Verstappen hit with penalty for clashing with Hamilton – “Braking was erratic”

Max Verstappen has been hit with a penalty for clashing with Lewis Hamilton, with the stewards deeming his braking “erratic”.

Verstappen had a night to forget in Saudi Arabia even though he took second place. He received massive criticism for his rough driving and for his involvement in a number of controversial incidents.

His P2 meant title rival Hamilton overturned a 21-point lead to sit level with him as one final race remains. The Dutchman now finds himself in a position where he has to finish above his rival. But Saudi Arabia showed him yet another thing he shouldn’t be doing against the Mercedes driver.

Verstappen was hit with a ten-second penalty for clashing with Hamilton, with his actions being deemed as punishable by the FIA.

Full FIA stewards' verdict on Verstappen's Saudi GP F1 penalty
Verstappen (in front) was a nightmare to race cleanly. Source:

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The stewards announced at local time 1:36 am that the Red Bull driver was given the penalty for causing the collision. They provided a report of their analysis of the events that transpired.

The statement said that Verstappen “slowed significantly at Turn 26”, and that it was “obvious that neither driver wanted to take the lead prior to DRS detection line 3”.

The 24-year-old told the stewards that he did not know why Hamilton didn’t overtake him, to which the seven-time world champion replied that he wasn’t aware Red Bull were giving him the place back.

Hearing this, the FIA concluded that Verstappen’s sudden slowing down was “erratic and hence the predominant cause of the collision”.

“Hence the standard penalty of 10 seconds for this type of incident, is imposed,” the statement concluded.

Even though the penalty was given, Verstappen’s result wasn’t affected. He remained in second place due to his 16-second lead over the driver in third place.

Read more: Sports coach highlights biggest difference between Hamilton and Verstappen – “Max is stronger”

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