Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen

Mark Hughes has slammed Max Verstappen for taking advantage of the rules.

Verstappen has come under fire from multiple F1 legends for his actions at the Italian GP. There, he squeezed into a tight corner occupied by Lewis Hamilton and ended up crashing badly into him and ending both their races.

Hughes slammed Verstappen for taking advantage of the rules, and stated that his fellow countryman needs to tone down his aggressive approach.

“It’s a very raw, intense competition and Verstappen’s unambiguous binary approach in close combat – perhaps best summarised as ‘yield or we crash’ – and Hamilton’s refusal to always yield, is pushing them into dangerous territory which the rulebook doesn’t adequately cover,” Hughes wrote for The Race.

“Ever since F1 car braking zones became blink-brief decades ago, and in the subsequent massively increased safety of cars and tracks, the dividing line between a legitimate challenge and a more bullying ‘yield or crash’ move has become paper-thin.”

'Verstappen taking full advantage of there being no specific rule'
Verstappen (behind) is very aggressive in such situations, according to Hughes. Source: gpblog.com

Exploitation

According to the Dutchman, Verstappen is taking full advantage of the ambiguity in the rules, more so than title rival Hamilton. He suggested that could be tolerated until it cannot be any more, which is what happened at Monza.

“He (Hamilton) treads that line rather than crosses over it. Verstappen simply stakes his claim with no ambiguity, taking full advantage of there being no specific rule which says you are not allowed to place the decision on the other driver about whether there will be contact or not.

“So it then falls upon the ‘other driver’ – i.e. Hamilton usually – to decide if they will avoid him or not. Usually they do, but not always.”

“It’s not a new thing, this niggle between Verstappen and Hamilton on this very point. But it’s the first time it’s counted in the destiny of the title,” he concluded.

Read more: Ricciardo blames Verstappen’s pent-up anger towards Hamilton led to crash

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