Categories: News

Max Verstappen lashes out at race management for GP in Hungary: “As if we are amateurs”

And so the words of the World Cup leader more or less come true. Also with a 63 point lead over Charles Leclerc, Verstappen has continuously said that the season is still long and there are no guarantees. At the Hungaroring, the equipment failed him, just on a day when he could have surprised him with a pole position.

Because on ‘Ferrari terrain’ pole went to George Russell (Mercedes) and Verstappen was also competitive. He braked on his first attempt in Q3, but was determined to rectify that on his final run. Then the Honda engine let him down. ‘No power’, Verstappen reported. A hefty cannonade followed.

Great work

“I don’t think too much about the points now, but I am especially disappointed that this has happened,” said the Dutchman. “There are always weekends where you are not the fastest and can lose points. Only today we had a very good car. Then you have to stand there and maximize. A tenth place is not good. Friday night we were not happy with the car at all, but the people here and at the Milton Keynes factory have done a great job. The speed was there, but unfortunately we couldn’t show it.”

©  ISOPIX

Verstappen noticed immediately upon leaving the pitlane that he had no power. It appears to be a mechanical problem in the Honda engine. During that failed first attempt, before that, he said he had no grip and it already went wrong in the second corner. “But then you know: I still have a second chance. So it went up in smoke. Now it will be difficult on Sunday, because overtaking is not easy here. At the same time, we also see this season that a lot can happen. And Ferrari has to get past George in any case.”

Extremely frustrating

Verstappen is also outspoken about the new race management, which certainly does not seem to function flawlessly. This weekend, Eduardo Freitas is at the helm. He has alternated the role of race director with Niels Wittich since Michael Masi’s notorious resignation from the FIA.

Verstappen has not been happy with that from the start. Recently, for example, there has been a lot of fuss about the track limit, the so-called track limits. Since this season it has been the case on every circuit that a driver is not allowed to cross the white line in his entirety, but on some track it is easier than on the other. In Hungary, for example, there is a discussion about turn 13, where drivers until this year let the car roll out a bit more to maintain speed. That is no longer allowed that way. In that bend, a dotted line is used, instead of a ‘solid’ white line. “While you have a kerbstone and that line lying there. These kinds of adjustments also make it more difficult for race directors to monitor. As drivers we always want to help, but we are not listened to. That is extremely frustrating. I don’t want to compete with the race management, but rather advise them. It seems like they don’t care. It seems like they see us as amateurs. That is not correct.”

Gravel

On Saturday during qualifying, a lap time was taken from Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Pérez. The Mexican – who only starts eleventh on Sunday – got that time back a little later, because it had turned out that he had not completely crossed the white line.

©  ISOPIX

“On the on-board cameras it sometimes looks like you’re over the line, but then you aren’t,” says Verstappen. “It would be much easier if they put some gravel at the exit of the corner or something like that. If you look at Austria for example: why track limits in turns 4 and 6? There is already gravel there. If you shoot off the track there, you’ll be punishing yourself anyway. You’ll lose lap time or damage your floor. The race management makes it very difficult for themselves. People can say, stay within the lines, but that is sometimes easier said than done.”

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