There are many who would liken the young Dutch hotshot to a world champion elect, and certainly he behaves as someone who is entitled to respect on and off the track.
Not long after lights out, these two were straight back at it in Abu Dhabi
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 25, 2018
But is young Max Verstappen simply arrogant little sh£t?
When Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon clashed again in the sixth round of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, many were holding their breath. The duel saw both young drivers with ‘previous’ clashing on track yet again, this time less disastrous as the impact in Brazil.
It was fairly obvious that there was some sort of payback being dished out to Ocon.
Onboard with Ocon against Verstappen Brazil 2018As it turned out, the FIA stewards didn’t deem it worthy enough of their attention, but perhaps the FIA might want to reconsider things after Max’s admissions on Servus TV, an Austrian station with links to Red Bull.
The Red Bull driver obviously felt comfortable spelling out his thoughts on the TV in Austria, no doubt fuelled by the grievances of Brazil.
One race earlier, the Dutchman was sentenced to two days of FIA community service for shoving Frenchman Ocon, following their scrap in Brazil.
Verstappen lost the grand prix win because back-marker Ocon tried to overtake him, so when they were wheel-to-wheel again in Abu Dhabi, they clashed wheels.
The FIA’s community service punishment, a little like giving a school pupil lines perhaps, has yet to be decided or made public. It seems that even Max is being kept in the dark about the specifics, admitting that all he knows is that the two days service must be completed within six months.
Clearly aggrieved, he states that “I do not think it’s fair that I got the two days.”
“I do not have a problem with supporting kids karting or anything like that, I like to go there for a day, but I’m sure I will not mow lawns or pick up trash”
Obviously, it’s unlikely the FIA would mandate such unworthy punishments like roadside trash collecting on the young boy, but Verstappen does demand that “it has to be something relevant” – Perhaps the FIA should send him trash picking after all? Road rage is a serious offence.
What would maybe entice the FIA to knock the youngster down a peg or two with a punishment worthy enough, would come from the admissions made on the same Servus TV interview where Verstappen freely admits that he wanted revenge, and it felt good when they touched, hoping Ocon would spin out. Something the powers that be frown upon greatly.
“I thought to myself ‘If he [Ocon] shuts the door, I’ll push him off the track’. It may have been revenge for Brazil,
“I liked it. It felt good,” he then admitted.
Some fans of the youngster would be collectively clapping their hands at such statements, claiming it’s very ‘Schumacher’ or ‘Senna’ like. Of course the difference between those drivers and our little hot shot from the Netherlands is that they had success to back it up by, no matter how unpalatable the offences were.
With Honda coming in next year at Red Bull, 2017 – 2018 might well be the best we’ll see of Verstappen in terms of on track performances, and if that were to happen lets see how much respect Max gets next time he throws his toys out of the pram.
That being said, should the Honda package come good, then maybe we’ll all be saying that what we might see as arrogance now is simply aggressive confidence, worthy of a multiple race winner and soon to be World Champion.
Only time will tell.