The FIA Bans 'The Verstappen'

The FIA Bans 'The Verstappen'


The United States Grand Prix was a joke in itself. The only saving grace was the brief wheel-to-wheel battle between Carlos Sainz Jr. and Fernando Alonso. The BIG chatter from the weekend was the FIA banning ‘The Verstappen’ and Venus Williams snubbing Martin Brundle. Shame on you, Williams.

(Martin Brundle drove a race for the Williams F1 Team in 1988 – had Venus Williams known this fact, would she still have snubbed Brundle?)

How do Formula 1 drivers ensure that they don’t become victims of ‘The Verstappen’? Ask the FIA to ban it! Ridiculous or sensible? Either way, history suggests that the FIA could well un-ban what they’ve banned in the first place.

Actually, instead of banning ‘The Verstappen’ the FIA should have Max Verstappen host a session for the other drivers on how to pull of ‘The Verstappen’. He’s the one driver that’s brought some cheer to Formula 1. Okay, Daniel Ricciardo too.

Ricciardo’s shoey found yet another victim (in Gerard Butler) and given the fantastic promotion and free publicity for Red Bull, there’s good chance that Bernie Ecclestone would ban the shoey if the the FIA didn’t. But before the ban, we’d love to see Hamilton’s reaction to being shoey-ed by Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton started his race well and that meant an expected end too – a much-needed victory. Due to obvious reasons, there’s increasingly more focus on his starts and media behaviour. At his ‘second’ ‘home’ race, he scored well on both counts.

By the way, an evil move by the FIA to call him in for the official press conference on Thursday. They seem to have a dark side to their humour.
But it wasn’t just the FIA alone, even Red Bull Racing’s Spy had something really humourous to say on this subject.

It was a shame to not see Max Verstappen on the podium. After all, it wasn’t just Red Bull Racing alone, but the organisers too who had prepared well in expectation. His unexpected pit-stop and radio message caused much chatter. But despite his insistence, he might just end up finishing 4th in the Drivers’ Championship, if his form and Ferrari’s woes continue.

Also, a thumbs up to our listeners and all the Dutch fans for voting for Verstappen as the ‘Driver of the Day’ even in races he ‘Did Not Finish’! And finally, Verstappen’s parked car on the circuit brought out the Virtual Safety Car that eventually helped Nico Rosberg jump Ricciardo to second place. How ironic for Ricciardo, how lucky for Rosberg!

Fernando Alonso’s drive to 5th showed us glimpses of his old self, but he was lucky in his clash against Felipe Massa. He should’ve been penalised. So typical of the FIA!

2017 might see cars, drivers and even different management for a few teams. There’s talk of Ron Dennis retiring and Ross Brawn, among a few others, being discussed as his replacements.

Brawn is most welcome to come back to Formula 1. But, we’re not sure who needs him the most – Ferrari, Mclaren or Formula 1! Ferrari’s best finish was Kimi Raikkonen reversing himself in the pit-lane.

Over to Mexico, there’s a possibility of Rosberg clinching the Drivers’ Championship this weekend. But at the same time, there’s possibility his points advantage could be cut down to just one point. The stakes are equally high for both Mercedes drivers, but Hamilton has been here a few times before, as for Rosberg, this is only his second time (first being in 2014).

Maybe this is why he sang ‘Living on a Prayer’ post the US GP. But he could well be singing ‘We are the Champions’ if things go his way this weekend. Ecclestone’s comments on Rosberg were very rude, but can better be expected from him? He relies on teams, drivers and podcasters like us to market his sport.

Lastly, despite the Hamilton vs. Rosberg fight, Sergio Perez will be the most cheered driver on the grid in Mexico. Tune in!

(Season 2016, Episode 35)

The Inside Line F1 Podcast is hosted by Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah. This Formula One podcast offers a unique humourous view on the sport. Follow us o…


Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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