What Prompted Max Verstappen to Flip the Bird at ‘Stupid’ Lewis Hamilton During FP2 at COTA

Published 10/23/2021, 2:48 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the garage during practice REUTERS/Mike Blake


Max Verstappen has had an impeccable season so far and is marginally leading the championship fight after 16 Grand Prix weekends. However, the United States has been quite harsh on the Dutchman, who was sporting a frustrated figure through FP1 and FP2 on Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

FP1 witnessed the Dutchman lapping almost a second slower than the leader, Valtteri Bottas, which is never a good sign for a title contender. And while many anticipated FP2 to treat Verstappen quite a bit better, it only got worse in reality, thanks to a moment with Lewis Hamilton.

What happened between Verstappen and Hamilton?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

During the qualifying simulation in FP2, Verstappen and Hamilton ended up starting their laps at the same time, wheel-to-wheel. The duo engaged in a drag race from the final corner of the circuit to the uphill turn 1.

Hamilton never gave up on the throttle, and Verstappen had to back off, as he was around the outside of the tricky first corner. Hence, an already frustrated Verstappen took to his team radio to swear at the seven-time world champion.

Ah, stupid idiot,” he said.

What’s more, the Dutchman ended up flipping the bird at his rival as well. One can understand why Verstappen was quite upset with Hamilton. Amidst an already tough afternoon, the fact that Hamilton came from behind to overtake the Dutchman during the start of his flying lap irked him.

Unfortunately, neither can be blamed for this incident as Hamilton wasn’t necessarily impeding Verstappen; The Briton, too, was on a timed lap.

Max Verstappen regains his calmness following FP2

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Interestingly, Verstappen wasn’t as fuming following the second practice session. During an interview in the paddock, Verstappen reckoned that he had no clue what happened with Hamilton.

I don’t know. We were all lining up to go for our laps. And I don’t really understand what happened there,” Verstappen said.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 22, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Overall, Red Bull can marginally be satisfied with Friday despite Verstappen’s struggles. Sergio Perez looked in great touch throughout the day, and also secured P1 in FP2. So, with Verstappen hardly matching Hamilton’s pace, will Perez end up being the x-factor over Saturday’s qualifying?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Watch Story: Most Controversial Turkish GP Moments of All-Time Feat Vettel-Webber F1 Crash

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Rohit Kumar

1413 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT