Whiting unmoved by Verstappen's 'killing racing' jibe

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Whiting unmoved by Verstappen's 'killing racing' jibe
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Sep 5, 2018, 10:14 AM

FIA race director Charlie Whiting says Max Verstappen's anger at the penalty he received during the Italian Grand Prix was "absolutely expected".

Verstappen was penalised for his late-race clash with Valtteri Bottas, with the stewards deeming that he had moved in the braking area and not left the Finn with a car’s width.

After learning of the penalty from his team, Verstappen said: “I gave him space. They are doing a great job of killing racing, honestly. Bullshit.”

Whiting says that he gives drivers the benefit of the doubt when they criticise his decisions during a race.

“I heard that second-hand,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com of Verstappen's comments. “I don’t think you can take too much notice of comments made in the heat of battle, but I’m sure at the next drivers’ briefing we’ll have a little chat about that.

"As I say in the heat of battle, that’s absolutely expected.”

Verstappen continues to challenge the penalty, having subsequently viewed replays.

“I’ve watched it back, of course, and I still don’t agree with it,” he told Dutch TV channel Ziggo. “Maybe I could have given him a couple of more millimetres, but he was on the white line.

"But yeah, we can talk about this for a whole lot longer, it already has been decided.”

Asked if the rules should be changed, he said: “One steward gives a penalty, another doesn’t. I don’t think it’s the rules.”

Earlier in the race Verstappen’s engineer told the Dutchman that he had played his only “joker” in reference to an incident where he locked up and straight-lined the first chicane when under pressure from Bottas.

Verstappen noted: “I saw he was quite far behind me, but he braked very late. At the last moment, when I was about to steer in, I was thinking that he might be next to me, so that’s reason I locked up and then I had to go wide.”

Whiting explained that the incident had no influence on the penalty that was given for the later tangle with Bottas at the same corner.

“They were unconnected,” said Whiting. “The 'joker', as you put it, was cutting the chicane, not actually gaining a place, but staying in front by virtue of cutting the chicane. Which is an advantage of sorts.

“We told the teams that we would normally give the driver one free one, unless of course, let’s just say, he cut the chicane the first time and gained five seconds and kept it, then we wouldn’t let him have that one.

“But this one he just stayed in front of Bottas. And you could in theory do that every lap and say 'I didn’t gain a position', but you stayed in front because you cut the chicane.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 battle

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 and Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB14 battle

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

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