Verstappen 'didn't really understand' Hamilton US GP FP2 wheel-to-wheel battle

Max Verstappen says he didn’t understand what happened with Lewis Hamilton that resulted in the Formula 1 title contenders briefly going wheel-to-wheel in practice.

Verstappen 'didn't really understand' Hamilton US GP FP2 wheel-to-wheel battle

Hamilton and Verstappen ran close as they both looked to begin push laps during second practice for the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday.

Verstappen slowed at the final corner to prepare for a flying lap, only for Hamilton to appear up the inside and pass Verstappen.

Verstappen opted to keep pushing while running over the exit kerb at the final corner, staying side-by-side with Hamilton as they crossed the start-finish line.

The title rivals ran wheel-to-wheel all the way along the main straight and up the hill into Turn 1, where Hamilton moved ahead on the inside line.

That prompted Verstappen to back out of his lap and quickly raise his middle finger to Hamilton as he pulled away through Turn 2.

Verstappen quipped over team radio: “Ha, stupid idiot.” He was then told by his race engineer to “ignore it, don’t worry about it”.

Asked about the run-in with Hamilton after FP2, Verstappen said he was unsure what had happened.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“Yeah I don't know, I mean we were all lining up to go for a lap,” Verstappen said.

“So I don't really understand what happened there.”

Verstappen arrived in Austin leading Hamilton by six points at the top of the drivers’ championship with six races remaining this season.

Frustration over traffic during his qualifying simulations prompted Verstappen to abandon his low fuel run on the soft compound tyre. He ended second practice in eighth place, 0.8 seconds off Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who finished the session fastest.

“On the soft tyre I didn't put a lap, but overall, it's not easy out there you know,” Verstappen said.

“The track is quite bumpy and to find the right compromise with the car hasn't been the easiest so far.

“But I mean, there are a few positive things to look at. And we'll continue to work on that also overnight.

“It didn't particularly feel bad on the short run, it was just a mess with the traffic.”

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Grand Prix practice results: Bottas, Perez fastest in Austin
Previous article

F1 Grand Prix practice results: Bottas, Perez fastest in Austin

Next article

What's behind Mercedes' F1 straightline performance gains?

What's behind Mercedes' F1 straightline performance gains?
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022