Max Verstappen admits the stewards were correct in punishing him for his first corner argy-bargy with Charles Leclerc.
Despite the continuing run of wins, there are moments when we see glimpses of the old Max Verstappen, the shoulders out, bully boy who won’t take no for an answer.
A perfect example came again today when he barged his way into the lead by forcing pole-man Charles Leclerc towards the Nevada desert.
Initially told by his team not to hand the position back – not that he showed any sign of doing so any way – as the matter went before the stewards he was told to eek out a lead in order that any time penalty would have minimal effect.
Unfortunately this proved impossible as he was unable to shake off the attention of a charging Leclerc who passed the world champion shortly after the stewards had done their worst and imposed a 5s penalty.
“We both braked quite late to defend the position,” said the Dutchman at race end, “but I was a bit on the inside. As soon as you go offline here, it’s super low grip. And that’s what happened. I braked and there was no grip.
“I didn’t mean to push Charles off the track, but I couldn’t slow it down and just kept sliding on four wheels wide.
“At the time, I was also full of adrenaline and I was unhappy with the decision. But looking back at it, that was probably the right call.”
Asked about the Russell incident, Verstappen was equally honest.
“He didn’t do that on purpose,” he said. “I think he just didn’t expect me to pass him into that corner.
“That’s how it felt, I put it on the inside and he just turned in like there was no one there. So, I guess he didn’t see me.”
Check out our Race Day gallery from Las Vegas here.