Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo have spoken out in defence of Max Verstappen‘s driving style after Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel led criticism of the Red Bull driver following the Mexican Grand Prix.
Hamilton said he was “torpedoed” by Verstappen in a lap-one collision in last weekend’s race, although the Dutchman did not appear to be all that at fault in the incident.
Verstappen perhaps could have been accused of over-ambition when he attempted a bold move on Bottas in the stadium section, which left him with a costly puncture, but the Finn stuck up for his rival’s style.
“I think it’s a bit overblown,” Bottas told Sky Sports at F1’s live event in Hollywood. “He’s had some really, really good races and good overtakes, good hard racing and fair racing and sometimes one thing like this can just make the stories bigger than they are.
“But he’s an aggressive driver and it’s fine. Obviously every driver behaves differently and you always treat every driver different on track. That’s fine.
“It would be boring if we all were the same.”
A man that knows all about Verstappen’s methods is former Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo.
The Australian shied away from Hamilton’s assertion that he had to alter his own style when in proximity to Verstappen.
Ricciardo initially joked: “I never trusted him from day one!
“Sometimes you’re aware [of who you are racing], sometimes you’re not. I think there’s been times where you’re so focused on the battle and in the moment that you don’t even know what driver you’re actually fighting against on the grid.
“But at the start maybe if you know some drivers are alongside you might be a bit more… but I don’t know.
“I like Max. I like that way that he races. He races hard and I’d rather go up against someone like him than someone who’s less keen or interested in defending or attacking.”