Verstappen ‘too Junior’

untitled.pngSky 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.


6 responses to “Verstappen ‘too Junior’

  1. Ironic that Max gets grief for this when the Mercedes pairing like to run each other off track on a fairly regular basis and the likes of Brundle are reluctant to criticise Nico and would never dare criticise Lewis. Different rules for different drivers. I remember the way Grosjean was treated by the media initially; they’re a rather biased bunch in my experience. Too scared to scald established drivers and too quick to jump on the back of drivers who are young or aren’t essential to their pre-race/qualifying programs.

    For me, Max’s defence was just about ok, it was right on the edge, but certainly no worse than I’ve seen from the likes of Lewis, Nico, Seb or Fernando. Mind you I can say that, I don’t have to fill two hours of TV coverage every fortnight with interviews and features.

    • What’s even more ironic, some drivers want F1 to be more dangerous and the moment there’s a driver who does things more on the limit, they are starting to scream it’s too dangerous. Yet with Verstappen wheel-to-wheel battles only have lead to 1 big crash (Monaco ’15) in his whole 2.5 years of formula racing (even veterans like Alonso and Kimi in that period had more often serious contact with other cars).

  2. Given that the rules in junior formula are the same as in F1, it truly that; just a matter of Brundle’s liking.
    P.S. I may be slightly biased as a Dutchie, who wrote his first Verstappen 2.0 article 6 years ago, but I like his defending. Even if on the Hungaroring, it’s a much smaller accomplishment that when he did it in Barcelona

  3. Best response I have seen:
    “Max Verstappen vs Kimi Raikkonen, yet again. Martin Brundle termed Verstappen’s defence against Raikkonen as ‘junior formulae’ like. Then we wonder why watch Formula 1 if ‘junior formulae’ racing can be this much fun!”

  4. The fact is, that since Max enter the F1, we have seen more battles and overtakes in years. Okay, maybe he is racing at the edge, but really I saw Senna and Schumacher doing the same thing when the starting to win races.

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