Max Verstappen has issued a title-fight warning, claiming that his behavior has reached its limit.
Max Verstappen has had several recent run-ins with race officials as he tries to hold off F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton.
As the title race nears its conclusion, Max Verstappen has been told that his frequent encounters with the stewards may cost him the right to call himself a world champion.
Only eight points separate the Dutchman and Lewis Hamilton, whose dominance in his last two races has catapulted him back into contention for a record-equaling eighth world championship.
Verstappen had scored two more points in Sprint Qualifying in Brazil, less than a fortnight ago, to finish second and start the race the next day from there.
Hamilton, meanwhile, had put in a stunning performance to climb from last to fifth place after being disqualified from Friday’s qualifying, but a five-place penalty for an engine change meant he would start in 10th.
In theory, with Verstappen’s pole position, momentum from winning the previous two races, and a 21-point lead in the standings, it seemed a foregone conclusion that he would win three races in a row and lay one hand on the trophy.
In practice, an enraged and visibly determined Hamilton flew through the field, won the race, and repeated the feat in Qatar a week later to claw his way back into contention.
Verstappen has been in front of the stewards for a variety of reasons during that time.
Hamilton was fined for touching his rear wing in Brazil, then warned on Sunday for weaving on the track in an unsuccessful attempt to fend off his rival’s charge.
Perhaps the most talked-about aspect of their on-track battle that day went unpunished, as the Red Bull driver appeared to force his rival off the track on one corner, but race officials chose not to intervene.
He received a grid penalty in Qatar a week later for failing to follow double yellow flags during his final qualifying lap.
Jan Lammers, a former racer and a compatriot of Verstappen’s, is concerned that his repeated run-ins with stewards will cost him in his quest, as it may lead to them being less lenient in any key decisions.
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