Verstappen opted not to "screw" Hamilton in investigation
Max Verstappen said he chose not to ‘try to screw’ Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton after the two drivers were called to the stewards following Friday’s Formula 1 practice sessions.
Hamilton was investigated for potentially rejoining the track unsafely as he made his way back to the circuit following a big moment at the Turn 3 right-hander that sent him sliding onto the run-off on the right-hand side.
He rejoined on the inside of the circuit for the T5 right hander that follows the T3/4 sequence, and Verstappen swept around the outside before going too deep into the corner and running wide.
The stewards cleared Hamilton of any wrongdoing, although the incident attracted attention given the long-running saga since the previous race in Canada, where Hamilton benefitted from Sebastian Vettel being penalised for rejoining the track unsafely.
“When something like that happens, I'm not going make any problems out of it,” Verstappen told Dutch TV broadcaster Ziggo Sport. “In the end we don't fight with them anyway.
“If it's for the championship or if you expect to really fight with Mercedes this weekend, then you maybe try and screw them. But I don't feel like doing that at this moment.”
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The stewards’ verdict declared that both drivers agreed the situation was “not particularly dangerous” and did not give Verstappen a lasting disadvantage.
They also wrote that Hamilton and Verstappen highlighted the limited rear visibility inside the car and agreed Hamilton rejoined the track slowly after looking in his mirrors “at least twice”.
Verstappen told the stewards he did not have much to say about the incident, and that "it's just the decent thing to not whine about it like ‘yes, he held me up’".
“It can happen, that he doesn't see you in the mirrors,” said Verstappen. “Because you could see that he was looking.
“But those mirrors aren't very big and that part of the track is very wide. So he wasn't able to see me in the mirror.”
The decision to not take action on Hamilton came less than an hour after the stewards rejected a request from Ferrari for the FIA to review the decision to punish Vettel in Canada.
Verstappen said that what happened between Vettel and Hamilton was not comparable to his incident in FP2.
"That certainly was not the case," he said. "But also, it’s just free practice, so what difference does it make?"
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