Sky sports presenter and respected commentator Martin Brundle, thinks that Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s aggressive driving in Hungary was too ‘junior formula’.
A thrilling final stint to the Budapest race saw Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen try in vain to overtake Max Verstappen for 5th place. The pair came close to touching on various occasions, before they finally did touch on lap 57.
Many thought that the Red Bull drivers defending was ‘hard but fair’, Brundle wrote this in his sky sports column after the race.
‘Max’s defensive technique is too junior-formula for my liking. When he’s defending, he tends to loiter in the middle of the track and then at the last moment move to the side of the track where his opponent attacks, and cut them off. It all looks a little too late – and it’s asking for trouble.
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that he will end up with some punctures and race ending damage with this technique. He was very lucky on Sunday that the contact with Raikkonen’s Ferrari wasn’t more grievous but this style will hurt him soon and it’s clear the other drivers are becoming frustrated with it to the point that one of them will have him off to teach him a lesson.’
Brundle also went on to draw comparisons with legendary drivers Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell.
‘It’s what a Mansell or a Senna used to do whenever they thought a young driver wasn’t showing due respect. Max moves late, he moves fast and he moves frequently – we could argue all day whether he moved twice or even three times when he was defending against Kimi. He is rubbing up against the rules, damaging his own car and on the verge of coming to major grief with his peers.’
4 time champion and teammate to Kimi Raikkonen, Seb Vettel also waded into the argument after the Budapest race saying:
“I think of Max’s strengths is he’s very aggressive, obviously sometimes you overstep the line,” said Vettel.
“I think he will calm down, give him a bit of time. But it’s also one of his strong points – of course, when you are fighting with him and sometimes here or there the car in front is not behaving fair, then it’s not great.
“Kimi is one of the fairest guys in the field, but that’s how it is sometimes. The race is long, the season is long, so I’m sure they’ll meet again.”
Will they meet again so soon this weekend? Red Bull and Ferrari are locked in what is turning out to be an intense battle for second spot in the championship. Both sets of drivers vying to beat the ‘other’ team, and also driving for No.1 status within “their” team.
Perhaps more so at Red bull as Dani Ricciardo looks to stamp his authority over his younger teammate. Is Max becoming a marked man? Strap yourself in for some mighty action coming our way.