LOSAIL, Qatar — Max Verstappen is convinced he did nothing wrong in defending the lead of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix against title rival Lewis Hamilton last weekend, saying he would pull the same move again in a similar situation.
The incident, which saw both drivers end up in the run-off area at Turn 4, was not investigated by the stewards at the time but will be reviewed after Hamilton’s Mercedes team requested that the FIA look into it.
Part of Mercedes’ request was based on onboard footage from Verstappen’s front-facing camera, which was not available to the stewards at the time, and helps give context to Verstappen’s braking point and steering angle relative to Hamilton’s position on track.
Verstappen is due to join an online video conference at 5:00 PM local time on Thursday so that the stewards can determine whether an investigation should go ahead.
But speaking in a news conference earlier in the day, the championship leader said he still felt as though he did nothing wrong.
Asked if he would do the same again, Verstappen said: “Yes.
“As a driver I think we know exactly what we can and cannot do in the car. We were fighting hard, braking late into the corner, the tyres were worn, and if I would have turned more abrupt to the left you’d just spin off track. So that’s why we are the drivers, so we try to control the car.”
Verstappen revealed he had not reviewed the video evidence from his car as he felt he did not need to.
“No, I didn’t need to look at the footage because I was driving the car so I know exactly what happened!
“I thought it was a great battle and I had a lot of fun as well out there. At the end of the day they won the race fair enough, they were faster than us, but I thought it was a good battle.”
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 14 points in the championship standings with three races left to run, the first of which will take place in Qatar this weekend.
Mercedes’ request to review the lap 48 incident in Brazil is an indication that the two championship challenging teams, Mercedes and Red Bull, are willing to fight the title battle off the track as well as on it.
“I think it’s quite normal when it’s between two teams instead of one team with two drivers,” Verstappen said