Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has been given a ‘gentle warning’ by the FIA following recent criticism over his driving style.
Ahead of the practices at Monza this morning, Verstappen met with FIA race director Charlie Whiting.
It is unclear wether the meeting was instigated by the team or if he was called to meet Whiting.
“Charlie was keen to show him a replay of Spa,” Christian Horner, Red Bull boss spoke.
“It was a gentle warning to say ‘that”ll be a black and white flag’. [It was] a bit of a warning.”
Last [Thursday] night, Whiting met with Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who have been outspoken about Verstappen’s driving.
Raikkonen was particularly angry about the fact that Verstappen indicated that the first lap collision of last week’s Belgian Grand Prix instigated ‘payback’ on Raikkonen later in the race, when he was blocked on the Kemmel Straight by the young Dutchman.
“To be honest with you like any 18-year-old [the criticism] seems to be going in one ear and out the other,” added Horner.
“He really doesn’t care, he’s focused on his own job, he’s not intimidated by the surroundings he’s in and I think that’s what marks him out as a real talent and star of the future.”
Contrary to popular belief, the rules do not actually state that moving in the braking zone is wrong.
Article 27.7 of the regulations, the most important regarding the incident at Spa-Francorchamps, states ‘Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his car.‘
However, the rules do present a clause that Verstappen could be theoretically charged for: ‘27.5 At no time may a car be driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or in a manner which could be deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers or any other person.‘
Despite all the backlash he has received, Verstappen vows not to change his driving style.
“It’s not because other drivers tell me to change my driving style that l will change my driving style,” he spoke.
“There have been no penalties given, so there is no reason to change something,” Verstappen reported on Thursday at Monza.
“I do my thing – with my driving style as it always was.“