Max Verstappen explains Lewis Hamilton incident at US GP after calling Brit ‘stupid idiot’

Max Verstappen explains Lewis Hamilton incident at US GP after calling Brit ‘stupid idiot’

With Verstappen appearing to slow down in readiness for a flying final lap, Hamilton darted up his inside but the Dutch driver tried to keep pace with the seven-time world champion, before eventually giving way and venting his anger over team radio.

“Ha stupid idiot,” he said, whilst gesturing at the Mercedes man, prompting Red Bull race engineer Giampiero Lambiase to respond with “ignore it, don’t worry about it”.

The tension between Verstappen and Hamilton has been simmering all season, with the pair colliding on the track at both Silverstone and Monza.

In Turkey two weeks ago, it was Verstappen who retook the championship lead and he holds a slender six-point advantage over the British driver ahead of Sunday’s race.

This latest incident will only serve to heighten the intensity as Hamilton, 36, desperately chases a record-breaking eighth world crown, while Verstappen, 24, seeks a maiden title win.

JUST IN: Christian Horner continues war of words with Toto Wolff – ‘You have to defend yourself’

However, afterwards, Verstappen tried to play down the flash point, claiming he wasn’t sure what had gone on.

“I don’t know, we are all lining up to go for our laps so I don’t really understand what happened there,” he said.

Regardless, it compounded a frustrating session for the Red Bull driver, who then encountered further issues with traffic and ended up aborting his one-lap plan.

“Just in FP2 on the soft tyre, I didn’t get the lap,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“Overall, it’s not easy out there, the track is quite bumpy, and to try and find the right compromise with the car hasn’t been the easiest so far.

There is cause for concer for Hamilton and Mercedes too though, with partner Bottas having to take a five-place grid penalty in Sunday’s race after exceeding his three allowed internal combustion engines [ICE].

Hamilton himself took a 10-grid penalty for a fourth engine change of the season in Turkey and team boss Toto Wolff admitted he was perplexed by the ongoing issue.

“I think you see that we are suffering with reliability this year, we’re going onto the sixth engine, for Valtteri, and it is not something we choose to do, but on the contrary; we are trying to really get on top of the problems, and we haven’t understood fully,” he said.

Published at Sat, 23 Oct 2021 10:07:00 +0000