Verstappen moving under braking… again

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Brought to you by TJ13 contributor @F1TheaJF1

Was it a great defensive move or a late move under breaking to block the charging Hamilton?

The move had been looked at by the stewards but as has been the case with other Max incidents, no further action has been taken. Meanwhile, fans can rant or gush enthusiastically (depending on which side of the argument your opinion lies.)

The move had hints of deja vu, only this time it was Verstappen ahead of Hamilton rather than Raikonnen. (For those of you who may have missed it, part one of this debate can be found at here)

Hamilton, being in P2 on the starting grid (on the wet side) was in front of Verstappen in P3 (on the dry side) but not for long, as Hamilton got bogged down (nothing to do with the track being wet or dry, apparently but it was noted that those in P1,3 and 5 got off to a better start than those in 2,4 and 6). Verstappen moved up one place, Hamilton down six.

Fast forward to L34 when Hamilton pitted for a fresh set of hard tyres from P2 and emerged in P4, and had a bit of a scrap with Vettel for the final podium position. This continued to L40, with Hamilton getting DRS on the backmarkers along the straights all the while decreasing the gap between himself and Verstappen in P2. By L43 Verstappen was showing some irritation with the blue flag situation (joining Vettel and Raikonnen in the race to see who could complain loudest and longest about this) as Hamilton had reduced the gap between himself and Verstappen from 19 to 1.9 seconds.

It wasn’t long before Hamilton was within DRS range and the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen started in earnest on L47. This raged for three Laps with Verstappen defending getting great traction out of the corners and keeping just far enough ahead of Hamilton that Hamilton could not use his horse power advantage down the straights. Meanwhile, over the airwaves, Martin Brundle was suggesting Hamilton should set up the move for the overtake at the hairpin, through spoon, 130R and then go for it at the chicane, which is what Hamilton did on L52. HOWEVER (and this is the point we invite YOUR opinion) Max waited until Hamilton had committed to his move before defending/blocking, resulting in Hamilton having to use the run off area to avoid a collision.

So, what was it…..defending or blocking? Was Max being brilliant or dangerously reckless? either way, he was voted Driver of the Day in the F1 poll…………….your comments, below, please.

Additional from the Editor:

Credit to /u/jaapgrolleman on Reddit for this comedy gold

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Rare footage of Max Verstappen leaving the door open for another driver

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48 responses to “Verstappen moving under braking… again

  1. As Hamilton said to Max Verstappen after the race to verstappen : ‘Well done!’.
    Stewards didn’t want to take further action …except 1. Hamilton even let Mercedes withdraw the protest, the protest that was initiated without the approval of Toto and Hamilton. So it is obvious…

    I’m very excited to see real racing is back in F1 instead of running a parade and let everybody pass without defending.

  2. This move wasn’t even 1/10 so bad as the one in spa. And, indeed, no further actions taken so it’s legal. I’m still wondering why there aren’t more drivers using this.

    • Cause they’re all agree to not do such dangerous moves even if it’s “legal”. Max just seems to doesn’t care about it and he’ll pay for it at some point.

      • I really don’t understand why so many are picking on Verstappen?

        Simular moves have been made in the past but without the same fuzz!

        Is it because a 19yr old youngster is playing the oldest tricks in the book with some old routined drivers that can’t anwser his actions and makes them look a little silly?

        • True, although just a few races have past since, and not every race provides the right circumstances for these type of defences.

          I do however find it ackward that just 2 weeks after the big discussion an identical move was made by an other driver without it being questioned or debated, not by the FIA, not by Hamilton, nor any F1 fan.

          • I can imagine dozing off sometimes, I suffer from the same 😉

            I saw footage of Hamilton onboard but I can’t seem to find it. Here’s the full race, at about 20 mins you can see Bottas and Hamilton

          • That wasn’t moving under braking. That was closing the door while still driving down the straight. Two totally different circumstances.

            As dangerous as it is (More so with how it was done on Kimi in Spa then Lewis in Japan), I would continue the practice as well until I was instructed that it was not legal.

          • So this is the same as Verstappen did on Kimi in Spa you say? So why all the fuzz about Verstappen and no single word on Bottas?

  3. Because it takes great skills to do the timing right and you need the capacity to do all the stuff you need to do at that point and still be able to anticipate and react on the man behind without missing your own breaking point and apex.

  4. “Moving under braking” is such a vague description anyway. If you don’t steer in under braking you won’t even make your corner. It’s not like you first brake and only then start moving off the straight line.
    But as far as this particular move went; It wasn’t a fluent line, but he only steered into the corner once, and not back out again. So no problem

    • But if you watch more closly the moving is at the exact moment before braking! I wouldn’t dare to turn the steeringwheel of a fully braking F1 car, because 95% of the drivers would lose control under braking and steering at the same time.

      • When you’re braking, you load the front and make the rear of the car lighter, this actually help the car turn in. Obviously they dose it, it’s not like they usually steer in while locking the brakes. But the brakes are actually an important part of getting a car too steer in, just like the throttle is an important part of getting the car to come around corner exit.

        • Braking in to a corner Yes! But hit the brakes and while hitting the brakes throwing/clipping your car in frot of your oponent (with a short agressive move) would make you turn the car in to a spin I think.

