Young Red Bull charger Max Verstappen held off a spirited attack from Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, in a fantastic battle for 5th position at the Hungaroring.
Kimi spent the latter part of the 2016 race in Budapest desperately trying to get past the young Flying Dutchman. Unable to make a move for 5th stick, the squabbling rivals eventually touched as Kimi tried in vain to get past. Fortunately the damage to the Ferrari was restricted to the left front wing end fence plate, and the resulting loss of down force didn’t appear to take any pace from the Ferrari car.
The iceman however was far from impressed with Max’s tactics, accusing the Red Bull man of making too many moves off the racing line.
Max denied any wrongdoings. “I think it’s good you get to hear Kimi on the radio finally,” Verstappen teased when speaking to Sky F1.
“I have no issue with that, I think everything was fair. I only moved once.
“It would be very strange if I would get penalised I think. I could see him coming, he was very optimistic to dive into the inside so I went to the inside and he had to break – he locked up and hit the rear of my car, or my tyre I don’t know. That can happen.
I was just doing my race.”
Kimi brushed aside any frustrations after the race, and was quick to point out the performance from the Ferrari chassis.
“It’s not my decision whether it was correct or not. I’ve seen people penalised for much less,” pouted the Finn.
“I’m disappointed cause I couldn’t get past him and get to the rest, but the car was behaving well and we had good speed.”
Red Bull’s apparent ruthless promotion of Max Verstappen is certainly proving the right decision, as the Russian he replaced had another miserable race finishing 16th. Carlos Sainz Jnr in the saem Toro Rosso car was a creditable 8th and battled for much of the race with Alonso for P7.
Red Bull have closed the gap to Ferrari to just one point, but have never won at the next race venue Hockenheim. In contrast, Ferrari have won two of the last three races at this circuit located in the heart of the Rhine Valley.