Max Verstappen has revealed he will not change his approach to wheel-to-wheel combat heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
The penultimate round of this year’s championship at Saudi Arabia last weekend turned out to be highly controversial with multiple incidents between title contenders Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen was handed down two penalties after the stewards deemed many of his on-track actions as illegal and “erratic”, which added 15 seconds to his race time.
When asked if he is considering changing his approach to racing or risking a penalty in the final race of the season, with his maiden championship at stake, Max Verstappen said:
“Well, if you’re going to do anything, I ask that it is the same for everyone. Clearly, that’s not the case at the moment, I don’t feel like I was wrong and clearly, it is not wrong for others. So why should I then change (my approach) while others are allowed to risk? I think everyone should be allowed to take risks.”
Max Verstappen feels he’s being treated differently by the stewards
Max Verstappen has claimed that stewards seem to punish only him, while letting other drivers off the hook for similar incidents. While Verstappen was penalized by stewards, his title rival Lewis Hamilton only received a warning for pushing the former off track at the tail end of the race.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas also escaped potential punishment for impeding Verstappen during the initial safety car period. Bottas was trying to create a gap for his teammate in front to help Mercedes pit both cars at the same time more easily.
Verstappen was also annoyed during the first restart at Jeddah, when Hamilton backed off by more than ten car lengths, while Verstappen sat on the grid waiting, his brakes and tires getting colder.
Speaking at a private Red Bull media session, Verstappen said:
“Other people do exactly the same thing and they get nothing. We were both off the track, and outside of the white line into turn 1. Yet somehow, they judged that it was my fault, which I don’t agree with. I don’t agree with the other penalty as well. Afterward, he pushes me off the track, outside of the white line – the track edge, he even looks at me and just doesn’t open. And he only gets a warning for that. So, it’s definitely not how it should have happened, and it’s also not fair because it seems like other drivers can do different things, while only I get a penalty.”
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