivers have nationality but they are not competing individually for their nation states like this is the Olympics.

    4. Dutch reporting is abysmally poor. It’s all about Max. Hardly any Dutch watched F1 before and now all these football hooligans are suddenly also avid Verstappen fans. They don’t care about the sport, they don’t care about what’s right, they only care about Maxie.

      It’s not just the Brits that think Verstappen is way too far over the line. The Spanish, Italian and other nationalities agree. Heck even most of the Dutch who started watching F1 before 2016 will agree.

      1. I’m Canadian and have been watching F1 since 1996. Max is by far the dirtiest and now also confirmed most delusional driver that I’ve ever seen in the sport.

    5. As I said in another comment, this British bias claim is completely reductive, unprovable and not disprovable. It is insulting to the journalists on this site and other media outlets.
      The fact of the matter is that Max overstepped the mark multiple times. If he was driving fairly we would not be having these discussions.

      1. @williamstuart

        Trust in UK media quite low, with only 36% of Brits trusting the news they read. They probably earned that reputation. Ironically, the pro-British bias may actually buttress that trust a bit…

  29. Who are these other brake testers??

    Also he has a cheek to complain about being pushed off track by Hamilton. Seriously?? He literally chose to drive off track to overtake Hamilton and then block him at the point he rejoined for good measure.

    He’s completely lost it. No blame whatsoever. Reminds me of someone else not taking the blame for anything at all right now..

  30. There’s no doubting that Max is extremly talented, but I expect that at some point, his way of racing will end in a very serious incident, or even a fatality. I get that he’s exciting, but he actually doesn’t need to race quite the way he does, the championships will come to him without him basically just driving at people and hoping they get out of the way.

  31. Max learned this mindset from his Father, and that’s really sad. Parents are supposed to learn from their mistakes and help their kids be better people because of that experience.

    Unfortunately all Jos has taught Max is how to be overly (and dangerously) aggressive, selfish, petulant and single minded.

    Very sad. I feel sorry for him. All the money and success in the world won’t solve that.

    1. Because we are all 100% copies from our fathers?

  32. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    9th December 2021, 17:01

    Clearly only I was wrong somehow, like I said, while other people do exactly the same thing they get nothing. Both of us we were off the track

    I suppose this is a complaint that he’s finding it really hard to collide with Hamilton because he keeps taking evasion action… and he won’t be changing his approach for the final race…

  33. ridiculous comment but expected from Max, what is more shocking are his cheerleaders defending his crazy aggressive behavior!

  34. Wow @Mayrton, you need to relax.

    You like Verstappen, we get it. Stop commenting on every post and ruining a good discussion forum. You seem as desperate to defend Max as Max did in some of the races trying to win.

    1. Oh, I am sorry, I didnt know you are not welcome if you have a different view on things and try to bring some balance to a very one sided discussion that is clearly fueled from a lot of angles (media, Mercedes, Lewis). I will let the rest then talk amongst each other on how great Lewis is and he alone. And how unworthy Max is. I didnt know discussion meant a talk amongst people of the same opinion.

  35. Oh Max. He reminds me of Vettel in 2010. I guess he’s a about the same age Seb was then so it’s largely unsurprising. Maybe he’ll reflect on it differently in 10 years.

    1. I don’t think Vettel was this malicious though. Vettel is just clumsy when comes to close driving which results in a lot of incidents. Verstappen goes over the line on purpose.

      1. Aside from Baku, Vettel has never been intentionally dirty.

  36. Apparently Bottas should be driver of the year. He expertly drove into a McLaren to take out a Red Bull and then managed to drive his damaged car into the other Red Bull.

    Also, I’m confused. Was the incident where Max parked his car on Hamilton’s head, Hamilton’s fault for getting in the way?

    1. If you would follow the logic of some Ham fans on this side and apply it to Max then: indeed. The only thing you have to remember is that Lewis is flawless and a saint.

      1. Lewis is certainly neither flawless or a saint. However, barring the odd small error, he has consistently avoided major crashes which would have been Max’s fault. Max had not yet shown that level of pragmatism: I’m fairly certain based on other examples that, presented with a situation like Brazil or Saudi from the opposite side, Max would have crashed, probably ending his race. It would have been the other parties fault, but that doesn’t change the outcome.

  37. We all know Lewis is on fire during this final stage of the season (the zealous British media won’t let us forget) but let’s take a moment to appreciate what Max has achieved this season instead of only bashing him – for sure if his rival received some comprehension after that Silverstone collision, he can have it now.

