Race start, Albert Park, 2023

Verstappen says Hamilton’s lap one pass shows rules aren’t being followed

2023 Australian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen is unhappy with the way Lewis Hamilton overtook him on the first lap of the Australian Grand Prix, saying the rules aren’t being followed.

The Red Bull driver started the race from pole position but was passed by George Russell at the first corner before coming under attack from the other Mercedes.

Hamilton moved down the inside of Verstappen at turn three and did not move fully ahead of him as they reached the corner. Verstappen ran wide at the exit, and lost the position to his rival.

Verstappen said he had to take evasive action because of the positioning of Hamilton’s car. “From my side, I just tried to avoid contact,” he explained. “It’s quite clear in the rules what you are allowed to do now in the outside, but maybe it’s not followed.”

Revised racing guidelines were issued to drivers ahead of the 2022 season stating what they must do in order to be left room by a rival.

After the race was red-flagged for the first time, Verstappen was able to retake the position from Hamilton later using DRS. “We had good pace, we passed them anyway,” he said. “But it’s something for the next races to take into account.”

Despite losing the advantage of pole position at the start, Verstappen was always confident he would be able to take the fight to the Mercedes drivers.

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“We had a very poor start,” he said. “I was careful because I had a lot to lose, they had a lot to win.

After that I think the pace of the car was quick, you could see that straight away. We were always there, waiting for the DRS to open up to have a chance to pass.”

After passing Hamilton Verstappen built up a healthy lead, but lost several seconds when he skidded off at turn 13.

“I think I did the city a favour, I just cut the grass a bit more,” he joked. “I locked up a bit and didn’t want to flat spot the tyre completely. So ran a bit wide, but we had a good margin.”

The race ended in peculiar circumstances as a late red flag led to a standing restart with two laps to go. The race was red-flagged again and restarted for a single lap behind the Safety Car.

Verstappen admitted he didn’t fully agree with how the race had been handled. “With these red flags, I don’t know,” he said. “The first time maybe you can do it but I think that second one I don’t really understand.

“So it was a bit of a mess but we survived everything. We had good pace in the car today again and we won which of course is the most important.”

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2023 Australian Grand Prix

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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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61 comments on “Verstappen says Hamilton’s lap one pass shows rules aren’t being followed”

  1. Raymond Pang
    2nd April 2023, 9:33

    No idea what Max is on about. Nothing wrong with the pass. It’s interesting now that he’s the one with everything to lose.

    1. Nothing wrong… 1: #44 not in front at the Apex, so that car MUST leave space for the car in front when attempting an overtake. 2: #44 runs wide and forces Max onto the kerbs while not having the right of way. 3: Max had to go off track to avoid contact even though he was ahead at corner entry

      Learn the rules before making comments please.

      1. @w0o0dy And yet… the stewards didn’t even look at it.
        It was aggressive, i.e. stay out of the way or we crash. As Raymond says, so obviously a (quite deliberate) reversal of their relative situations: driver in dominant car risks less as he knows that he can pass later (which Max did), other driver knows that’s precisely what they’ll calculate. But the move looked and was obviously deemed fine.

        1. Yes, it’s interesting this reversal, good thinking by hamilton here.

      2. Max mentioned that the rules were very clear for what’s allowed on the outside– But Hamilton was on the inside.

        In days gone past, that pass would have been considered “aggressive but fair”. See Bahrain 2014, Lewis v. Nico.

        These days, largely due to Max Verstappen, the onus is on the car being overtaken to ensure that the overtaking car is treated “fairly”. Lewis did to Max what Max has been doing to other drivers for years.

      3. Conor Sheehan
        3rd April 2023, 9:18

        Dear Mr read the rules:

        “When considering what is a ‘significant portion’ for an overtaking on the inside of a corner, among the various factors that will be looked at by the stewards when exercising their discretion, the stewards will consider if the overtaking car’s front tyres are alongside the other car by no later than the apex of the corner.”

        Watch the event again, hamilton had his front wing alongside vestappens front wheels, this is way past the standard called for in the above…

        You will also see that hamilton leaves enough space for verstappen to keep two weels on the track. This also fills the definition for what is considered leaving space.

      4. The Skeptic (@)
        3rd April 2023, 10:45

        What rules are you talking about? According to the rules Lewis did it right, and Max is wrong. As he was also wrong in relation to the restart….

