F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar
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Max Verstappen has accused Mercedes of having more tricks on their car to try and swing the F1 title race back in Lewis Hamilton’s favour. The Silver Arrows were heavily punished on Saturday when Hamilton was disqualified over a DRS breach.
Hamilton was made to start the sprint race from the back of the field and his rear wing was changed to one that fit in with the regulations.
The Brit pulled off a remarkable drive to rise from 20th to fifth in just 24 laps.
However, Hamilton is also taking a new engine this weekend so he has been hit with a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s main event, meaning his will start 10th.
Verstappen secured second place – joining Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the front row – but he still suspects more ongoings in the Mercedes garage.
“We have our suspicions that something is going on there,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.
“At the beginning of the year we all had to change our rear wings, with the pillar and the back off basically, so I think there’s still something going on with the main plane which is opening up and giving them more top speed.”
When asked if his suspicions are different to the DRS fault which the stewards already investigated, Verstappen added: “It is.
“I mean, I just look at the rear wing and there’s clearly something going on.”
Verstappen took a peak at Hamilton’s rear wing himself following the conclusion of Friday’s qualifying session.
The Dutchman was captured on video touching his rival’s car, which saw him slapped with a £42,000 (€50,000) fine.
“It’s going to be a nice dinner for them [the FIA] and hopefully they can order some good wine,” Verstappen joked.
Hamilton’s incredible climb through qualifying shows his pace should not be taken lightly when the light go out – but Verstappen is not worried.
“Of course it looks a bit worrying but if you see the gap already to P3 today they were like 18 seconds behind us, so they were really slow,” he explained.
“Of course you clear the first 10 cars quite easily because they are miles off the pace.
“But nevertheless they have good pace. But also tomorrow is going to be quite different, the track temperature is going to be almost double probably and then everything becomes a bit more difficult.”
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