Fernando Alonso explains why Max Verstappen's Spa F1 block was legal

Fernando Alonso has explained why Max Verstappen's controversial defensive driving against Kimi Raikkonen in the recent Belgian Grand Prix was within the Formula 1 regulations

Fernando Alonso explains why Max Verstappen's Spa F1 block was legal

Red Bull driver Verstappen's change of line at high speed along the Kemmel Straight to block Raikkonen's Ferrari drew criticism from the Finn in the latest incident to put the teenager's on-track behaviour in the spotlight.

Raikkonen claimed if he had not braked there would have been "a massive accident", which he feels will "happen sooner or later" if Verstappen fails to change his ways.

When asked about Verstappen's behaviour at Spa, Alonso told reporters: "In the middle of the straight you are allowed to do one move as long as the other one is not alongside you, so everything fits.

"Regarding Max, on the long straight, I don't think Kimi was side by side.

Raikkonen against Verstappen 'payback' logic

"It was very late and maybe he didn't judge where Kimi was, but Kimi was still behind. The rule, as written, is still good."

Article 27.7 of the sporting regulations states: "Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his.

"Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.

"For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a 'significant portion'."

Asked whether the rule was clear enough, and whether Verstappen's move was OK, double world champion Alonso said: "I think it's clear, this one."

Verstappen: Don't tell me to change

The rules, however, do not take into account the speed differential of the cars, which was particularly high at Spa due to the Kemmel Straight being part of a DRS zone.

Alonso added: "I remember being at Minardi in 2001 and the speed difference being even bigger when Michael [Schumacher] was coming. This is F1."

Verstappen, however, continues to be criticised for his moves in the braking zone, where again there is no definitive regulation, but effectively an unwritten code of conduct between the drivers.

"We cannot confuse the fans about two very different incidents: one on the middle of the straight, like Verstappen and Kimi, or in braking areas like me in Australia [when he crashed into the back of Haas's Esteban Gutierrez]," said Alonso.

"But I probably misjudged the braking point so it was bigger.

"Or again with Max and Kimi in Hungary where I felt Max was moving under braking a lot into Turn 2, and he was way too aggressive.

"We spoke about it in Germany in the drivers' briefing.

"All the drivers were not happy with Max in Hungary because it was under braking at Turn 2."

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