  5. Most drivers do proactive defending. Right hand corner we go right, left hand corner we go left or they stay in the middle of the track making it smaller so the other becomes more error prone. But they make a choice before their opponent behind them makes his choice, there for it looks more easy for the charger to make his clean move. Because the guy in front can’t react on your action anymore and becomes the sitting duck.
    The thing Verstappen does is keep his position and forcing the others to make a move first. Then he reacts on their movement closing the gap. After this his oponent has to lift, (close drs), steer away to the opposite side and lose momentum with it. Even missing their braking point or apex with it.
    He only can do this kind of moves with the top drivers in the game. If he pulls such a move on Ericsson for instance it would be dramatic. The opponent has to be on a certain skill level to avoid drama.

      • Here Ericsson is making the move but pointbtaken and question anwsered “why aren’t others doing it?”

      • Here Ericsson does the same Verstappen does all the time. But Verstappen makes it stick (here forcing Ericsson in to a misstake) and still manage to hit the apex.

    • Well spotted and describe, the other thing is that it’s a pretty easy move to counter if you are ready for the defence. I have a feeling that this move will only work as long as the other drivers let it, I mentioned before that Kimi had altered his drive this weekend and I have a feeling that it was a result of the Spa tussle. Still credit to Max this week as it kept a charging Merc at bay, if it happened a few laps sooner I would imagine a dummy being sold ala Senna /Post/80’s era racing.

  6. Max’s defence was nothing like as blatant as his chop on Kimi. I aslo thought that Lewis’ dive down the escape road to be somewhat theatrical, a term that applied to some of his other activities over the weekend!

  7. I’m looking forward to all these new commenters participating in more discussions here than just those about Max.

    Y’all come back now y’hear!

  8. Her’s another question, how do you guys see the move from Sainz on Guitterez, causing Guitterez to spin?

    • Well since his name isn’t Verstappen it’s no problem and the victim is Guiterez, so nothing wrong there as well!

      But Sainz has made more great moves this weekend 🙂

  9. The rules clearly state that blocking only occurs when the cars are less than a car length apart. Hamilton was more than a car length behind when Verstappen moved. Fair move from Verstappen.

    • This only applies when you’re on the straight, not in the braking zone. When in the (heavy) braking zone, cars must not change trajectory. This is illegal.

      • Then Verstappen should have been penalized shouldn’t he. The fact he wasn’t means what he did wasn’t illegal. And the one car rule does apply to blocking.

        • Indeed, should have. Moving in the (heavy) braking zone is illegal, cf Perez on Massa in Canada 2014. Doesn’t matter if there is more than a car’s length or width or whatever; doesn’t matter if one is in front, the other behind. Once you slam the brakes after a long straight, you don’t twitch like Nicki Minaj.

          Seems like the FIA can’t make sense of their own rule book…

          • So if he was 5 or 10 car lengths ahead he could still be penalized for blocking? #44 was never going to take that corner even if Verstappen hadn’t moved over.


          • Don Landroni … for our enlightenment, would you please be so kind to indicate where in the FIA rules below (or other rules not listed here) it defines that what Max did is illegal.

            27.6  More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner. 

            27.7  Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason. 
For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ‘significant portion’.

      • What do they mean with braking zone?

        Because as I understood the brakingzone is the zone in wich they usally brake approaching a corner.

        But like some people seem to expalin it, it seems to be the zone of the straight line of the contender behind you where he has to brake at some point. That would make no sence at all to me!

        As I see it Verstappen changes direction before hitting the brakes (like I said above, if someone makes such agressive moves while braking a F1 car it would spin I think) and he makes the corner without locking tyres. So to me he made the move before the brakingzone and not in it.
        But if I misunderstand the term ‘brakingzone’ it isn’t strange I don’t blame him….

  10. In the past I’ve criticised Max, especially for his defence against Kimi in Hungary. This one though was just a plain solid defensive move that was clear and fair. As Cav mentions Lewis was more than a cars length behind when Max moved. Perfectly legal – and the kind of solid racing I like to see.

    • Strange, because the move was almost a exact copy of his move on Kimi in Hungary, although Kimi was a little closer.

      • But Kimi was more weaving around, that’s why it looked more dangerous, Hamilton reacted better… By now everybody knows, what Max is going to do, I think Kimi was a bit more surprised…

    • I’m with you!
      I’m not a fan generally of Max’s defending style, especially at Spa, but I have zero problems with his defence here. It was tough, but fair. Nothing wrong with getting the elbows in this case. Hamilton went for the lunge up the inside under braking, Max saw it coming a mile away and covered well in my opinion. What else was he supposed to do? Guess?
      Much different, and better, than Spa or Hungary. If my homey Ricciardo made the same defensive manoeuver, this article wouldn’t even exist. Merc put in a protest? Laughable! I’m glad Hamilton and co. had the good sense to revoke it.
      P.S. That reddit pic is epic 🙂

  11. @F1TheaJF1

    Using “Verstappen moving under braking … again” as the title is adding fuel to the fire … again. I am happily surprised that some of the “experts” from the other side have a different opinion.

  12. Max brings racing back into F1. Great! Better than those millionaires driving round in circles.

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