Verstappen defends his style as Raikkonen blasts F1 rules

Max Verstappen holding off Kimi Raikkonen
Max Verstappen holding off Kimi Raikkonen
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Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen has questioned the sport’s rule makers after he collided with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen in a move he felt was illegal.

Late in the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver drove into the back of the Dutchman as they battled for fifth place in a move Raikkonen felt was against the rules.

The sporting regulations say a driver can only make one defensive move to deny a potential passer, though Raikkonen felt Verstappen made two when the pair collided, damaging the Ferrari’s front wing.

Raikkonen said: “For me, he moved once to the right, I decided to go left and the other car moved left. Once I decided to go and he decided to move back, I did everything I could to avoid contact.

“Once you decide to go one way you cannot move back. It was good to somehow half miss him. I lost a bit of the front wing, but there are rules but this weekend, and I’m not just talking about what happened between me and Max, in many ways why do we have rules if stewards can decide it’s OK here and not OK here?

“If the rules don’t apply all the time and to all the people, then we shouldn’t have them.”

Verstappen though felt his move was legal.

“I have no issues. I think everything was fair,” he said.

“I only moved once. It would be very strange if I would get penalised. I was simply protecting my position. I drove hard and just made sure I didn’t lock up or make a mistake.

“I could see him coming [in the mirrors]. He was very optimistic to dive into inside. I turned into inside and he locked up and hit my rear – that can happen.”

After consecutive second place finishes, Verstappen admitted he was disappointed not to be up on the podium again, feeling he had the pace to be in the top three.

He added: “The pace was there for a podium today. I felt like I had a good start and got close to Lewis into Turn One but then ran out of track and couldn’t brake late.

“After the first stop it was very frustrating to be behind a Ferrari at the start on the fresher tyres.

“It was a shame because at the beginning we were quick and I tried to create a gap to the Ferraris which lead to me having to back off as I got too close to the car in front.

“This meant when I pitted I got out behind them both and that was pretty much my race done.”