The FIA Bans 'The Verstappen'

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 on Facebook and on Google+. Follow on Twitter: Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah

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. But, a boring Formula 1 must be good for Heineken’s beer sales!

(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’? They 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. (Will The FIA Ban The Shoey?)

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. (Max Verstappen, Talent Of The Century)

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. (Pokemon Go Monsters At Formula 1 Races?)

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. (What Formula 1 Can Learn From Red Bull)

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! (Nico Rosberg Suffers From Major FOMO)

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)

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).

6 comments On The FIA Bans 'The Verstappen'

  • Jeroen Bons14 minuten ago
    Max was NOT moving in braking-zone in Suzuka. He made his move just before the white line on the track that indicates the beginning of the braking-zone. Please watch the video carefully.

    • That’s interesting, thanks. I will check it out. Although, then I wonder why HAM and Mercedes protested.

      • Dear Mr. Shah,
        Thank you for your prompt reaction. Firstly I would like you to know that I enjoy your podcast a lot. It brings the much needed relativity in the discussion around formula 1.
        In an attempt to answer your question I am not sure if this attempt will satisfy you.
        My answer is: ‘I don’t know’.
        I think that any endeavour to look for an explanation will end up in speculation. The only reason I can think of is that HAM in the heat of this fight for a position shouted away his frustration. You must remember that this was not the first time that HAM was stuck behind VES. In one of the other races he reported to his pitcrew: ‘I cant pass this guy!! Find me another solution’!
        Maybe he was hoping for his team to report this and gaining a position this way. It could be that Mercedes was giving it a try considering that VES was reported several times and wild-guessing that HAM could profit from an accumulating effect. This is of course not a very fair conduct and luckely Mercedes later had to realize that this protest would not be honoured.
        Now this brings me to a complete other, but no less important, aspect of a teams- and/or a drivers conduct. After this “No incident incident” in Suzuka Ham ventilated in the press his opinion on RESPECT. It is all about ‘respect’ he said and of course he was talking about a drivers behaviour on the racetrack. HAM was obviously not refering to a drivers conduct during pre- or post race press conferences.
        Dear Lewis made a habbit of not paying attention to questions from the press adressed at other drivers, talking to whoever sat next to him, showing funny pictures to them (which made them visibly uncomfortable) and even not paying attention to questions directly meant for him. But…
        In this light the question comes up: ‘What does HAM mean by ‘respect’? The so called respect that the young should pay to the elder statesman? The respect that prevents a driver from defending his position on track? The respect that earns (former) world champions less hinderance from ‘learning’ boys? Respect is a word that is all to often misused in competitions all over the ‘sports’world and I cannot free myself from the impression that this word is mostly used by competitors that end up behind.
        Further more I believe that what is actualy ment is Fairness. Now this idea of being fair in a competition between drivers in racingcars that are technically so different is
        of course an illusion. Is it fair that Mercedes with an enormous budget producing such technically advanced cars with the most powerfull engines should race cars that are put toghether with limited recourses, far less advanced systems and underpowered engines? No.
        And whats more does this make formula 1 interesting, entertaining to watch and a joy? No.
        Is it keeping us on the tip our toes to see 17, 18 or 19 races go to one manufacturer? It is not.
        Does this say that Mercedes wins because it employs the best racing drivers? Certainly not.
        Spectators all over the world shift their attention to the rest of the pack. And even then all competitors are hampered with different weaknesses in their cars compared to their adversaries.
        Only when the FIA rewrites the rules for formula 1 in a way that brings the means for competition on a fair base, only then we will see wich racing driver earns the title of a world champion based on his skill and performance.
        Instead of inventing silly rules to prevent racers from racing under the ‘so called’ safety demeanour (racing is risky) the FIA should stipulate that all technical aspects of each car should be alike.
        In a rulebook that provides restrictions to chassis, horsepower, aerodynamics, electronics, materials, weight, length, width etc…in short makes each car competitive to the other..only then we will see a competition that is fair and gives us a chance to respect the competitors involved. It also gives the drivers less reason to complain or to feel frustrated and in the same time it provides them with a greater chance to feel admiration for their fellow colleagues. The other one is using the same tools, so if he does a better job (in a fair way) he deserves my respect.
        Kindly yours,
        Jeroen Bons
        Please excuse my for mistakes in the text. English is not my native tongue.

        • Dear Jeroen,
          Firstly, a BIG thank you for a such a fantastically well written comment. I would say perfect delivery of thought and language – since English isn’t your native language.
          You’ve rightly pointed out about ‘respect’ and ‘fairness’ in your views and how it is used or mis-used in sporting competitions. In HAM’s case, he’s selfish and I think that’s what he needs to be to be the legend he is. I often get pulled up for my anti-HAM remarks, but they’re almost always about his attitude than his talent. I am with you when you have explained your rationale behind the protest in Suzuka.
          As for being ‘fair’, Formula 1 is an unfair sport. And that too towards all stakeholders – teams, drivers, sponsors and even us fans. We’re usually the most ignored of the lot and the focus falls on the business of Formula 1 rather than the sport. I hope this changes someday, but from how things are progressing, it would need a miracle.
          And thank you for your good words on our podcast. We’ve grown manifold in the last 2 years and it is only thanks to listeners such as you who have consumed our content in the manner in which it is served and have reached out to us to get to know us better. Keep Listening, Keep Racing! 😀

          • Dear Mr. Shah,
            Thank you for the multiple compliments you gave me.
            It convinced me that even when I am brash and arrogant, it will be forgiven as long as I stay off track. Long ago I enjoyed some weekends with five elderly gentlemen, all relations of my father, on the Zandvoort racetrack in the Netherlands. They were racing Lotuses, the so called formula junior cars, that came over from England in promotional tours. These gentlemen all owned good cars like AC Bristols, classic MG’s in racing green and even a shiny Le Mans Bentley. In spite of being underaged for a regular driving license (just 17) my father had taught me how to drive his Citroën 11 sport on quiet roads.
            In Zandvoort I boasted that the car owners would not be able to keep up with me on track and after long deliberations they finally permitted me one slow lap as long as I kept my speed under 100km/hr.
            In the end four of them joined me on the circuit and I showed them my heels.
            It is this memorable experience that made me an admirer of Max Verstappen.
            It maybe gave me also some understanding of the elderly statesmen’s reaction when an upstart comes under their skin.
            Kindly yours, Jeroen Bons

        • Jvjb, if you want to sell identical cars with identical engins, please become an Indy car fan. f1 has never been about identical cars or powerplants.

Leave a reply:

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar

Open chat
Let's Talk Formula 1
Happy to share my passion for Formula 1 with you. If you have specific queries about the sport, feel free to ping me.

In the meanwhile, I welcome you to subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast for insightful conversations around Formula 1. We release an episode every week.