“Apparently you can drive with seatbelts loose” says Verstappen after Hamilton’s “cheaper” fine

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen called attention to championship rival Lewis Hamilton’s fine for a safety rules breach after the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, pointing out it was less than he received for a parc ferme violation.

In brief

Verstappen comments on Hamilton fine

Hamilton was fined €5,000 – with a further €20,000 fine suspended until the end of the 2022 F1 season – for disconnecting his seatbelts after his victory in Brazil before stopping in the pits.

The previous day Verstappen was fined 10 times as much after video footage showed him inspecting and touching the rear wing on Hamilton’s car in parc ferme. The rear wing subsequently failed a technical inspection, though the stewards ruled that was not a consequence of Verstappen touching it.

“It’s not allowed to touch the rear wing any more, that’s for sure, otherwise you have a very expensive fine,” Verstappen observed in an interview for DAZN. “But apparently you can drive with your seatbelts loose. It’s cheaper, I might think about that.”

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Comment of the day

Examples from other sports show F1 doesn’t need to replace its rotating stewards with permanent ones.

I am against the idea. Permanent stewards opens greater room for corruption. I think the permanence of the stewards is a bit of a red herring. In many sports the officials are rotated and it’s not a problem. If anything the whole process should be more transparent or publicised. Why not have the panel of stewards decisions highlighted in the broadcasts, that way the inconsistencies can be more easily recognised. A post race press conference with the stewards would be amazing.

Whiting was starting to be more transparent about why certain decisions were made towards the end of his time, you could agree or disagree but the reasoning was clear. Despite opening up things like message broadcasts to the race director, the behind the scenes decision making is very opaque.
Tristan (@Skipgamer)

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  • 91 comments on ““Apparently you can drive with seatbelts loose” says Verstappen after Hamilton’s “cheaper” fine”

    1. What was Max’s penalty for stopping just past the finish line while the lapped racers were still racing?

      1. reprimand.

      2. He never stopped!
        He slowed down massively but never stopped.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          28th November 2021, 12:04

          I think it’s fair to say to he as good as stopped. He definitely could have been called for ‘driving unnecessarily slowly’. Also Marcel I don’t think it was an official reprimand, just a warning, because there is no record of a reprimand document on the FIA website (where these are normally posted).

    2. Doesn’t Red Bull give him enough wings?

    3. off couse you can. Leclerc did that in the middle of the race last years in spain, nobody cared.
      He wasnt even fined.

    4. I hope he’s not going to go arrogant on us.

      1. He has a point, the fine meant nothing to Hamilton nor srt a real deterrent for the future. Be surprised however to see someone touch a rear wing again….

        Anyway, throw away comment, not a headline unless you a click bait site.

        1. Well neither fine meant anything, they were both just an official telling off. So what was his point do you think? He was asked, fair enough, but why is he trying to draw this contrast?

      2. too late

      3. Sounds like sarcasm to me.
        It never works* though when you make it a headline in a more serious ‘publication’.

        * it works though to get clicks and polarising remarks.

        1. Yes sarcasm, and yes clicks baby, but here we are aren’t we? :) And where is his sarcasm directed? FIA? Hamilton? Either way, at 24 sarcasm and arrogance aren’t alternatives, he is essentially saying he knows better.

          1. Just check the link. He and the interviewer are just having some fun.

            But this website editor thinks it’s a good quote to headline the round-up and reel in the clicks; and I duly comply.
            If only this site was still like in the good old f1fanatics days.

            1. +1, glad I’m not the only one seeing this, rather unfortunate, trend.

            2. +100 COTD

            3. Well it’s around in other places too, it was a media interview and this here is F1 media. You can say we should ignore it, but I can’t help noticing that’s the only defence you can come up with? If it’s making his fans a bit uncomfortable then that’s suggesting a bit of insight, don’t you think? I mean ‘only a joke’ isn’t a real thing, any joke is about something after all.

            4. correct +1000

            5. +1 although maybe it still is like in the f1fanatics days and just like with Toto and Lewis, the championship pressure does bring out some shady traits. The site is incredibly colored and most even realize they are being played.

    5. A post race press conference with the stewards would be amazing.

      I can see Liberty running with this, after all it gives more content (read drama) for social media. Perhaps include the offending drivers in the question-answer period.

    6. And that alone is why he’s nothing at all like Kimi. He can try this “I don’t care” attitude but he’s really fooling nobody.

