Max Verstappen furiously challenged the Stewards following Lewis Hamilton’s first lap collision at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen was overtaken by Hamilton at the first corner. Red Bull’s driver dived to the inside of Turn Seven. The cars appeared level. Hamilton was forced off-track and wide open the escape route. He quickly regained the lead.
When Hamilton was not told by stewards to return the benefit he had and that there wasn’t an investigation required, Christian Horner, Red Bull boss and Dutchman, reacted furiously.
Red Bull and Max Verstappen reacted furiously to Lewis Hamilton’s first lap collision.
Verstappen (right), dived into Hamilton’s interior at Turn Seven. The cars were impacted and Hamilton was forced off the track. Briton ran wide up the escape route, retaking control of the lead.
Verstappen said on team radio: ‘That is incredible. Was that what they were doing?
Horner then added on Sky Sports: ‘We are a little bit shocked at that because apparently Lewis gave his advantage back, which we have failed to see yet… This is a complete lack of consistency. It’s a lack of consistency. We remain focused on the race, but we still have a lot to do.
F1 Race Director Michael Masi, explaining the decision to Red Bull, insisted Hamilton did enough to show he didn’t gain an advantage.
Verstappen was on the pole before Hamilton, the defending world champion, overtook Verstappen.
There were three opinions from former champions of the world on this controversial episode.
Nico Rosberg said: ‘So difficult. They’ve done a great job. Max was just a bit too aggressive and lungy for Lewis, forcing him out of his comfort zone. Lewis could have a corner. Lewis did not give up everything that he had gained.
Damon Hill added: ‘You have to say Lewis had to basically move out the way because otherwise he was going to collide with Max, who made a very uncompromising a late lunge, left no room for Lewis to make any accommodation and had to leave the track.
Two fierce competitors are fighting for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title.
“But, I must say that I was surprised they didn’t give it back.
Jenson Button continued: ‘It was a very late lunge but it was always going to happen, Lewis knew he was coming. Lewis got pushed by Button, but he kept going.
“I don’t understand Brazil’s regulations. But they drove off the track. Max did not leave the track at this point.