The Singapore episodes
The weekend spent in Singapore by Max Verstappen it was particularly difficult. The Dutch driver not only saw his streak of consecutive victories – and also that of podiums – interrupted, but he was the protagonist on Saturday, during qualifying, three investigations for impeding against other drivers. The reigning champion, however, was pardoned by the commissioners who, somewhat surprisingly, gave him ‘only’ two reprimands, without forcing car #1 to move back on the grid. In particular, two maneuvers by the Red Bull standard bearer were judged over the top: the impediment against Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri and the unusual tactic of ‘park’ the car for several seconds at the pit lane exitwaiting to have a clear track ahead.
Danger on the track
There was also a lot of talk about these two episodes in the press conferences to present the Japanese GP weekend on the Suzuka circuit. Some heavy grill gauges, like Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and even Lando Norris – great friend of Verstappen – they expressed perplexity for the lack of sanction imposed on the Dutchman during the last weekend. “I don’t want to say too much, because it would only create controversy, but I think that blocking on the track was what should have been penalized the most“Norris said. The reference is to the maneuver carried out against Yuki Tsunoda. “He got in someone’s way. It’s not just the team’s fault. I know the team received the fine, but the driver should also look in the mirrors. Throughout the ride all you have to do is look in the mirrors. And it seems that many struggle to do so.”he underlined.
Ironically, Norris himself was hindered by Verstappen at Suzuka during qualifying last year. Even then the Dutchman received only a reprimand. “I think the sanctions should be tightened, because there are many who do it – added the Englishman from McLaren – It ruins your qualifications. Yuki was knocked out in qualifying and was ahead in Q1“. Leclerc and Hamilton also expressed themselves along the same lines as Norris. However, the Monegasque and the seven-time world champion pointed the finger in particular at Verstappen’s decision to stop for almost 15 seconds at the entrance to the pit lane. The Ferrari driver said he was “a little surprised” that Verstappen only received a reprimand. “This could open the door to some pretty nasty situations in the future – said Leclerc – but we are always in an open discussion with the FIA. We try to explain to them what our point of view is and to improve. I’m sure we’ll talk about it tomorrow evening during the briefing”.
Hamilton, who found himself alongside Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez in the press conference, also wanted to press this point. “There’s nothing to say”, tried to ignore Perez when questioned by journalists. Hamilton, however, tried to sting the rival team by wondering if he is “Are you allowed to park at the end of the pit lane when exiting?“. The curiosity now is therefore all about Saturday. It will be interesting to see if incidents similar to those committed by Verstappen at Marina Bay will also occur in Suzuka and – if so – what the reaction of the commissioners will be.
#Impeding #case #Verstappen #Singapore #FormulaPassion