- Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen enter final race level by points
- In a chaotic Saudi Arabian GP, Verstappen receives two separate time penalties
- Verstappen has been criticized for his driving standards in recent races
- The Dutchman, however, has insisted he did nothing wrong at the Saudi GP
- He says other drivers run the same way and he won’t change his style
Max Verstappen has insisted he is ‘treated differently’ to other drivers and will not change his driving style after receiving two separate time penalties at the Saudi Arabian grand prix.
The Dutchman has refused to back down from his belief that he had done nothing wrong during the final race of the season, going into his championship showdown with Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Verstappen twice got into a deep fight with Hamilton at Turn 1 and was asked to give back the position on both occasions – receiving a five-second penalty for taking advantage of the track.
Max Verstappen could be crowned Formula One champion for the first time on Sunday
In the grand prix’s most controversial moment, Verstappen was found guilty after racing to check the brakes to Hamilton on lap 37 – after slowing Britain down resulting in a ten-second penalty.
Hamilton was reluctant to pass Verstappen past the DRS line, so as to give him a speed advantage on the main straight before the Dutchman applied the brakes, and Britain damaged his front wing after Red Bull clipped the rear. .
Reflecting on the race on Thursday, Verstappen said ‘clearly things don’t apply to everyone’.
Verstappen has been criticized for wheel-to-wheel fight with Lewis Hamilton in Saudi Arabia
He has questioned why should he change his driving style if other people are put off racing in the same way?
as reported by motorsport, he said: ‘Things I did in terms of defense, two others in terms of racing did too, and they didn’t even get a mention or punishment.
‘So I didn’t understand, because I thought I was just trying too hard. What happened to me didn’t deserve any punishment, and clearly the other two people who did it didn’t get one, but clearly it’s only me who gets it.
‘Of course, fighting at the front, I think people are a little more critical, but for me I don’t understand.’
The 24-year-old further added: ‘I think on my part, what’s unfair’ [is] That I am treated differently from other drivers.’
Asked if he is changing his approach in light of the recent penalty, he questioned why he should change his style if other drivers are shunned by racing in the same way.
Hamilton calls Verstappen f****** crazy after his contact in Jeddah
He added: ‘To be honest, all I ask is that it’s fair to everyone, and clearly it’s not the case at the moment.
‘But like I said, I don’t think I was wrong, and frankly, it’s not wrong for others, so why should I change when others are allowed this kind of race?
‘I think everyone should be allowed to run like this.’
Verstappen has come under rapid fire in recent races, with his defense against Lewis Hamilton at the Brazilian GP also drawing criticism.
Red Bull’s Verstappen seemed the favorite to claim the title for the first time until Hamilton – aiming for a record eighth drivers’ championship – won the last three races going into the final at Yas Marina.
Verstappen had a great season but Hamilton entered the final race as the favorite
Asked whether his opinion of Mercedes and Hamilton has changed over the course of the season, the Dutchman replied: ‘Yes, very much. And not in a positive way.
‘Obviously only I was wrong in some way, like I said other people do the exact same thing and get nothing.
‘We both went out of each other’s way and somehow decided it was my fault, which I don’t agree with.
‘Along with the other penalty (due to the collision) I don’t agree, then later he (Hamilton) pushes me off the track, he even looks at me, he doesn’t turn, he pushes me off the white line, the edge of the track, and he only gets a warning for that.’
There have been a lot of incidents throughout the year, with both Verstappen and Hamilton clashing in the British and Italian Grands.
Verstappen said his opinion of Mercedes and Hamilton has changed over the course of the season
Claims and counter-claims about the legality of its rivals’ cars, individual barbs and shunts on the circuit have sparked what has already been a season to remember.
Ahead of the weekend, Formula One race director Michael Massi highlighted specific clauses in the FIA Sporting Code – reminding racers that if anything untoward happened at the track the hero could be punished with a points deduction.
The most compelling points drawn by Massi include: ‘Stewards may also decide to impose the following penalties: suspension for one or more competitions, withdrawal of points for championship, cup, challenge, trophy, series.’