      1. Watch the actual interview, it was very clearly a joke and in jest

      2. He was asked and made a joke. Spin doctors try to make more of it, but there isnt any more

        1. Joke or no joke, Hamilton’s obviously in his head. Why bring it up at all? He’s clearly bitter and thinking how unfair it is. That and his “no gifts from the Marshalls” comment paint a really negative poor me attitude. He’s overthinking while trying to act like it doesn’t matter. Hilarious

          1. The joke obviously is on you :)

            1. You are the joke erikje

            2. Can you support this with a narrative or storyline? What’s next, are you going to insult his family?

          2. Is Lewis in his head, or is he in yours?

            1. seeing as I have a functional mind and I’ve literally just commented on something Max said about Hamilton, I’d say yes, that is what I’m thinking about at this moment… I think you’ve tried to be smart there anon and failed spectacularly. Well done.

          3. I think Max is letting the stewards know that in the past the Brits drivers have gotten more leniency than others as Alonso mentioned recently.

            Whether true or not or if it will have any effect, he is attempting to keep the stewards honest. No harm trying.

    7. Actually you will get fined pretty heavily if you loosen somebody else’s seatbelt.

      1. but not that all that heavily if you losen their rear wing…

    8. When will this guy mature…I hope he could have been baby sitted and pampered less by everyone around him. He seems to have problem with everything

      1. If you don’t want to read about his psychological flu keep scrolling. it is that easy. In the end, it is your fault for over reacting to these interviews.

      2. It was very clearly a joke, it’s funny how someone at that age makes grown adults so upset.

        1. Well, some people needs to see some person as bad guys, it conforts them to support someone they see at nice guy.
          It’s safer and kind of confort their own opinion.
          But it’s just looking at the surface, and not in a deep way.
          When you grow mature, do you try to judge, or do you try to understand ?
          At point, do people really want to understand Max Verstappen, or do they juste want him to be a bad guy, as constrast as the one who say «  i want to be seen as the purest driver on the grid » ?
          Will they dare to look further than the storytelling, the marketing behind all those communications, from on team or the opponent ?
          Will they scrape the gold to find where the lead is ? …

          Is it where we can difference a fan’s vision toward a passionate people vision ?

          1. When you get older you admit your mistakes and personally I think if Max did this at least once he would win back many of his former supporters, myself included. Although the debate has got polarising, personally I think many fans don’t actually hate Max or Hamilton at all, they’ve just been a little disappointed in their behaviour and then social media creates positive feedback.

            1. I feel 100% the same about Lewis

        2. Verstappen’s joke delivery is very weak.

      3. This is one of the best remarks yet. If there is anyone who really cant be bothered by all that is being discussed, its Max. The world just gets to know Max but in his country we’ve seen him for a longer time and without all the spindoctors of the media since he was riding in lower classes. We have a more allround view of the man. The concept of people having the view of him you just shared is the biggest proof of propaganda and media steering a discussion. You could literally not be further from the truth. You have all been played. I feel sorry since there is a chance he will be around for a while and will win quite some races.

        The fact you have this idea clearly shows what the media has done to public perception.

        1. What a blatent pro verstappen commentary. I am glad you do not work in media.

          1. If it is hard to look beyond what the UK media feeds you, may I suggest to try some non UK documentaries and news sites from time to time.

            1. @Mayrton If it is hard to look beyond what the Dutch media feeds you, may I suggest to try some non-Dutch documentaries and news sites from time to time.

    9. Given the FIA’s push for road safety, I find it interesting that they let Hamilton get off so lightly.
      Verstappen’s point is absolutely 100% valid – touching a car costs 50K but driving around without vital safety equipment comes at a meagre 5K? It’s a joke and makes a mockery of something that both F1 and the FIA are so publicly pushing for.

      And let’s be honest – 5K or 50K is absolutely nothing to these people anyway. 500K wouldn’t even make a noticeable dent in their personal wealth. That would only be one week’s pay…

      1. True, amusing quip.
        Everyday this w3bsit3 rehashes an old story trying to get their point across and sparkle more c0mment wars. Looking below all I can read is fann3b0i stuff. This is very unfortunate.

      2. S, but it only seems to have bothered you in this instance, given that you have remained silent every other time a driver has driven around with his seat belts loose?

        1. Nope @anon. I commented the day after the Brazilian race, and I also commented when Leclerc did it – although maybe that was on another site.
          Are you keeping score?

          Regardless, I reserve the same rights as everyone else to comment if and when I choose – and choosing to comment now doesn’t mean my opinion has changed.

