Max Verstappen and Red Bull Just Want This to Be Over

·2 min read
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: Pool - Getty Images


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Over the past two weeks, Max Verstappen and the most important voices at his Red Bull have been working on an all-hands-on-deck political blitz designed to get the FIA to increase a penalty on Lewis Hamilton awarded during the British Grand Prix. It finally officially failed on Tuesday, but the strong narrative thread they have sewn has not faded so easily and it has quickly become a point of contention for all parties involved. Earlier today, it boiled over when Verstappen was asked yet another question about the potential for more on-track flare-ups with Hamilton. Rather than offer an answer, he simply stopped the question in progress and said, flatly, that he was done talking about it.

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Verstappen's answer echoes what top Red Bull racing executive Christian Horner said yesterday, that this is a settled matter. After weeks of questions, some raised directly by Red Bull and some raised by interested media following the matter, Formula 1 and the FIA have decided that Hamilton's penalty was adequate and that no further action would be taken. Despite threats otherwise, Verstappen is clearly uninterested in either NASCAR-style retaliation (an impossibility in Formula 1 cars anyway) or a serious escalation in the on-track aggression that had been boiling over for months before the race at Silverstone.

But no matter what he says, the last two weeks were an acceleration of a war of words that had been brewing since the season began and both teams were insisting the other was in a better position heading into this year. Tomorrow, Hamilton will start on pole and Verstappen will start in third. The question about what happens in turn 1 was asked because the two drivers at each other's throats, whether in reality or just in narrative-spinning by the F1 press corps, are expected to be fighting for position heading into that corner. In the eyes of that group, Verstappen and Hamilton will have proved they have moved on only when they have made it through the first lap of tomorrow's race without incident.

In the same interview, Hamilton was given an opportunity to answer the same contentious question. Echoing Verstappen's sentiments more subtly, he simply nodded away his opportunity to respond. Both parties are ready to move on and get back to the task of racing for a championship, but is that actually possible now that the tempest has been conjured?

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