Take a look at all of the best social posts surrounding the drama of the British Grand Prix. (1:51)
Sebastian Vettel has criticised the way Max Verstappen defended position during their scrap in the early stages of the British Grand Prix, saying the Dutch teenager still has a tendency to move under braking.
Vettel and Verstappen were locked in a fierce battle for third place during the first stint of Sunday’s race, with both drivers taking it in turns to run the other out wide at Stowe and Club. Vettel complained over team radio that he felt Verstappen had moved in the braking zone, while the Red Bull driver suggested Vettel wanted to play “bumper cars”.
Verstappen’s defensive driving has been criticised in the past, particularly after clashing with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, and led to the short-lived ‘Verstappen rule’ which outlawed moving under braking. However, in a bid to simplify the rules over the winter, the FIA simplified that section of the sporting regulations with a catch-all article that says no penalty will be issued unless a driver is “wholly or predominantly to blame for an incident”.
But after Sunday’s race, Vettel says Verstappen still has a tendency to cross the line of what is acceptable under braking.
“It is not right to say I expected it, but we know he is a bit jumpy on that,” Vettel said. “He is trying to defend as hard as possible and at some point you need to stick to your line. I’m sure he will calm down, it’s still not that many races he has done.
“I wanted to get past, I think I had a chance before that and then Turn 15 turned out to be very wide which didn’t help me but in the end we got him at the pit-stop, we just lost a lot of time in the first stint.”
When asked if he thinks Verstappen needs to calm down, Vettel replied: “No not really. You can argue what did it bring him? Obviously the fact that I ran out of tyres and it blows up, that’s something nobody could have seen. It was clear that we were faster and we obviously got him in the pitstops. For sure we weren’t fighting anyone else, it was fine but I think he has calmed down a lot already.”
After jumping Verstappen for third in his first pit stop, the German also ran side-by-side with Valtteri Bottas later in the race at Stowe, but said he had no problem with the Finn’s driving.
“At Stowe I had something similar [twice], I was on the inside — once trying to attack Max and then trying to defend from Valtteri,” he explained. “It looks like the track can be very wide there! In the end [the battle with Bottas] didn’t make or break our race. I probably didn’t get too lucky twice there, but it was fine. I didn’t have a problem with what he was doing.”