user icon
user icon

Max Verstappen in trouble for calling steward 'idiot'?

  • Published on 24 Oct 2017 12:57
  • comments 21
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Max Verstappen could be in trouble for insulting an FIA steward. A controversy erupted when the Dutchman was penalised for his exciting last-lap pass on Kimi Raikkonen for the Austin podium.

The Red Bull driver's father Jos was particularly furious, declaring on Twitter that the FIA should stand for 'Ferrari International Assistance'. But Max himself also let his fury rip. "I feel robbed," Sport Bild quotes him as saying.

Verstappen, 20, accused one steward in particular - believed to be Australian Garry Connelly - of always penalising him for overtakes. "He's an idiot who always decides against me," he said. "I hope the fans don't like the decision and don't come back next year," Verstappen said before leaving Austin.

Now, British and German media sources report that the FIA could look into whether Verstappen's criticism of the steward brings the sport into disrepute. Red Bull boss Christian Horner doesn't think so. "If Lewis Hamilton is allowed to criticise the US president, then a frustrated driver is allowed to express his opinion," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.

As for Verstappen's actual overtake, expert opinions are mixed. Some say it was clearly illegal, others think officialdom should butt out, and many argue that tracks should be modified so that breaching 'track limits' is not possible. And some pundits say the real problem is that only certain breaches of 'track limits' are penalised.

F1 race director Charlie Whiting defended the Austin stewards' decision. "In all other cases where the drivers left the circuit, they went a longer distance. Max on the other hand cut the corner with all four wheels," he said. (GMM)

Replies (21)

Login to reply
  • MaxiDaans

    Posts: 141

    If in Mexico, Max is chasing RAI or VET again, RBR should warn him: "Max, do not overtake this Ferrari, you're not allowed to overtake, You will get penalised."

    That would be quite funny XD

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 13:18
    • ENDR

      Posts: 43

      If he does it (again) by going off the track, then yeah, he should be penalised and it WOULD be funny indeed ;]

      • + 0
      • Oct 24 2017 - 18:19
  • mbmwe36

    Posts: 533

    Let's not go overboard with the political correctness. I agree with the penalty because of the shortcut. But I won't fault any driver for being passionate and saying something in the heat of the moment. If it was said after the fact, it's a little different. But still, all that FI is accomplishing here is call attention to the fact that it happened.

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 13:21
  • Whoa! Asking fans not to come to races, because he was penalized? He has issues.

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 13:39
    • mbmwe36

      Posts: 533

      Yup, that was just weird. Also the fact that he kept saying that they killed the sport by "wrongfully" penalising him. If a bad decision by an official on a fairly inconsequential matter kills a sport. Football is getting killed in almost every match played.

      • + 0
      • Oct 24 2017 - 14:15
    • Max has grown up a lot. But his immaturity stood out on this one. His whole reaction was childish, even if he felt wronged.

      • + 3
      • Oct 24 2017 - 17:28
    • How immature was Vettel last year and when was he penalised for it? Max had reason to be angry and reacted human. He has enough reason to have doubts especially over Garry Connolly because of Japan and Mexico last year.

      • + 0
      • Oct 24 2017 - 21:58
  • His comments put the sport in to no more disrepute than a flawed decision by the stewards has.. My interest in F1 is certainly waning.....

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 14:06
  • As I saw it (in the replay, found the race quite boring and halfway in I started doing other things), Max was further out than most other cars who had done a similar thing, certainly more than 2 tyres outside of the line, hence the penalty. Should the stewards be more clear about that? 100% yes. In fact they really need to clear up in general, because they tend to be about as easy to interpret as the modern medical terms (the things we endure for our patients...) . Do the stewards need to be more constant in the way they judge things? Certainly, they are about as constant as Hillary Clinton. Should more drivers have been penalised? Yes, I think quite a few were grayzone cases this race, and of them a few should definitely have been penalized. I dont think his lack of respect towards the stewards, even when cutting out the idiot-calling, helps his case, especially when they tend to be quite lenient towards him. Moral of the story: shit happened, move on, stay out of trouble, and for heaven's sake, FIA stewards, use a Cleanex every now and then! I have to wash my hands between every patient and apply alcohol on them, a little wash every now and then, just once a month or so, to clear up and remove the filth wouldnt hurt!

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 14:33
  • DChemTech

    Posts: 39

    I find it baffling that Charlie Whiting suggests that reducing the number of meters during an overtake is the only way of gaining an advantage, hence only Max should be penalized. Is going wide to increase corner speed or more effectively block at the exit not an advantage (bottas, bottas, sainz, vettel)? Or cutting the corner/going wide to maximize speed when you are not overtaking someone? It might just help you land the overtake during your competitors stop, or to land that little bit faster qualification lap (and pretty much everyone does it, probably). But no, those are not advantages according to the steward it seems.

