Verstappen, RB rage after early controversy

    • Previously worked in rugby union and British Superbikes
    • History graduate from Reading University
    • Joined ESPNF1 in February 2014

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – There was immediate controversy in Formula One’s title decider as Max Verstappen seemed to be denied the lead of the race by a stewards’ decision.

Lewis Hamilton got the jump on Verstappen at the start into Turn 1 but Verstappen closed in on his title rival in down the back straight leading to Turn 4.

With Hamilton leaving the door on the inside open, Verstappen made a very late attempt on the inside. His move appeared to be late but fair, with his braking timed well enough to make the corner.

To avoid a collision, Hamilton went straight on and drove over the run-off area, rejoining slightly up the road. In doing so, he retained the lead.

“He has to give that back,” Verstappen immediately said on the radio.

Two laps later, the FIA stewards confirmed they felt no investigation was necessary.

Red Bull’s Jonathan Wheatley radioed FIA race director Michael Masi to ask why, saying the team felt it was an “aggressive” but “fair.” Masi told Red Bull said the stewards felt Hamilton had given back any lasting advantage.

When told there was no penalty, Verstappen said on the radio: “That is incredible. What are they doing here?”

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