        “In order for a car being overtaken to be required to give sufficient room to an overtaking car, the overtaking car needs to have a significant portion of the car alongside the car being overtaken and the overtaking manoeuvre must be done in a safe and controlled manner, while enabling the car to clearly remain within the limits of the track.

        When considering what is a ‘significant portion’ for an overtaking on the inside of a corner, among the various factors that will be looked at by the stewards when exercising their discretion, the stewards will consider if the overtaking car’s front tyres are alongside the other car by no later than the apex of the corner.

    2. They only penalize it if the other one crashes or gets a big disadvantage it seems. The rule is stupid by the way, this is normal racing. If you are on the outside of a corner, good luck, start braking..

  2. Technically, he is not wrong. It was a legit move for me, though.

    1. Under the new “introduced after a lot of crying from Hamilton himself”-rules there is little room for interpretation. Hamilton was not ahead so he had to leave space for Max. As Max WAS ahead and defending.

      1. The Skeptic (@)
        3rd April 2023, 10:46

        You should quit while you’re behind…

      2. @w0o0dy The rules do leave a lot of room for interpretation. Verstappen didn’t leave the track, so must have had room.

        It’s amusing to hear Verstappen complain about a move like this. If he owns a dictionary, it seems the word “irony” is missing.

        1. Look it up… These rules and the clarification are from late in the 2022 season… Did Max ever make a move like that after the clarification by the FIA? Nope…..

          1. You should read the rules. People have pointed out how incorrect you are multiple times now. Keith provided a link and you still didn’t read them?

            For overtaking on the inside of a corner—in this instance, from Hamilton’s point of view:
            “In order for a car being overtaken to be required to give sufficient room to an overtaking car, the overtaking car needs to have a significant portion of the car alongside the car being overtaken and the overtaking manoeuvre must be done in a safe and controlled manner, while enabling the car to clearly remain within the limits of the track.

            So, did that happen? Let’s see.

            F1’s own video shows that by the 21sec mark, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY before the corner, Hamilton had his front wheels midway alongside Verstappen’s car. So the first criterion is met.

            Same video at the 24-25sec mark, Hamilton does not make contact, and does not touch the line. Meaning, there was room on the edge of the track for Verstappen to keep some tires within or at least on the line. He went wider. Maybe he was worried about potential contact, maybe his car slid, who knows? Hamilton drove safely and left room. Second criterion met.

            It’s so easy to look this stuff up. Rather than just jump on here and yell about completely incorrect stuff. I understand that some people don’t like that pass. I don’t particularly like that drivers can force others to give way like that. But that is the rule. Hamilton did not breach it.

  3. Just the usual case of “surprise” understeering on Lewis’ part. Story of his life.

    1. Nope, Max got a poor start, a rare mistake on his part.

      1. @stjs16 Both can be true. Verstappen did have an unusually poor start. I thought the move was dubious on Hamilton’s part but that he would not be penalised for it – running a driver wide on corner exit has been tolerated for years. Usually you need to be ahead of the driver to your outside to get away with it, but it’s Hamilton.

        1. I actually agree but my comment was a reposte to the unnecessary fanatical hatred of Hamilton post, it was a racing move that I’m sure many others would have tried.

          1. unnecessary fanatical hatred of Hamilton

            Yeah right, because pointing out Lewis’ usual moves is a sign of “unnecessary fanatical hatred.” I’m sure you’re just as upset about comments on Max’ usual late moves under braking or Dan’s usual “brilliant” overtakes that only ever worked because the driver being overtaken got out of the way.

        2. Same story at Silverton 21….who dares to say stewards are all in favor of RB again?

    2. The way you comment shows that hatred of Hamilton completely wins over any logical thinking.

      It wasn’t a case of simple understeer but more about the fact that Max gave Hamilton a real squeeze on the entry which compromised Hamilton’s angle for the corner resulting in understeer because of the tight angle and the interaction of the car with the kerb.

      1. I imagine your head would have exploded if you heard the F1TV commentary team openly questioning Lewis’ tyre life radio messages, too.

        Everyone’s seen the moves. No one needs to hate Lewis to point them out.

    3. So how many times did max conveniently understeer when trying to pass Lewis in 2021?? Explain.

  4. Well, Max isn’t really the brightest person when it comes to the rules though. On this same race he also complained about HAM being too far from SC, but clearly even the commentators agree that HAM’s interpretation about this is the right one.

