Mercedes non-exec Chairman Niki Lauda was not at all impressed with Max Verstappen’s move on Rosberg at turn one and questions the young Dutchman’s attitude after a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix.
The incident at turn-one between Verstappen and Rosberg saw the Silver Arrow take an evasive trip across the grass in what must have been a heart-in-mouth moment for Rosberg. Had he stayed on-track and taken the contact with the Red Bull, a dangerous DNF could have gifted Hamilton the Championship lead.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 30, 2016
After the race, a furious Niki Lauda said,
“Nico clearly was in front and Verstappen rams him off the track. This could have cost Nico the championship. This is not acceptable.
It’s Vertappen’s fault. He drives too aggressively. At some point he has to realise it.”
– Niki Lauda
Contrarily, Toto Wolff chimed in with,
“I think it’s very refreshing how he drives. His driving is ruthless and I like that.”
– Toto Wolff
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 31, 2016
No doubt Christian Horner will be displeased that one of his Red Bull drivers is again being given a passing verdict from the Mercedes top brass. Lauda believed that Verstappen’s penalty was rightly applied and added,
“It was a just and right decision. A repeated offender like him has to be penalized. Helmut should talk to him.
If Verstappen wouldn’t drive that aggressively, he would develop much better. His talent is unbelievable but then he smashes it all with these stupid actions.
He doesn’t realize. He thinks he is doing everything right but he doesn’t. He has to calm down. I don’t know where this arrogance comes from. I don’t understand.”
– Niki Lauda
Verstappen doesn’t give presents to other drivers and it is his job as a Red Bull driver to make it as difficult as possible for other drivers to pass, as long as he races within the rules, which seem to change every weekend…
Niki cites that he’s unsure of where Verstappen’s arrogance comes from, but the Dutchman’s perceived “driving above the law” can’t have been helped early on. Before he’d turned a steering wheel of an F1 car, respected pundits were comparing him to Senna and elevating him to supremacy status. Give a teenager the impetus to start believing everything that surrounds him, and the ground beneath suddenly disappears as he ascends.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) October 31, 2016
The problem with Formula One at the moment is not Max Verstappen. As is the nature of the F1 collective to start a witch-hunt after a race, they should maybe instead turn their pitchforks and scythes to the door of the racing stewards, who have, whether correct in their judgement or not, left a taste of over-officiating. Yet again, the race was seemingly about a little room full of scratching heads and not about the drivers on-track.
Ok that was hectic
— Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) October 31, 2016