Verstappen: Hamilton deserved Mexican GP grid penalty too

Max Verstappen stated his belief that Lewis Hamilton ought to have received a similar punishment as he did after qualifying at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Verstappen was demoted three places from pole position for failing to slow down under yellow flags after Valtteri Bottas crashed in Q3.

The Dutchman and Hamilton, who started third, battled on the opening lap and ran wide at Turn 2 – an incident that had far greater ramifications for the Red Bull driver, who dropped down the order, compared to Hamilton, who won the race.

However, Verstappen said he was annoyed to see that Hamilton had, in his opinion, not been sanctioned for the same offence as him.

“The rule is very clear,” he said.” The only thing I want to say about it from my side is, because there were a lot of comments about it, and looking back, for sure I should’ve lifted – but then everybody should do the same.

“And I know Seb did the same, but one silver [Mercedes] car didn’t. And then he doesn’t get a penalty, and that annoys me as well. But it is what it is. I can’t decide for other drivers about the rules.”

Verstappen had initially appeared to have escaped an investigation, but the stewards took another look into his final flying lap after he admitted in the post-session press conference that he had not lifted off when passing the stricken Mercedes of Bottas.

Hamilton was critical of Verstappen’s actions afterwards, saying: “If you’ve got people who are just being careless and not abiding by the rules… He actually didn’t even need to stay flat out. He’d already got pole, basically. I think the FIA need to be very, very strict on that.”