    I don't think anyone that saw the action doubts it was correct to penalize max, according to the regulations. It was. The problem is that it was inconsistent, and inconsistent is worse than incorrect. Elsewhere there was the comment that "football would then be getting killed by wrongful decisions almost every match". That's not true, in many football matches there are incorrect decisions, that's human. But at least refs try to be consistent. With all the data available to race stewards, they'll nearly always be correct - but they apply the rules selectively, meaning that both audience and drivers do not know what they're up to. That's way more harmful. And it's why the stewards made a mistake here.

    Also Max did not imply people should not come because -he- was penalized. People should stay away because the actions of the stewards penalize exiting actions in an already rather boring season, while there is so much attention towards making F1 more exiting. Worse off, they do it in a country that is already wholly unconvinced of the excitement F1 could deliver. His critique was directed towards the stewards undermining the sports and killing that what the fans appreciate, and that's in my view fully justified.

    • + 1
    • Oct 24 2017 - 15:55
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Just great drama. It's actually great for f1. Reminds me of senna's comments. Charlie trying to spin it into something else. It all adds to the drama. Other drivers like bottas who went wide did so to not scrub their momentum and as such they gained with that method. FIA focus should be on consistantcy .. but will they do this?....

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 16:25
  • f1ski

    Posts: 666

    I believe during the race and qualifying many exceed the 2 tire widths. He a Kimi were racing very closely and I just don't feel it was justified. If a complaint isn't filed or there is not a crash or contact the stewards should stay out. Teams complain about everything to gain an advantage. The stewards should be judges not the police.

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 16:25
  • Great racer but he really needs to grow up.

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 16:43
  • kngrthr

    Posts: 203

    i live in Australia and this kind of over officious use of the rules is common here.
    just look at what they have done (and keep doing ) to AFL football rules.
    lets leave it out of F1.

    • + 0
    • Oct 24 2017 - 16:48
    • And isn’t Garry Connelly Australian??

      • + 0
      • Oct 24 2017 - 21:54
  • They should really stop dragging this out - he got the penalty and had his say.
    Pundits and experts had their say.
    Ross Brawn wants to sit down and discuss as a result, so something good might come out of it.
    Don't penalize him further for calling a steward names... I mean others have gotten away with telling other drivers to go suck balls, stick to commentary jobs and Charlie Whiting has been told to go F himself...

    • + 0
    • Oct 25 2017 - 08:43
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    It’s clear to me that Max Verstappen is the Chosen One and is All Things To All People now in F1. All hail Max. More important than the FIA, more important than the team. No point in turning up for a race, that’s what he meant. The Chosen One is here.

    • + 0
    • Oct 25 2017 - 18:40
    • It s clear to me you don t like him. But hate him or love him, that s besides the point, FIA must do something about these inconsistent decisions. The drama around The Chosen One’s penalty might actually result in some changes. So yeah, let s all hail Max

      • + 0
      • Oct 25 2017 - 19:07
    • Barron

      Posts: 625

      Not like Max? He’s the best thing that’s happened to F1 in years but the way people fawn over him makes me ill. There are 19 other drivers out there, some of whom are likely to be as good as Max given the chance, but all eyes are focussed on one guy. Frankly, Horners attitude is cringeworthy & Max’s own father seems a liability at least on social media. In the past, these kind of machinations have been the ruin of many a precocious talent. In terms of the penalty, it was deserved. Why the FIA didn’t punish others is unclear - I didn’t see them myself so cannot judge. In any event, in all sports, refereeing can be inconsistent but rules are rules and you can’t have a game without rules. Max broke one and got punished for it and he should learn from it & move on. He certainly shouldn’t abuse the officials of the sport that has made him world famous at such a young age. If I was his father, this is what I would be telling him. Some humility in success is a great thing. Unless a machine is the judge, humans will be fallible. On to Mehico!

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 11:42
    • Max is actually doing alright considering that his dad has had several assault charges filed against him... Jos is a loose canon

      • + 0
      • Oct 26 2017 - 13:18

GB F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Local time 

GB F1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix

Local time 

Related news

Test calendar

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

World Championship standings 2020

Show full world champion standings

Driver profile

  • Country Netherlands
  • Date of b. Sep 30 1997 (22)
  • Place of b. Hasselt (Belgie), Netherlands
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.80 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Spain
-
Spain
3 - Jul 5
Austria
10 - Jul 12
Austria
17 - Jul 19
Hungary
31 - Aug 2
United Kingdom
7 - Aug 9
United Kingdom
14 - Aug 16
Spain
28 - Aug 30
Belgium
4 - Sep 6
Italy
11 - Sep 13
Italy
25 - Sep 27
Russian
9 - Oct 11
Germany
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
3 - Jul 5
Austria Red Bull Ring
10 - Jul 12
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19
Hungary Hungaroring
31 - Aug 2
United Kingdom Silverstone
7 - Aug 9
United Kingdom Silverstone
14 - Aug 16
28 - Aug 30
4 - Sep 6
Italy Monza
11 - Sep 13
Italy Mugello
25 - Sep 27
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11
Germany Nurburgring
See full schedule
show sidebar