Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton
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The FIA have been warned about challenging the ability of the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen after delaying the start of the Monaco Grand Prix due to rain.
Formula One’s most prestigious grand prix was delayed for 16 minutes on Sunday after a rain shower hit just before it was due to start. The race was quickly halted again once it eventually did get running behind the safety car as a further deluge of rain flooded parts of the track. The grand prix ended up being time-limited as there was not enough time to complete the traditional 78 laps.
The FIA said the initial decision to halt the race was taken in the interests of safety as there had been no wet running that weekend. They were also concerned that the rain had affected the power supply to the start lights meaning a race start could not be safely operated. Yet AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly has told the FIA not to challenge the drivers.
“I don’t think they should question our skills. I think this is part of our job and our challenge,” Gasly said. “Our skills are challenged and that is what excites me personally.”
“I didn’t understand why we didn’t go straight away. I was ready, it was wet and it was like ‘Let’s go’. That is part of the race. If we need to go at two, we go at two or three or whatever, we just need to go.
“I just didn’t understand why we were delayed,” he added. “The red flag, the first one was I think legit because from P17 I was literally driving blind, couldn’t see a thing, so I think this was right but we could have started earlier.”
The decision to delay the race was not the only controversial decision taken by the sport’s governing body in Monaco. Restarting the race under the safety car was criticised by both drivers and pundits, with many favouring a standing start which is normal procedure under red flag conditions.
Hamiton tried to distance himself from reports that he had been highly critical of the FIA’s decisions.
“So the media are saying I criticised the FIA for the last race but it’s absolute rubbish,” Hamilton wrote on his Instagram story. “I thought they did a great job at the weekend.
“Could we have started the race when it was meant to start? Probably, but then they would have had to stop it soon after. We raced when it was safe and that’s what’s most important. Please don’t use me to create a negative narrative.”
The Formula One circus moves onto Baku for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. The FIA will hope for a smoother race there than what they oversaw in Monaco.
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