Header Ads

Niki Lauda - Max Verstappen decision was the worst I've ever seen in F1

AUSTIN -- Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda has labelled the decision to penalise Max Verstappen at the U.S. Grand Prix as the worst ruling he has ever seen in Formula One.

Verstappen was hit with a five-second time penalty after he passed Kimi Raikkonen for third position by cutting the inside of Turn 16 on the final lap. The move looked spectacular as he put Raikkonen out of position in Turn 15 and then completed the move on the inside at Turn 16, but under a strict interpretation of the regulations it was ajudged to have broken them.

The stewards' decision was made just moments after the race and saw Verstappen pulled out of the green room ahead of the podium ceremonies to be replaced by Raikkonen. Steward interference has been a controversial topic in Formula One in recent years and Lauda said the decision in Austin went against everything the sport had agreed ahead of the season.

"We had meetings at the start of the year to see how far stewards should go in decisions during a race because it always says 'under investigation'," he said. "So we complained about that and the stewards were there, Charlie [Whiting, F1 race director] was there and we were there, and there we agreed all together that the stewards would not interfere. Very simple.

"If the driver goes over another and [ends up] upside down, only then would they weigh in. That was at the beginning of last year. For six months it was OK, but this decision today was the worst I've ever seen. He [Verstappen] did nothing wrong. These are racing drivers and we are not on the normal roads and it is ridiculous to destroy the sport with these kind of decisions.

"At the next strategy meeting we will put it back on the agenda and start all over again, because we cannot do that. They go too far and interfere and there was nothing to interfere with. It was normal overtaking."

The vast run off around the majority of the Circuit of the Americas enables drivers to stray beyond the white lines, but rather than blame circuit design, Lauda believes the stewards should apply common sense.

"But why can you not driver over white lines if it is possible? Build a wall there if you want, but as long as there is normal circuit you can use it. The white line is not a limit, we agreed this last year. It was all agreed and now this. I think it's wrong, completely wrong."

Photo: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Author: Laurence Edmondson, ESPN UK
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/21119173/niki-lauda-max-verstappen-decision-was-worst-ever-seen-f1

No comments

Powered by Blogger.