Blackmail the world champion.  F1 is not Verstappen’s private farm [OPINIA]

Press kit / Red Bull / Pictured: Max Verstappen


Max Verstappen F1 threatens that if he continues to experiment with the race weekend format and make changes, he will leave the sport. Jaroslav Wierczuk wrote that such blackmail is unworthy of a world champion.

In Azerbaijan, we had our first sprint of the season. It differs from those we have known so far, with separate qualifications. The Friday time trial, unlike the previous edition, determined the starting order for the Sunday race. In this case, Sprint is a somewhat emotional and marketing addition to boost the company’s results. Formula 1.

Verstappen’s main critic of F1 ideas

These regulation voltages are a bit complicated and not everyone can easily find themselves in them. Max Verstappen, experimentation’s chief critic on racing format, is of a similar opinion. Of course, an uninterested critic, because as a very strong candidate for this year’s champion, he tends to treat all options offering an added element of unpredictability and risk with ample reserve.

I can bet that Verstappen and Red Bull Racing, if they were currently, say, the third force in F1, would accept such changes with a kiss of the hand. And herein lies the essence of a certain calculation on the part of the “red bulls”. This rule-changing hand is not for Red Bull and with all due respect, Verstappen has nothing to do with it. He can express his disapproval, which I personally agree with. I also believe that the focus of the Formula 1 authorities on achieving a financial result is too great and does not match the historical achievements and a certain and specific identity of the sport.

Watch the video: F1 car crashes into crowd of journalists! An absurd situation during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

However, blackmailing F1 owners and bosses into leaving if the changes continue is a bit absurd, and for me it is a continuation of some episodes like last year in Brazil or this season in Saudi Arabia. I get the impression that the huge successes that Verstappen celebrates have come a little earlier in terms of age.

Russell vs. Verstappen

One thing has to be given to Verstappen in the context of his concerns. They were about to come true. Baku is a street circuit full of contrasts, where you have very long lines and high speeds and weave through the alleys of the old city, which requires more precision than Monaco. That’s why race accidents are triggered. It was no different this time.

The safety car and the highly commented fight between Max Verstappen and George Russell. Same scenario again. Yes, it was the Mercedes driver’s fault, but gently first, because Verstappen didn’t leave much room for Russell, and expected the Briton to simply leave from the corner he’s on the inside, so in naming the race ‘it’s his’, it’s absurd.

Secondly, Max’s reaction was a bit overreacting. It’s just a racing accident and Verstappen has no immunity status. Whenever the start again isn’t as exciting, Red Bull itself is looking for reasons in the ever-changing engine programme. Formula 1 is not Max’s private farm.

In general, I do not understand the ferocity of the Red Bull driver. His position in the team, riding the potential alongside the current car, creates the best possible conditions for him to win this year’s championship and possibly the next championship and such incidents are unnecessary. Focus and hard work yes, but attacking the team or rivals in this way, with titles like Saturday in Baku, is not only funny, but also incomprehensible.

Watch the video: Verstappen jumped into Russell after the race! Sharp exchanges between F1 stars

In any case, the world champion’s car suffered on the first lap, perhaps more than initially thought, so without these excesses his race speed would likely have been higher and Charles Leclerc would have been easier to handle.

Ferrari slowly chasing Red Bull?

However, there was one major conclusion from the enemy. Ferrari is not yet at the level of Red Bull and the pace of the race is not as good as qualifying, but compared to where it was a few weeks ago, the improvement is significant. Is it enough to take advantage of your first position to win? Incidentally, Leclerc was third in a row in Baku, so he’s very strong here.

Not just him. Sergio Perez showed his class. Street tracks are his domain. He had celebrated his four previous victories at such venues. The rivalry between the two Red Bull drivers was definitely the most interesting topic in the race, if only because the competitiveness of the rest, Ferrari included, was much lower.

This is the concern I mentioned earlier. Qualifying speed, on one lap, doesn’t always translate into race speed and that’s definitely something Ferrari needs to work on if it wants to consider starting a real battle with Red Bull. Of course, Perez helped get the indispensable safety car in Baku. It is always a chaotic moment and the decision to stop must be taken immediately.

Verstappen pitted at a specific moment, namely the yellow flag stage, but not yet without a safety car on the track. As a result, he dropped to third, after the restart he immediately tackled Leclerc and that’s when the battle between the two Red Bull cars ensued. Perez did not allow the competitor to enter the DRS area even once, and just how quickly the drivers moved is evidenced by several contacts with the squad, both on the side of Perez and Verstappen.

Much appreciation to the team for the lack of team orders imposed. It was definitely a tempting choice, especially given the competitive advantage. A point for them to do with the fact that the Red Bull team took on clear nerves against open competition, and it was really fierce. For many laps, Verstappen tried to break into DRS territory. no avail.

Of course, without the neutralization stage, it is difficult to say whether the result would have been different, perhaps it would have been, but let’s remember that in the first laps Perez also seemed to be faster than Verstappen, remaining on the border of the DRS zone, and often bypassing it. In short, good racing, good competition, fast paced, no pretension. If only Ferrari continues to make this clear lead, we can count on a lot of excitement in the upcoming races.

Jaroslav Wirkczuk

Read also:
Ferrari dealt a blow to Red Bull. The main one goes to the challenger
Tragedy in F1 was only one step away. A pit lane photographer pointed out the culprit

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