Johannesburg - Formula 1 is "trying to kill" Max Verstappen, that's according to Flavio Briatore who feels the Red Bull racer has been hurt by unjust penalties.
Verstappen, often billed as a future World Champion, is proving to be one of Formula 1's hottest draw cards as the likeable Dutchman battles fearlessly at the front of the field.
However, his efforts have at times been undone by the stewards.
Last season he lost a podium in Mexico for blocking while this year he was again lost out on a top-three result, this time for overtaking off the track.
Former F1 team boss Briatore has warned that the stewards are causing more harm than good.
"Max Verstappen is the new star of F1," the Italian told Auto Hebdo.
"He's doing very well, but we're trying to kill him. This is completely crazy.
"F1 has become too controlled. It must let the drivers fight more."
Briatore believes Formula 1 could learn some valuable lessons from MotoGP.
He added: "Motorcycle riders do not joke. They fight wheel against wheel at 300 km/h. And more and more people are following."