Max Verstappen disagrees with penalty

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton had yet another incident in Interlagos last weekend.

Last year’s title protagonists, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, weren’t’ able to compete together for the majority of the season due to Mercedes’ struggles in 2022.

Since the Silver Arrows brought upgrades to Austin, the W13 had become competitive again, with the team even securing their first one-two finish since Imola in 2020 in Sao Paulo.

Hamilton was on the hunt at Interlagos, the circuit at which he won his first drivers’ championship, for his first win of the year, but his chances took a major hit when he came together with his 2021 rival Verstappen during an early safety car restart.

The two drivers went wheel to wheel through the Senna S, with the Dutchman initially ahead, but as Hamilton made his way around the outside of Turn 2 Verstappen ran out of room and collided with Hamilton.

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The 25-year-old argued that it is common sense for Hamilton to leave him space, such is the nature of the corner, however race control stuck by the regulations and awarded the two-time world champion with a five-second penalty, much to the bemusement of Verstappen.

“We had no pace again today, similar to yesterday – we were sliding too much and we had bad degradation so it was hard to attack,” said Verstappen when speaking about the race.

“I didn’t quite understand the five-second penalty for the incident with Lewis, but it didn’t affect the race too much as we already lacked pace.”

Hamilton revealed after the race that he initially thought that the damage to the floor of his car would force him to retire, but luckily there did not seem to be too many long-term effects of the collision as the seven-time world champion managed to bring his car home in second place.

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The battle for the title has generally been very clean in 2022, with close racing between Verstappen and Charles Leclerc being respectful on the whole while still competitive, as showcased by their battle in Saudi Arabia at the start of the season.

The has lead fans to wonder if Verstappen is as dirty of a driver as some suggest, or whether for some reason he cannot, or will not, fight fair with Hamilton.

Verstappen also caused a stir later in the race as he refused to follow team orders that would have helped Sergio Perez in his hunt for P2 in the drivers’ championship, causing a rift in the Red Bull camp just as the season starts to come to an end.