      3. Well there is the simple point that the only person a driver risks by unfastening a seat belt is him or herself. Whereas messing with another car is, however unlikely, a potential risk to its driver and anyone else trackside. Leaving aside the motives (and legality) of messing with another team’s car.

        1. That may be true @david-br – but it’s entirely beside the point.
          The fact is that it’s illegal within F1’s regulations, and within the FIA’s ISC. Those regulations exist not just for competitor safety but also for the safety and wellbeing of others, in addition to basic common sense and decency.

          I mean, you can’t really justify a light touch on a competitor’s car being of 10x greater significance than the potential for unnecessary death or injury and associated spectator mental/emotional trauma in a globally televised live sporting event, can you? Crashes have occurred after the chequered flag before, and they can still happen in the future…

          Sporting rules should be second to basic humanity any day, I’d hope you’d agree. And the penalties for breaches should reflect that.

    10. Wow, what a baby. He’s we get it already, you were really hard done by. Except everyone else can see you weren’t.

      1. Propaganda is not wasted, I see

        1. It’s not propaganda though is it? Max hasn’t even said he was in the wrong for not obeying yellows. It’s never, ever, his fault. That reminds me of myself, but when I was 5 years old. Maybe not a baby granted, but pretty close.

          1. But still no relation to the content of this “article”, sounds more like an attempt to talk about the stewards and not the fantasy quote as headline.
            As you stated above, it seems to work you up. A bit the tantrum of a 5 year old….

            1. I’ve been critical of Hamilton many many times on this site despite being a supporter of him. I have never seen you ever do the same with Max, ever. Maybe that’s what being 5 years old is really like.

    11. Maybe if Max drives without a seat belt he might make more of an effort to make corners and not run rivals out of road.

    12. All gone very quiet from Jeddah in the last few days. Even the paid-for advertorials have dried up.

      I think even Korea was signed off and ready to go by this point. They’re cutting it very fine, which potentially has huge championship implications.

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        28th November 2021, 11:17

        @red-andy The latest I’ve heard is that they’ll have it “finished”, but the tarmac will likely be very slippery (ala Turkey or Portimao last year) and you won’t be able to brush your shoulders on a wall in the corridors without getting paint on you

        1. @RandomMallard Yes, that was about the last report I had as well. But since so much of the “reporting” around the race preparation is promotional material paid for by the organisers, I think we can have justified doubts about its accuracy.

          I looked up Korea 2010 – it was certified ready on 12 October, twelve days before the race. There’s about half of that time left before Jeddah.

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            28th November 2021, 14:08

            @red-andy Actually I forgot about a report I read a little bit more recently that was essentially the organisers admitting it was going to be a race against time, but they were still adamant they would be finished on time. However, like you, I’m not sure how much I can trust them.

            Of course the key detail being that if Jeddah is unfinished and can’t go ahead, then Verstappen only has to finish second in Abu Dhabi to be guaranteed the title.

            1. Exactly @randommallard … it also gives Red Bull one less race to close the five-point gap to Mercedes. There are other implications too – McLaren’s tall order to overcome Ferrari becomes virtually impossible; ditto AlphaTauri with Alpine. Not an ideal scenario when there’s so much prize money potentially at stake.

    13. Apparently you can weave down the straights. Apparently you can push another driver off track without a penalty. Apparently you don’t have to slow for a double waved yellow if you suspect that the Marshall has gone rogue. However, you definitely can’t stick a wheel up the inside at Copse, everybody knows this.

      1. Almost as sarcastic as Max…

      2. There’s lot more possible. Apparently you can indeed stick a wheel up the the inside in copse. Apparently you can keep the door open into turn one on Monza but then shut the inside in corner 2. Apparently you can take away a competitors pitstop advantage mid season. Apparently you can get a in-season tyre concept change to better suit your car. Apparently you can block opponents from using certain wings and then have them yourselves.. Apparently the rule for budget limitation can be used to get extra fresh engines vs the rest of the field. Apparently you can spread fake news about your component and the UK media will help you spread it. Apparently you can become world champion without deserving it.

        1. Mayrton, it’s been repeatedly pointed out to you that even Red Bull don’t support the claims you make – for example, they’ve rubbished the claims that the tyre changes during the season favoured Mercedes, saying they don’t think it’s given them any advantage – and yet you still keep repeated debunked myths.

          People are really getting quite uncomfortable with your behaviour now, with the repeated demonisation of people from a particular nationality, the smear campaign of anybody expressing a view you don’t like as “fake news”, the protests that your opponents are always cheats and the demands that the rules should be rewritten to favour your favoured driver instead. You try to paint others as Trumpian, and yet your behaviour and rhetoric more closely matches him than those you attack.

