There’s something special about Max Verstappen. It was only bad luck that he couldn’t display that something special for 7 races this season, but when he got the chance, like he did in the 2017 United States Grand Prix, he proved why Red Bull Racing were eager to lock him down for 3 years and why Helmut Marko thinks he’s worth $100 million!
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However, it isn’t always that the FIA approves of that something in Verstappen. Or as Verstappen put it, there’s one guy in the FIA (their Steward) who doesn’t approve of his something. FIA’s post-race track limits penalty for Verstappen meant two things. First, no Max Verstappen on the podium, despite a spirited drive from P16 to P3. Second, FIA’s disapproval of Kimi Raikkonen being ‘Verstappen’ed on the last lap. To me, it was a Valentino Rossi-style last lap last ditch attack. It’s a shame that the FIA deemed it as illegal.
Mithila Mehta and I have partnered with Firstpost for the 2017 Formula 1 Season and will feature in their Firstpost Pole Position videos all through the season. Basically, we’re now available in text, audio and video!
Was the FIA right? If you’re the types that goes by the rule book, hell yes, they were. But here’s where the FIA was wrong. They applied the rules inconsistently throughout the weekend. Other drivers who had infringed this rule were let off – let alone a penalty, there was no warning issued either (unless this was discussed in the drivers’ briefing). Did this draw Verstappen’s ire? Either way, the only way to fix this inconsistency is by fixing our racing circuits. The kerb stones look great, especially when they’re all colourful and well laid, but those kerb stones are the reason why we’re discussing track limits. If there was grass on the inside of the Verstappen cut, would he have still made the move on Raikkonen?
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In this week’s episode of the Firstpost Pole Position video, we talk about Mercedes’ 4th Constructors’ Championship, Lewis Hamilton closing in on his 4th, Esteban Ocon’s coming of age and if Mercedes should do a Red Bull Racing and replace Valtteri Bottas (or Slowttas as he’s called on Reddit!) for 2019. Also, where will Daniel Ricciardo go in 2019. In my view, Ricciardo will have to choose between playing second fiddle to either Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton or Max Verstappen. But such is life in Formula 1.
FIA Bans ‘The Verstappen’
Co-hosted by Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah, the Inside Line F1 Podcast is a weekly show on Formula 1 that attempts to simplify the sport and business of Formula 1. This show also aims to add some much needed humour to the otherwise serious sport of Formula 1. In 2016, the show crossed 150,000 listens and was top-rated on iTunes and Audio Boom. The show is available on Kunal’s F1 Blog and partner websites such as Motorsport, Firstpost, NDTVAuto, Sport360, Sportskeeda, Scroll, Talking About F1, Motor Octane and others.