Verstappen serene over Abu Dhabi F1 fallout as Red Bull ‘did nothing wrong’

Max Verstappen says that controversy over Abu Dhabi’s safety car restart has not taken the shine off his Formula 1 world championship success – because he knows Red Bull did nothing wrong.

Verstappen serene over Abu Dhabi F1 fallout as Red Bull ‘did nothing wrong’
Listen to this article

The Dutchman clinched his maiden F1 drivers’ crown at the Yas Marina circuit on Sunday, after a final lap safety car restart allowed him to overtake rival Lewis Hamilton for the win.

But the way in which the FIA handled the restart, which appeared to be in contravention of its own regulations, prompted a post-race protest from Mercedes that was not settled until many hours after the finish.

Although the FIA stewards rejected Mercedes’ claims, by insisting F1 race director Michael Masi has complete authority over the use of the safety car which therefore supersedes specific rules, the German car manufacturer remains unhappy.

While the controversy over what happened in Abu Dhabi shows no sign of quietening down, and Mercedes has until Thursday to decide whether or not to go ahead with an appeal, Verstappen says he is not too downbeat about the situation.

Asked if the protest and appeal controversy had taken the shine of his title success, Verstappen said: “No, I mean, it's quite typical looking at the season that it happens.

“It is what it is. I mean, we were still happy and enjoying it. And we, as a team, didn't do anything wrong.

“We raced when there was a green light and green flag, so we went for it and we did it on track.”

The Safety Car and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

The Safety Car and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

While the Abu Dhabi controversy will remain a talking point for a long while, Verstappen says that the whole season has been a rollercoaster for both him and the team.

And while he concedes that there were days like Sunday where fortune went his way, equally there were occasions when he felt he deserved better.

“It's been of course, a tough season,” he said. “We had definitely some dominant races, but also in general, I think Mercedes was a stronger team.

“But it's been a really enjoyable battle, having two teams fighting and pushing flat out to the end.

“Of course at times you think, this might not be it, we might not hang on until the end. But there are always surprises.

“Some races I think we have won which we shouldn't. But then also I had quite a bit of bad luck, of course, with the tyre getting taken out [in Baku] and these kind of things.

“So we lost also saw a lot of points by that. But all in all, it's been intense but a crazy season.”

Read Also:

Verstappen also thinks that Red Bull and himself had to push themselves to levels even they thought were not possible in trying to beat Mercedes.

“We were pushing each other, but we were pushing the whole team behind us as well to another level, which they maybe didn’t think was possible,” he said.

“For everyone it was very intense. To be fighting every single race, everyone had to be so perfect with strategy, preparations before a weekend, no mechanical failures, and all these kind of things. There was a lot of pressure and stress for everyone involved.”

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren trials LED wheel cover lights in F1 post-season testing
Previous article

McLaren trials LED wheel cover lights in F1 post-season testing

Next article

Why the FIA can't bury its head in the sand over Abu Dhabi F1 fallout

Why the FIA can't bury its head in the sand over Abu Dhabi F1 fallout
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Prime

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Prime

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Prime

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? Luke Smith asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Prime

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Prime

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Prime

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter Prime

When F1 'holiday' races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Prime

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week, and though it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted more just why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action.

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023