Max Verstappen rebuffed the latest criticism of his defensive driving from Kimi Raikkonen following the Belgian Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver tangled with both Ferraris at the first corner on the first lap of the race and blamed Sebastian Vettel for causing the contact.
“The start wasn’t great,” Verstappen told reporters after the race. “I dived up in the inside and locked a wheel so I was easily making the corner but they just kept squeezing me.”
“At one point I was in the inside, Kimi was again squeezing but then Sebastian turned in on both of us. That took my front wing, I had a lot of damage, and also the floor got destroyed. From there on your race is gone.”
Verstappen said Vettel “definitely” should have allowed more room for the two cars on the inside of him at the start. “He knows that he is on the outside and suddenly he just turns into the corner where there are two other cars,” said Verstappen. “I think that’s pretty logical.”
Raikkonen, who has had several run-ins with Verstappen earlier this year, vehemently criticised his rival for his defensive tactics on the Kemmel straight, telling his team on the radio “his only interest is pushing me off the circuit”.
Verstappen responded: “He should say that in turn one.”
“I mean it’s ridiculous. But it’s good television if somebody’s moaning. Especially after turn one where they do something to you like that. I’m not going to give up my position to them that easily afterwards.”
Verstappen said claims he defends his position too aggressively are “a big lie”.
“I’m just defending my position,” he said. “If somebody doesn’t like it, it’s his own problem.”
2016 Belgian Grand Prix
- 2016 Belgian Grand Prix team radio transcript
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- Raikkonen calls for consistency after Verstappen incidents
- DRS blamed as Spa race falls short of expectations
- Fan video shows Verstappen tangling with the Ferraris