Verstappen predominantly at fault in Hamilton collision, gets 10-second penalty - FIA

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 collide during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on December 05, 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 collide during the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on December 05, 2021 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Photo by Lars Baron

Max Verstappen defended his driving after Formula One stewards found him predominantly responsible for a collision with title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Red Bull driver was handed two time penalties totalling 15 seconds - a five-second sanction awarded during the race for running off the track and keeping the lead while defending against Hamilton and a 10-second penalty after the race for a collision as he attempted to hand the place back.

READ | Hamilton wins crazy, twice-halted Saudi GP to go equal on points with Verstappen

"I went to drive to the right side and I slowed down and I was braking, downshifting and he just stayed super close behind me," Verstappen said, adding he was just trying to let Hamilton pass.

Hamilton, who ran into the back of the Red Bull car, later accused his rival of "brake-testing".

"I’m just going slower and slower, pulling the downshift and then we had a miscommunication or whatever and he ran into the back of me and yeah that was it," Verstappen said.

In their verdict, the stewards acknowledged that Hamilton could have driven past when he saw Verstappen slowing.

But they understood why neither he nor Verstappen wanted to be in front heading into the DRS zone, which would have made whoever was in front vulnerable to impact from behind.

They found Verstappen braked suddenly and erratically and determined he had been predominantly at fault.

Speaking about his lap 37 defensive move, Verstappen said he didn't understand why he had been singled out for the five-second penalty.



What are your thoughts on the incidents in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix? Are the stewards inconsistent, or who do you think was really at fault, considering all facts about radio comms? Please share your thoughts in the comments section, or send us an email here.


"I find it interesting that I am the one that gets the penalty when both of us run outside of the white lines," he said.

"You could clearly see both didn’t make the corner.

"I think lately we're talking more about white lines and penalties than actually proper Formula One racing."

Verstappen keeps his second place behind winner Hamilton despite the stewards' sanctions.

The 36-year-old Briton's win, along with the extra point he scored for fastest lap, sees him draw level on points with his 24-year-old rival with only next week's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to go.

The Dutchman is in the overall lead, however, on account of having won more races, setting up an enticing winner-takes-all finale.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Which of these factors are prohibiting you from buying an electric vehicle as your next car?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Prices should be more affordable
16% - 211 votes
Our unreliable electricity source
10% - 129 votes
There's not enough charging infrastructure
10% - 137 votes
All of the above
64% - 861 votes
Vote