Max Verstappen does not expect to receive any penalty for the incident between him and Lewis Hamilton last weekend during the Brazillian GP despite the new footage released in the week, and makes comments on the penalty if he were to receive one.
Max Verstappen says he is “not surprised” by Mercedes Formula 1 team’s demand for a review of the incident with title rival Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on Sunday.
The two championship rivals left the track at Turn 4 when Lewis Hamilton attempted to pass Verstappen from the outside during last Sunday’s race in Brazil. The incident was noted, but no further official investigation was deemed necessary by race management. After missing footage from the in-car camera in Verstappen’s car was released by Formula One on Tuesday, the Mercedes team officially requested a “right of review”, a request that is being considered at a hearing in Qatar on Thursday.
“I didn’t need to look at the footage because I was driving the car, so I know exactly what happened,” Max Verstappen joked in Qatar on Thursday when asked if he had seen the footage of the incident.
“I think it was a great battle and I had a lot of fun there as well. In the end they won the race, they were faster than us, but I think it was a good battle.”
Asked if he expects to receive a penalty for the incident, the Dutchman – who has a 14-point lead over Hamilton in the championship ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix – said: “I don’t even think about it. With ‘ifs’, I mean in the end it wouldn’t be the end of the world [if he was penalised]. But again, I don’t expect that to happen because I think it was a fair and tough race between two guys fighting for the championship.”
“So it wouldn’t have been, anyway, an easy pass because that’s not how I am and I don’t think it should be when you’re fighting for the title. As a driver I think we know exactly what we can and can’t do in a car. We were fighting hard, I braked late in the corner, the tyres were pretty worn and if I had turned left more sharply I would have gone off the track. That’s why we are drivers, you try to control the car.”
Max Verstappen even cast doubt on whether Lewis Hamilton could have taken the corner at the speed he was coming alongside him:
“I think we both braked late, so it would have been very difficult for him to take the corner [for Hamilton]. But afterwards it’s always hard to know.”