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Verstappen's Behaviour Tied to Insufficient Penalties

Stella Claims Verstappen’s Past Leniency Fuels Issues

30/06/2024

Stella asserts that Verstappen’s ongoing issues stem from historical leniency in punishment.

Andrea Stella, Team Principal of McLaren F1, stated that the late-race collision between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen stemmed from the World Champion not receiving sufficiently severe penalties for previous incidents with Lewis Hamilton.

Norris was forced to retire from the race with a damaged vehicle after colliding twice with Verstappen at Turn 3 on lap 64.

Both drivers suffered damage and punctured tyres during the collision and were compelled to pit. Verstappen managed to continue and finished fifth, but Norris could not proceed due to the extent of the damage. The stewards deemed Verstappen “principally” at fault for the collision, imposing a 10-second penalty.

Post-race, Red Bull shifted the blame to Norris, with Team Principal Christian Horner claiming that Norris “had not behaved correctly.” Stella defended his driver, asserting that Verstappen’s track record clearly indicated who was at fault.

“The entire world population would know who is responsible, except for a certain group,” Stella retorted following Horner’s claim.

“But the issue is that if you don’t address these matters honestly, they recur. They have resurfaced today because they were not adequately dealt with in the past, during fights with Lewis that should have been more severely penalised. That way, one learns to race in a manner that we can consider just and fair.”

Verstappen was involved in a series of incidents with Hamilton as they battled for the World Championship in 2021. He faced penalties for collisions between them at Monza and Jeddah that year, while another incident at Interlagos went unpunished, and Hamilton was found responsible for a clash at Silverstone.

When asked for specifics, Stella said, “There are numerous episodes. And not just with Lewis. With Charles Leclerc as well. Max always acts this way when someone tries to overtake him.”

“The fact is we have immense respect for Red Bull, immense respect for Max – they don’t need to do this. It almost compromises your reputation. Why do that?”

After the race, Norris stated that Verstappen had moved under braking more than once without drawing the stewards’ attention until their collision ended the race. Stella noted that all maneuvers must adhere to the regulations and rules of engagement as understood by the drivers and stewards.

“I believe the stewards considered Max entirely responsible in this episode. So, it’s not about racing in a driver’s style, but racing within the regulations.”

“And the rules must be enforced effectively because when a car is out of the race as a result of such an accident, the penalty must be proportionate to the outcome. And we had seen, before this episode, Verstappen move under braking twice.”

The fans were deprived of what could have been a thrilling battle between the two men until the chequered flag, Stella opined.

“Even if Lando had passed Max, it’s likely that Max, with the DRS effect here, which is significant, could have been in a position to attack Lando again. Actually, I believe we missed out on a potentially exciting final battle, as I’m not sure Lando would have been able to hold off.”

“I think the fight could have continued up to the chequered flag. It’s a pity that we’ll never know.”

Verstappen's Behaviour Tied to Insufficient Penalties

Verstappen’s Behaviour Tied to Insufficient Penalties. Verstappen’s Behaviour Tied to Insufficient Penalties

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