          1. ‘People are really getting quite uncomfortable with your behaviour now’
            Did you do a survey? Did I speak on anything other than content? Is it annoying to hear a point multiple times? But other can repeatdly state their case? Sounds a bit like censorship to me. Please try to stay in topic

            1. So is it a myth or not Mayrton? Maybe you could answer the commenter rather than deflect attention.

            2. Check out what Peter Windsor has to say about the Pirellis and what it did to this years championship. He’s got his YT channel. He is quite a credible experienced and well connected man. This is not a myth, but THE game changer if 2021

            3. i would love not to read this mayrton guy ever again. Hundreds of comments as worthless as it gets.

              See the guy’s name on the comments section? close the window, best thing to do.

            4. Its not fun when somebody bursts the Lewis bubble, I can imagine

      3. @jazz Indeed it’s bizarre how much help he gets from the stewards and then still he pulls the victim card.

        Add that they
        – Cheated on a flexible wing and got no penalty other than having to “fix” it.
        – Cheated on low running tyre pressures and got no penalty other than a burst tyre.
        – Cheated with fully automated pit stop systems and all they needed to do was stop cheating.

    14. Those stewards who were in Brazil this year should never be allowed near a formula 1 track for the rest of their lives.
      Their actions caused harm to FIA stewarding credibility and am surprised no one is doing anything about it.

    15. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
      28th November 2021, 10:44

      A few months back Formula One posted an fantastic video of the “Top 5 Hamilton vs. Alonso Duels”. As good as this season’s been, the video shows how much better it is when both drivers allow each other room to race. Verstappen’s “give way or we crash approach” is a poor substitute for racing respectfully.

      1. Those were the days, Jay (@slightlycrusty) along with this Vettel-Alonso battle at Silverstone, it was hard racing but fair racing. There is still some good racing if you look at the midfield battles (in the F1.5 championship.)

    16. Not much to say other than if that’s Max’s idea of mind games, he’s not very good at it.

    17. I couldn’t disagree more with the corruption claim.
      I’ve never really got the bias theory, & even lose so this one.

      1. Slight bitterness from Max.

      2. @jerejj Well we saw that with Alan Donnely though in 2008. A Ferrari consultant appointed as sole steward. It might not be corruption per se, but there was a clear direction in which the penalties were going and it wasn’t against Ferrari.

        Also I feel it’s a bad idea to have a Red Bull ex F1 pilot like Vitantonio Liuzzi deciding over that Brazil incident. A clear penalty for most people, yet with a Red Bull driver in the room it was not even investigated.

        At least don’t get driver stewards linked to the championship contenders to prevent the risk of bias.

      3. ‘less so’

    18. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th November 2021, 15:02

      For he’s a jolly good fellow,
      For he’s a jolly good fellow,
      which everyone can deny!

    19. Why is this kid always thinking about breaking rules, what he can get away with and which ones will result in cheaper fines…. Max is built different.
      Intentions matter too. What Lewis did after winning the Brazilian GP is categorised under celebrations and was an instant reaction when he saw the flag.

    20. Go cry in the corner sad git.

      1. Do you see the irony here?

    21. Don’t do it Max. You’ll get the 50.000 fine anyway. Doesn’t matter, you’re challenging a protected guy.

    22. If anything the whole process should be more transparent or publicised. Why not have the panel of stewards decisions highlighted in the broadcasts, that way the inconsistencies can be more easily recognised. A post race press conference with the stewards would be amazing.

      I agree with the Comment Of The Day. I’m sure the Stewards would have been able to explain their reasons for that decision, but it would be nice to know what those reasons were. To be fair, just like a referee or umpire in other sports is given some leniency towards ambiguous or hard to see incidents because they don’t have the benefit of instant replay at their disposal, we would need to accept the Stewards have maybe minutes to make a decision without access to all the video tapes.

    23. Apparently, Max will keep thinking which illegal action costs less, instead of accepting both actions were not correct and shouldn’t be repeated by anyone.

    24. Wee Fernando there with his Christmas jumper on, sitting on Santa’s knee. Those are the precious memories!

    25. Apparently you can push people off the track. There is no track limits.

    26. Apparently some drivers are allowed to force fellow competitors off the track; park their cars on top of fellow competitors; walk away without asking if the other driver is hurt… and all with no sanction…

    27. Apparently you can talk without a brain.

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