Verstappen will cause a “massive accident”
Max Verstappen will cause a “massive accident sooner or later” if he does not change his driving tactics, says Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen.
Over the past two days a war of words has broken out between the Fin and the Red Bull driver, with Raikkonen telling the BBC “If I had not braked, we would have had a massive accident.
“It will happen sooner or later if this doesn’t change. I am fine with good, hard racing but that is not correct.” Raikkonen and Verstappen have been racing each other all season and they disagree over Verstappen’s tactics.
Verstappen drives in the middle of the track and only make a defensive move at the last moment when he sees which way the driver attacking is coming.
Toto Wolff has also waded into the debate saying Verstappen’s driving was “refreshing but it’s dangerous. He comes in here no fear, no respect, puts the elbows out.”
“He reminds me of the great ones, of Lewis [Hamilton], of Ayrton Senna and you can clearly see some guys around are starting to think twice how to overtake him.”
I was the victim – Verstappen
Max Verstappen has also had his say saying he believes he was the victim in the first corner collision with Ferrari’s Formula 1 drivers that sparked controversy with Raikkonen.
In the accident where he lost his front wing in a tangle with the Ferrari driver which prompted criticism from the Fin. But Verstappen says “I was a victim in the first corner, you could see clearly I was on the inside, almost 90%.”
He added “I didn’t lock a tyre, so it didn’t show I was diving up the inside, I was just trying to make my corner. First of all Kimi started to squeeze me but we are not touching each other but then Sebastian decided to turn in on both of us.”
“He turned into Kimi and Kimi hit me so from there on, the front wing was destroyed and my floor.” Räikkönen was also unhappy about a late move he made saying it was “f****** ridiculous.” Verstappen admitted he robustly defended his position as he was disappointed with the way he was treated by his rivals at the first corner.
He says that Ferrari need to understand the destroyed my race and he wanted to say “you can take my position that easy as well.”
Team principal of Red Bull Christian Horner conceded Verstappen “pushed the limit” with his driving but pointed out the stewards chose not to penalise him.
“Drivers tend to sort these things on the circuit” he said.
McLaren begin discussions on their line up
McLaren will open there talks on their driver line up this week in Monza. The British team must decide whether to retain Jenson Button or promote Stoffel Vandoorne to drive alongside Fernando Alonso.
The latest thinking that the team will promote reserve driver Vandoorne at the expense of Button, McLaren are adamant that a decision has not yet been made. This week Jost Capito takes up the post of CEO on Thursday after attending the Belgian GP.
Reports emerged on Sunday that Button had been told by McLaren his contract would not be extended, chairman Ron Dennis told Sky Sports “We’ve always said that Monza would be when we discuss it internally.”
“A final board decision will be taken at the end of September – that’s the plan and it’s always been the plan.” Fernando Alonso is under contract for 2017 with the team
Vandoorne who made his debut in Bahrain is regarded as one of the most talented drivers to emerge into the sport in recent years.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told reporters at Spa McLaren would be “crazy” not to promote Vandoorne and has called upon the sport to find a seat for the former GP2 champion.
Alonso’s retirement possible, but carry on – Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton says that Fernando Alonso’s retirement from the sport is a real possibility and he hoped the Spaniard would decide to carry on.
Alonso put in a good performance working from the back row to seventh during the Belgian Grand Prix. But it has been another tough season for him. Hamilton told the Spanish newspaper AS published on Monday, Hamilton called Alonso “one of the best drivers of all time” but admitted his former team mate could quit the sport.
Asked if the Spaniard retiring was a “real possibility”, Hamilton said: “Of course it is. He’s 35 and he’s already earned enough money. He has won enough races, he has enough experience and he doesn’t need Formula One to be someone anymore.”
But Hamilton said he hoped that his former team-mate would continue and said if he quit it would be a real shame. Hamilton Added “I still think he is one of the best drivers around, I’ve always said that.”
Alonso has previously brushed off suggestions that he could retire and in April reacted angrily to Sky Sports Johnny Herbert telling him he should quit. But last Thursday suggested he could retire next year due to recent changes in the sport’s regulations.
Silverstone sale collapses
The future of the British Grand Prix could be in doubt because the deal to buy the circuit has collapsed. Silverstone has a contract to host the British GP until 2026 but a clause in the agreement allows Ecclestone to drop the track.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix Ecclestone told The Independent “I don’t know what is going to happen there. Somebody is going to have to step in and save it.” The race is one of the best attended races with 139,000 attending last month,
The circuit is owned by the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), a group of 850 motorsport luminaries including former champions Nigel Mansell and Jackie Stewart.
According to the BRDC’s latest accounts it has burned up £55.9m of net losses in the past five years alone and in February its chairman John Grant wrote to members to say “we have no cash reserves to fund future development of the circuit.”
The race costs £17.7m in fees to Formula one and the turnaround of low cost tickets helped it make a profit last year. But its not a long term solution.
The way the circuit is trying to raise money is selling the lease but talks appear to be stalled as it understood Porsche, which runs a driving centre at Silverstone, has got a veto over rival car manufacturers using the track for more than 45 days per year.
Also, managing director Patrick Allen was recently suspended on full pay for allegedly being “too close” to tycoon Lawrence Tomlinson who has made a rival bid for the track.
Monza future resolved?
The future of the Italian Grand Prix could be resolved at this weekends race at Monza. The races future was in doubt earlier this year because of political situation behind the scenes has complicated matters.
However, with hurdles seemingly removed last month, there is the suggestion the Automobile Club d’Italia [ACI] will sit down with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone this weekend to finalise a new deal.
Speaking to Autosport Ecclestone said “I’d be surprised if we didn’t reach an agreement.”” Last month he agreed a deal with Imola to return to the F1 stage 10 years after it last hosted the San Marino GP should Monza fall by the wayside.
The ACI has the final say, with President Angelo Sticchi Damiani a staunch supporter of Monza that has held the race every year since F1’s inception in 1950, bar one race in 1980 when Imola played host.
It is understood a binding contractual offer was sent to Ecclestone, with the deal have apparently been fine-tuned ahead of it being signed off.
FIA investigation into headrest detachment
The FIA will be investigating what caused Kevin Magnussen’s headrest to detach from the car in his crash at the Belgian Grand Prix.
During the race TV images showed his foam headrest being ejected from the car after the Dane hit the barrier at the top of Eau Rouge, with what was logged as a 42G impact.
As is regular procedure after a heavy crash, the FIA has retained both the headrest and Magnussen’s helmet for further research.
Magnussen escaped the accident with a minor ankle injury.