    In quali pace, Red Bull was the fastest car overall in 2021, even given the fact that Mercedes is quickly catching up, but in race pace, what matters the most for the points, Red Bull is pretty much in the back foot since Mercedes Silverstone upgrade. One of those branded as “Mercs and LH haters” who feared they would walk away with it actually were right more than wrong. After a nearly equal race pace fight during the first half of the season we had ever since:

    Silverstone: Mercedes and Red Bull very close to each other, the former much faster on the straights and the latter the best car for the fast corners

    Hungary: Mercedes considerably faster, Red Bull had trouble with their set-up

    Spa: Unclear, maybe they were somewhat balanced in race pace, maybe Mercedes ahead

    Zandvoort: Red Bull had an edge over Mercedes, and some people hurriedly concluded they had walked away with it

    Monza: Mercedes miles ahead as expected, even Bottas pulled out a lot of overtakes

    Sochi: Mercedes clearly the fastest car, Red Bull heading towards the situation of being outright 2nd fastest overall

    Istanbul: Mercedes looking dominant like in those 1-2s of the last few years, as high-rake car philosophy costed Red Bull a lot there

    Austin: Mercedes and Red Bull balancing each other out in race pace, the fastest on hards and mediums respectively

    Mexico City: Red Bull confirmed expectations to be way faster and the Mercedes car was relatively unfit for this track, and again some proclaimed the end of the championship and they said “give Max the trophy” sort of thing

    Interlagos: Mercedes clearly the fastest car, breezing past competition on Hamilton’s hands

    Qatar: Mercedes clearly the fastest car by quite a margin in quali but not that much in race pace

    Saudi Arabia: Mercedes clearly the fastest car in race pace, but not in quali after Verstappen tried to do a Gasly but it wouldn’t work anyway

    In the last 11 races excluding non-race Spa, Mercedes was unquestionably the fastest car in seven of those, with their top driver capable of leaving his title rival (who’s also a great driver) out of reach, controlling the pace. Red Bull had similar pace advantage only twice during this period, so it had been almost 2020 domination levels for the Mercs all over again. It would be stretching the argument to say that Verstappen is doing what Alonso did in 2010 or 2020, but for him to take this title fight to the last round equal in points to a great driver in a car with a lot stronger race pace for the second half of the season, it’s a remarkable achievement.
    Prior to Silverstone, Red Bull had been clearly the fastest car in 4 races (Monaco, Baku, Austria I and II) and Mercedes had an edge over Red Bull in 4 races (Imola, Portimao, Barcelona and Paul Ricard), whilst in Bahrain they were pretty equal in the race, even if Red Bull flied away in quali pace.
    So along the year it’s been a 11-6 favouring Mercedes (according to my calculations, someone correct me if there’s something wrong there), excluding inconclusive cases and tracks in which they were more or less a match for each other. It reminds me of 2006, in which Ferrari were basically awarded the prerogative to be considerably ahead of Renault by mid-season, and even then Alonso had taken the WDC fight against Schumacher to the last round, and he managed to become double world champion. Of course Renault was decisively stronger in the first half of the 2006 season than Red Bull was in the same part of 2021 and even weaker by the second half, but it’s also true that Schumi didn’t leave that many points on the table as Hamilton did during this season, and at the same time Verstappen had way poorer luck comparing to his rival overall, even after that free tyre change last race, which barely could make any difference. Bad luck against huge mistakes effectively levelled the field in the end, or else he could have this WDC nailed right now instead of finding himself poised to lose it. If Max had yielded in Silverstone, his situation could be way better now, and on the other hand if he hadn’t had that tyre blow in Baku, the championship would be perfectly sealed right now.

    This is why Max should be proud of his battling spirit for taking this incredible fight all year long facing such amazing challange of dethroning long-overdue dominating Mercedes and their “superhero” Hamilton, given foremost how difficult to overcome his car is but also his driving abilities. In my opinion it’s a 70-30 chance for Lewis to achieve his eighth WDC, as I had put those figures in 55-45 or 60 per cent of chance against Max before the Saudi GP. Anyone who wins that title next weekend will deserve it, of course, but Max has a special reason for enjoying the sense of always giving his maximum, no excuses whatsoever, and half a season in decisively weaker machinery than his formidable rival. That’s why he wins DotD pools even before going to be publicly roasted in sensationalist headlines by the “official” forms of media. His determination remains unwavering, as it has been in a relentless way the whole year, as there’s no doubt it’s the most important thing for him, not admitting distractions going against this goal of any kind. This is what true Formula 1 fans appreciate so much!

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