Red Bull driver Max Verstappen drew a lot of flak from Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel for overzealous moves. However, in the wake of the criticism, the Red Bull driver has found a smidge of support.
The likes of Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo have defended the Dutchman’s driving style. This was especially after Hamilton claimed that he was “torpedoed” by Verstappen in a lap-one collision last weekend. However, the stewards cleared Max Verstappen of any wrongdoing in the incident.
Verstappen was likely over-ambitious when he attempted a bold move on Bottas in the stadium section. That left him with a costly puncture, but the Finn stuck up for his rival’s style.
“I think it’s a bit overblown,” Bottas told Sky Sports. “He’s had some really, really good races and good overtakes, good hard racing and fair racing and sometimes one thing like this can just make the stories bigger than they are.
“But he’s an aggressive driver and it’s fine. Obviously every driver behaves differently and you always treat every driver different on track. That’s fine. It would be boring if we all were the same.”
One driver who is familiar with the way Verstappen operates, is former Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian dismissed Hamilton’s suggestion that he had to alter his own style when dealing with Verstappen.
Ricciardo initially joked: “I never trusted him from day one! Sometimes you’re aware [of who you are racing], sometimes you’re not. I think there’s been times where you’re so focused on the battle and in the moment that you don’t even know what driver you’re actually fighting against on the grid.”
“But at the start maybe if you know some drivers are alongside you might be a bit more… but I don’t know. I like Max. I like that way that he races. He races hard and I’d rather go up against someone like him than someone who’s less keen or interested in defending or attacking.”