Johansson critical of Verstappen’s driving – “Decisions about driving standards are getting worse”

Former F1 driver Stefan Johansson is critical of world champion Max Verstappen’s driving, saying that it is not clean at all.

Verstappen has earned plaudits for his phenomenal results and blistering pace in 2021. However, he has also drawn a lot of flak for his aggressive and rash driving throughout the season.

The Dutchman has been the cause of many incidents on-track. Some of the most noteworthy ones include brake-testing at the Saudi Arabian GP and causing the two-car collision at Monza. He has also received a fair few penalties throughout the season.

As a result, Johansson is critical of Verstappen’s driving, saying that it is not sustainable for his career.

As quoted by, he said, “The issue we have now on track is that Max has taken the (Ayrton) Senna playbook and the (Michael) Schumacher playbook to a whole new level.

“Generally, I think there’s a good code of conduct between the drivers. Most of the current crop of the new generation of drivers are racing very clean but hard, there’s been some really great battles this year but they’re not at the front and therefore it goes unnoticed for the most part.”

Verstappen (right) has been the aggressor many times in 2021. Source: Getty Images

No hope

“I don’t have a lot of optimism for the changes from the officials,” he continued.

“Every year decisions about driving standards and enforcement are getting worse, muddier and muddier with more grey areas. If Max can get away with what he’s gotten away with in certain cases this year, then like (Charles) Leclerc said, ‘Ok, fine. If that’s how we’re going to race, then that’s how we have to race’.

“Seemingly it’s ok for anyone to go past the track limit on the starts, for example, likewise it seems ok to not even attempt to turn until you’re actually on the white line or even past it when you’re fighting for position.

“It’s then up to the guys in race control to decide what is right or wrong. It’s a horribly flawed system and there must be a way to avoid this going forward,” he concluded.

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