- Max Verstappen [Copyright: Red Bull Racing]

Verstappen hits out at FIA steward over US GP penalty decision

2y ago


Red Bull Racing and its star driver Max Verstappen have been quite vocal on the FIA steward's decision to hand the Dutch driver a five-second time penalty in the US Grand Prix.

Fighting for the final podium position in the dying stages of the race with Ferrrai's Kimi Raikkonen, the Dutch teen pulled out a daring move in Turn 17 while cutting the chicane, to get ahead of the Finn and claim the podium.

However, a post-race time penalty saw Verstappen lose the position to Raikkonen and classified fourth, after he was called out from the 'podium room', while they waited to head out on the podium.

"I am feeling good personally, just a big shame that you miss out on the podium," he said. "They [FIA stewards] take you again – just one idiot steward which is up there, always makes the decision against me.

"I get a five second penalty and a penalty point, for what?," questioned Verstappen. "At the end of the day, everybody is running wide on the track everywhere, including me.

"Like Turn 9 you can run wide, Turn 19 you can go off the track, nobody would say anything. It was same with [Valtteri] Bottas, I went for a move. He continued on the outside and went off the track.

"I really had to pass him, and nothing has been done against that. He definitely gained advantage, if he would have made the track. He would have been behind me, so it’s not good for the sport and they have to be really clear on the rules that it’s not allowed everywhere.

"There are no track limits, and the crowds are loving it and you do something like that in front of World TV, you pick up someone again from the podium and tell to go away.

"I mean at the end of the day, I still had a great race, I am happy with fourth, it is just the way they did is unbelievable. With the stupid decisions, you really killed the sport, I really hope the fans didn’t like this decision and hopefully next year they won’t come."

Even though the steward's name wasn't taken, but the person in question is Australian Garry Connelly, a former World Rally Championship driver. It is reported that Connelly was the steward during Verstappen's duel with Lewis Hamilton in the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix.

He was also the steward when Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel were given time penalty after the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix, which handed Daniel Ricciardo the final podium position - leading for the Verstappen camp to believe it is a personal grudge for Connelly against the Dutch driver.

Max wasn't the only one against the ruling as several former drivers were in support of him, including Channel 4 pundit Mark Webber, who called out the decision as 'shit' on live television while interviewing Red Bull chief Christian Horner - who also stressed on the one steward, who would take such a ruthless call, withing hearing out Verstappen.

While Max's dad Jos was not in Austin, however, the Verstappen Sr spoke to Dutch TV Ziggo Sport and has vented his frustration - also disregarding the one particular steward's ruling.

[Image courtesy: Red Bull Racing] #F1 #USGP #Austin #Motorsport #COTA #RedBull #MaxVerstappen #Formula1

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