Max Verstappen’s Way Of Ferociously Defending Himself

The clash that occurred between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen at the Austrian GP brought to light some bad vices from Max Verstappen’s past.

At the end of the race in Austria, Max Verstappen gave Formula One an unpleasant show, demonstrating that he doesn’t know how to play clean when he meets the competition.

The Austrian Grand Prix was a rather boring race, except for the final few laps. In the last seven laps, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen battled for first place. But it didn’t end well. A very intense duel caused by exchanges of blows both on the track, in team radios and during post-race interviews. On the 64th lap, Max’s Red Bull and Lando’s Mclaren collided resulting in an accident that ruined both of their races. However, it was Lando Norris who got the worst of it, with the contact costing him retirement. The world championship leader instead suffered a puncture. He returned to the pits and then finished the race in fifth place, after also serving a 10-second penalty.

What has re-emerged from this race is Max Verstappen’s rather abrupt way of defending himself when he faces competition on the track. This unsportsmanlike behaviour is not new. There have been similar situations in the past, with quite questionable moments of defence, extreme fights and a few too many words.

Hungarian GP 2017

In the Hungarian GP a few years ago, Max Verstappen rear-ended Daniel Ricciardo, his former teammate. The two Red Bulls collided, once again highlighting Max’s fairly ferocious defences. Here too, he was only given a 10-second penalty as punishment.

Baku GP 2018

At the end of the race in Baku, the two Red Bulls touched. In this race, both teammates duelled throughout the race. But an aggressive defence by Max ended up ruining the match for both. On lap 40, Ricciardo hit Max Verstappen at the end of the straight after attempting to overtake. Daniel Ricciardo was chasing Max Verstappen trying to overtake him several times. With DRS open, the Australian took the entire slipstream with a big advantage. But the moment he pointed towards the outside, Verstappen moved twice under braking to cover that position, whilst Riccardo was moving faster behind him. Ricciardo had nowhere to go, and as a result, the two collided, their race over.

Monza GP 2021

The 2021 world championship, as we all know, was a continuous struggle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. The protagonist of the Monza 2021 race was precisely the clash between the two. During an overtake, Hamilton and Verstappen came into contact and ended up out of the race on lap 27. After stopping to change tyres, Lewis Hamilton returned to the track flanked by Max Verstappen. The two were wheel to wheel at the first chicane. The Dutchman, refusing to yield despite Hamilton being ahead at both apexes ended up on top of the car of his rival.

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An unclear regulation

As mentioned earlier, Max Verstappen is known for his very aggressive way of defending himself. Something that has always made the fans talk. And what happened yesterday in Austria is proof that, when he finds himself having to duel with competition, he brings out some bad vices from the past.

Those continuous changes of trajectory when braking, which are prohibited by the regulations, overtaking at the limits of the norm and very dangerous, positions maintained by extending the trajectory where it would not be permitted, this is a task that would fall to the International Federation. But even yesterday, as McLaren have stated, the FIA has shown that they want to look the other way by ignoring the continuous dirty plays and once again demonstrating their inconsistency.

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Lando Norris was handed a 5-second penalty for violating track limits. He did not serve his penalty before his retirement, but since he finished enough of the race to be classified, the 5 seconds were added to his time. Norris has therefore severe his penalty, and will not carry it over to the British GP.

Max was given a 10-second penalty after playing dirty and completely ruining Lando’s race. McLaren believe this was not harsh enough. All this underlines is a totally rotten evaluation system, which only punishes those who suit it.

What this latest incident suggests is that when a little pressure is applied to him in a racing situation, he buckles and falls apart, resorting to illegal tactics and crashing into drivers.

Max Verstappen is known for his ferocious way of driving and defending himself. But could this cannibalism become his condemnation?


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