Verstappen lashes out at ‘idiot’ stewards’ decision
Max Verstappen has labelled Formula 1 stewards as ‘idiots’ after he lost his United States Grand Prix podium due to a track limits penalty.
Verstappen came all the way from 16th on the grid to cross the line in third position, having executed an audacious pass of Kimi Raikkonen at the second-last corner of the race.
However, FIA stewards deemed that Verstappen had shortcut to the inside of Turn 17 to make the pass and issued a five-second penalty which effectively reversed the positions.
The Dutchman was only told that he had been put back to fourth while waiting to step onto the podium.
Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner called the decision “appalling” and “unbelievably harsh” and Verstappen told TV crews after the race that the stewards were damaging F1 with such decisions.
“We had a really great race, but with those stupid decisions you really kill the sport,” Verstappen said.
“It’s one idiot steward up there which always makes decisions against me.
“At the end of the day everybody is running wide everywhere, there are no track limits.
“At Turn 9 you can run wide, at Turn 19 you can go off the track and nobody will say anything.
“It’s the same with (Valtteri) Bottas – I went for a move, and he continued outside the track; he came back, I really had to pass him, and nothing has been done against that while he definitely gained advantage.
“It’s not good for the sport – they have to be really clear on the rules that it’s not allowed.”
Verstappen was frustrated by the “really weird” situation of being unable to challenge the stewards’ decision and said he hoped the crowd would stay away from next year’s race in protest.
“They decide and you can’t do anything against it, which is of course really weird,” Verstappen added.
“What can we do? We cannot make up the rules.
“Everybody is loving it; it’s great action; you go five or 10cm on the inside of the kerb; everybody is running wide everywhere, they don’t say anything, and they kill the race, basically, like that.
“The crowd is loving it and then you do something like that in front of world TV – you pick up somebody from the podium and tell them to go away!
“It’s not good for the crowd. I really hope next year nobody is coming, because like this the sport doesn’t make sense.”