Max Verstappen says Mercedes’ request to review his fight with Lewis Hamilton in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix came as no surprise to him, but he doesn’t expect a penalty to come out of it.
Mercedes lodged a right to review with the FIA that was heard by the stewards on Thursday in Qatar, trying to prove that there is new evidence that wasn’t available at the time of the decision on Sunday. On-board footage was released on Tuesday showing Verstappen’s steering inputs during the lap 48 battle that saw both drivers end up off the track, and the Red Bull driver says an appeal isn’t unexpected.
“Er… no, not really surprised by that,” Verstappen said. “But that’s how it goes.
“I think it’s quite normal when it’s between two teams instead of just one team with two drivers. I just have to focus on what’s happening on track and the rest will all be dealt with.”
Verstappen says he hasn’t reviewed the additional footage himself.
“I didn’t need to look at the footage because I was driving the car so I know exactly what happened! Like I said last time out, I thought it was a great battle and I had a lot of fun as well out there. At the end of the day they won the race fair enough — they were faster than us, but I thought it was a good battle.
“As a driver I think we know exactly what we can and cannot do in the car. We were fighting hard, braking late into the corner, the tires were worn, and if I would have turned more abrupt to the left you’d just spin off track. So that’s why we are the drivers, so we try to control the car.”
When faced with the prospect of a retrospective penalty, Verstappen insists he isn’t concerning himself with the potential of what might happen, but doesn’t expect to get punished.
“To be honest I don’t even think about that. And also if if if — I mean, it’s not the end of the world, but again I don’t expect that (a penalty) to happen because I thought it was fair and hard racing between the two guys who are fighting for the championship. So anyway it wouldn’t have been an easy pass because it’s not who I am and I don’t think how it should be when you’re fighting for a title.”