LETTER | Verstappen's 3-place grid penalty is far too light for the hot-headed Dutchman

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Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing walks back to the pits after crashing during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 12, 2021 in Monza, Italy.
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing walks back to the pits after crashing during the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 12, 2021 in Monza, Italy.
Photo by Dan Istitene - Formula 1/Formula 1.

 • Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Merc's Lewis Hamilton collided during the Italian GP on Sunday.

 • Although it was a low-speed crash, it could have been fatal for Hamilton if not for the halo device.

 • Wheels24 reader John Smith believes Verstappen's penalty is far too light. 

 • For motoring news, go to News24/wheels.


Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull rival Max Verstappen collided in a low-speed crash during the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, on lap 26 of the race. The FIA has given Verstappen a three-place grid penalty for the upcoming Russian Grand Prix for causing the collision with Hamilton.

Wheels24 reader John Smith says Monza's low-speed crash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen highlighted the hot-headed behaviour of the Dutchman - his final radio message proving his culpability.

Smith shares his thoughts on the incident: "We are all very pleased to see Max Verstappen doing so well in F1, although there is a strong consensus of opinion that his aggression could be his undoing. F1 fans (British ones at least) feel that social graces should not fall victim to crass monetary dictates.

READ | Hamilton and Verstappen take each other out during Italian GP

"As an aerodynamicist working with Swansea University (College of Engineering) and the inventor of the double-decker diffuser (as used by Brawn Racing in the 2009 season), I have long been a big fan of F1. My thoughts here are an attempt to highlight safety and sportsmanship issues in the F1 arena.

"However, the accident between Verstappen and Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday highlighted the hot-headed behaviour of the Dutchman - his final radio message (in my opinion) proving his culpability. (The fact that he then climbed out of his car and walked away, without checking the cockpit of the other car to ensure the driver was not trapped in the wreckage, shows extremely poor sportsmanship - something that F1 should not tolerate).

"I think the three-place Grid penalty is by far too light a reprimand for the Dutch driver - I would suggest he should have been awarded a three-race suspension to give him time to cool down and realise that hot-headed drivers are not a good advertisement for the F1 circuit and its legions of fans.

"Put another way, what would the stewards have done if Hamilton had received a fatal injury in that incident?

"For that is how close this was to being a disaster. 

"Mark my words, Verstappen will eventually cause a severe accident, possibly during the remainder of the 2021 race calendar. A severe reprimand at this juncture would at least teach the young man to reassess his future in this sport, should he wish to continue!"

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