Pastor Maldonado says Max Verstappen went too far in Austrian GP

Lotus Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado believes Toro Rosso rival Max Verstappen was not "respecting the rules" in their Austrian Grand Prix battle

Pastor Maldonado says Max Verstappen went too far in Austrian GP

Maldonado, running an alternative strategy, caught and passed Verstappen for seventh late in the Red Bull Ring F1 race.

Asked by AUTOSPORT if he was happy with Verstappen's driving during their close wheel-to-wheel race, Maldonado replied: "He was a bit... let's say not aggressive, but he wasn't really respecting the rules.

"You must leave some space for the other car and he was not respecting that.

"But when I saw him doing this I said I need to be more careful but more aggressive.

"He was a bit on the limit a few times but it's OK.

"If the stewards don't say anything then I say OK, they allowed us to race and that's great."

The battle ended in spectacular fashion when Maldonado lurched sideways on the pits straight as he pulled out to pass Verstappen, who then locked up and shot off onto the Turn 1 run-off.

"It was just the tow - and maybe we had the headwind as well so maybe the front took more grip than the rear because of the DRS," said Maldonado, who had come through from 12th after a clutch problem at the start.

"Then as soon as the DRS closed I recovered the grip so it was a bit scary but OK. Good control!"

Verstappen said the Maldonado battle had lasted longer than he expected given the Lotus's pace.

"I was enjoying it," said the Dutchman.

"I couldn't see what happened [in the end]. I couldn't look because I was trying to control the car.

"With the pace he had I thought maybe two laps and he's gone.

"But I kept him behind for a few laps and it was really enjoyable."

The Toro Rosso driver was more frustrated that he had lost time behind Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull - which was running longer - after his pitstop.

"It's a shame with Kvyat, he cost me a few seconds, maybe what I needed to secure P7," said Verstappen, who spent two laps on the Red Bull's tail before Kvyat let him overtake without resistance.

"Normally if it's the other way around we don't make it too difficult for them [Red Bull].

"I didn't say anything on the radio, there's no point."


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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen , Pastor Maldonado
Author Ben Anderson
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