There were many talking points from Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton kept his title dreams alive with another victory in Mexico City, cutting Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s lead down to 19 points with two races to go.
However, much of the drama centred around 19-year-old Max Verstappen, who, despite finishing third on the track, was denied a podium finish after stewards imposed a five-second penalty on the Dutchman.
Verstappen also got into a war of words with fiery Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel, who has criticised the youngster’s defensive tactics this season.
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Vettel was heard yelling over the team radio at Verstappen during the race: “He has to let me go! Move, move for f*** sake!"
Vettel was also denied a podium finish due to a post-race penalty and may face further reprisal after directing a foul-mouthed rant towards FIA race director Charlie Whiting.
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Verstappen has been criticised by some of his peers this season who believe that some of the youngster’s techniques are too dangerous, and now F1 legend Niki Lauda has brandished Verstappen as “stupid” and “arrogant” and complained that the Red Bull racer drives too dangerously.
Lauda said: “Nico clearly was in front and Verstappen rams him off the track. This could have cost Nico the championship. This is not acceptable.
“It’s Verstappen’s fault. He drives too aggressively. At some point he has to realise it. This is a lost cause.”
Now 67, the former three-time World Champion Lauda believes that it is the responsibility of Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko to calm his driver down.
“A repeated offender like him has to be penalised. Helmut should talk to him.
"If Verstappen wouldn't drive that aggressively, he would develop much better. His talent is unbelievable but then he smashes it all with these stupid actions.
"He doesn't realise. He thinks he is doing everything right but he doesn't. He has to calm down.
"I don't know where this arrogance comes from. I don't understand. The fury of the other drivers just gets bigger and bigger."
The Austrian then went on to say that he believes Verstappen’s talent is unbelievable, but that his development is being hindered due to his aggressive driving and his stupid actions.
What did you make of Verstappen’s driving at the Mexican Grand Prix? Do his critics have a point? Have YOUR say in the comments below.
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