US GP: Red Bull slam penalty that denies Max Verstappen podium
"It's unbelievably harsh to give Max a penalty for that"; Max slams "stupid" decision; Father Jos launches social media tirade
Red Bull have slammed the United States GP stewards for denying Max Verstappen a podium with a last-lap penalty, labelling the decision "unbelievably harsh" and "wrong".
Verstappen himself has also criticised the decision while his father, Jos, has launched a series of angry tweets aimed at the FIA, Formula 1's governing body.
"We had a great race but with those stupid decisions you really kill the sport," Verstappen said.
And Verstappen Snr was even more irate with the stewards, posting on Twitter (sic): "This is bull****. Sorry. This sucks.
"Shame on you FIA. Obviously F1 don't now what racing (i)s. Only Max gets a penalty when he cross the line Nobody else the (w)hole weekend."
The 20-year-old had enjoyed a storming comeback drive in Austin after starting the race in 16th, and the celebrations were wild in the Red Bull garage after the Dutchman overtook Kimi Raikkonen in the closing stages.
However, though an elated Verstappen entered the cool-down room with race-winner Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, he was soon pulled out by the FIA and told of a five-second time penalty.
Race stewards adjudged that the 20-year-old had completed his pass on Raikkonen with all four wheels off the track at Turn 17.
But Red Bull boss Christian Horner was far from impressed with the verdict.
"There's been cars going off track all day today and no action at all so I think it's unbelievably harsh to give Max a penalty for that," the Red Bull team boss told Sky F1's Ted Kravitz. "It's wrong, it's wrong.
"For me, it was fair, hard racing and I think that's a bad judgement by the stewards to have made that call. We've seen cars off track all weekend so to penalise him at this stage is not right."
Verstappen had already overtaken Valtteri Bottas for fourth after a second pit-stop before closing in on Raikkonen, and was voted Driver of the Day despite being denied a third successive podium.
"I really hope the fans didn't like this decision and hopefully next year [those decisions] won't come," Verstappen added.
"Everybody is running wide, At Turn 9 you can go wide and Turn 19 you can go off the track and nobody would say anything. It's not good for the sport. They have to be really clear in the rules that it's not allowed anywhere."