    1. Yes, I picked that up as well. Hamilton did the same thing in Jeddah 2021 and it was explicitly confirmed to be OK on a red flag restart. I’m surprised they haven’t clarified that rule along with several others that have been modified over a similar time frame, since the rationale for consistency is obvious.

    2. What is the rule? Thought it was 10 car lengths?

  5. Says the man who a championship on the same premise!

  6. Says the man who ran Hamilton so far off the track in Brazil 2021 that it almost turned into a boat race up the Jurubatuba River. Wasn’t complaining about the rules not being followed then.

    1. He ran Hamilton off to Buenos Aires…

      I learnt that turn has been named Verstappen Straight…

    2. This was exactly the example I had in mind, He is undeniably talented but it’s comments like these that make him look very precocious.

      1. He does complain a lot when he’s not leading doesn’t he?
        As the wife commented: “There’s that high-pitched whine from Verstappen’s car again…”

        I’m not sure what he was doing with a car that fast that he could have been contending track space with the guy that started P3 anyway.

        1. As the wife commented: “There’s that high-pitched whine from Verstappen’s car again…”

          Haha, that would be my main reason for making the cars louder!

  7. Braked later into turn 3 (Ham) Max did take avoiding action, it was close but not terrible and considering who we’re talking about here, Max understanding the power of his car need not fight it so hard. Similar to what Ham’s done for years.

    Move on…

  8. Well it’s because the rules are changing every 5 minutes and then the FIA are not following their own rules.

    1. How long have you been waiting to post that under that name?

      Would have better yesterday!

      1. I think today is a good day as well for masi to express his opinion, I mean, the race director got criticised by almost everyone on site!

  9. He probably just needs to see the footage. Don’t know what he’s on about

    1. Learn the rules of engagement then..

  10. This guy should be stripped of the title for 2021. just for the rules sake.

  11. There was room. Not a lot, and Norris played it fairer later on, but by F1’s poor standards where running others off is considered normal this was pretty decent. This reaction seems a bit unnecessary.

  12. Lol, pot and kettle Max.

  13. Max would be wise to keep his mouth shut as Gary Connelly would probably give Max a penalty for breathing if he could.

    1. Davethechicken
      2nd April 2023, 15:29

      Would Max call him names again?

  14. Verstappen knows it was fine – the moan is just intended to sway the stewards a little on any future decisions.

  15. As Leclerc likes to say: you did a verstappen. (referring to max’s move in Austria)

  16. Max has top shelf ability with a low class, aggressive spoiled child approach to racing and life. His a poster child for lower iq tribal mentality folks.

    He didn’t even think twice before opening his mouth uttering sheer hypocrisy.
    No lights went up in his head. Its like he has devil on his right shoulder and a another devil on left shoulder with his dad’s face… Ooh and he also has his dad….. and his father in law.

    1. I thought he sounded like Hamilton back when the rolls where reversed

    2. Itsmeagain (@)
      3rd April 2023, 18:09

      Mmmm….. no when talking about hypocrisy I intend to name another team and driver first…

  17. The whine is as strong in Max as it is in Lewis, what is this sport coming to?

    1. Nah is just part of the sport always have been

  18. Mark in Florida
    2nd April 2023, 17:19

    Hamilton gets a pass as usual just like he did at Silverstone. That rule only applies if its someone else.

    1. Verstappen did this plenty of times in 2021 and didn’t get a penalty, that I remember.

      1. and i don’t remember Hamilton moaning about it either.

        Now he knows anybody can be a nuisance on track if they got nothing at stake, like him pushing others around on so many seasons in the past.

    2. Disney_pwns_DS
      2nd April 2023, 19:48

      The rule only applies to whomever feels slighted….say Florida man.

  19. Max crying as usual.

  20. Cough Brazil cough

  21. I would love to see two times champion Max Verstappen dueling with two times race winner Max Verstappen dueling on the track.

    He did moves like this countless times on Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen and Rosberg.

    He enabled them to do it back to him comes the time that he’s the one with something to lose. Now deal with it.

  22. I think Max’s point may be that while the rules were probably not infringed upon in any significant fashion, the etiquette was not followed in that Hamilton at no stage parked on Max’s rollbar.

  23. Can’t believe the Human Torpedo said that, pure Braketester!

  24. John Schlensker
    4th April 2023, 15:09

    It seems that the shooey is now on the other foot.
    Horner, “Max please change to mode M0 to reduce whine from your car”
    Max, “Ha, not funny Christian, I know that mode turns off my microphone.”

Comments are closed.