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Verstappen blames slow rivals for "silly" F1 pitlane antics in Abu Dhabi practice

Max Verstappen has blamed rivals driving too slowly and getting in his way as the trigger for “silly” pitlane antics in second practice for Formula 1’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The world champion was seen muscling his way past other drivers in the narrow pitlane exit during the restarted evening running at the Yas Marina circuit.

At one point, he barged his way ahead of George Russell and found his path briefly blocked by Lewis Hamilton – before finally finding a clear run to then get caught up behind Alpine’s Pierre Gasly.

And, while it may have appeared that Verstappen was being impatient, the Dutchman said the situation was all the fault of others.

“I mean, they have to move,” said Verstappen. “They are all driving slow, and I want to go out because we are limited on time, and they just keep on driving in the middle.

“Then, when I tried to pass, they tried to squeeze me in the wall. So yeah....a bit silly.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

While Verstappen’s pitlane antics drew a lot of attention, he said that a bigger concern was the lack of balance of the Red Bull.

Although he ended up third fastest in FP2, he said that his RB19 did not feel great.

“From our side, the balance is very off,” he said. “A lot of understeer, a lot of jumping - so definitely a few things to figure out for tomorrow.

“I didn't expect it to be so far off, and also that is a bit of a question mark for us.

“I mean, we are still P3, it's not too bad, but balance-wise I think it can be a lot better. So, we will try and have a look what happened there.”

Team-mate Sergio Perez concluded practice fifth quickest, but said he too was not happy with the car balance.

“I was struggling a bit with some front end initially, but obviously we hardly got any running, especially on the medium,” he said.

“Then, on my soft run, I had traffic with people doing high fuel at the end, so it wasn't a very straightforward day, obviously.

“We know that we have to be very careful on which route we take because, I think when I did my lap, the tyres were on the hot side. So yeah, not very representative at that point.”

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