Max Verstappen has been doing his trade at the pinnacle of motor racing for several years and is considered one of the best ever to step foot into the sport. Since making his F1 debut in 2015 with the Toro Rosso (AlphaTauri), the Dutchman has gone on to better himself year after year and now, he has become a 2-time F1 World Champion. There is no doubt he’s the man to beat right now.
Max Verstappen is still relatively young and has got several years ahead of him to amass even more accolades than he already has. The Red Bull driver has got all the skills in his arsenal to do unprecedented things in the sport, and the way his career is panning out with the Red Bull F1 team, he is almost guaranteed to have a stupendous time in the sport, no matter how many years he has left.
However, while Verstappen has become a huge star in the F1 World, he has every now and then let his infamous temper get the better of him. So far in his career, he has gotten into several heated altercations, and the focus of this article is going to be on the same. Verstappen has never shied away from letting his feelings known regarding specific things.
Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon are well-known for being aggressive F1 drivers. It is extremely rare that they are seen backing out of an on-track tussle. Something similar happened during the 2016 Brazilain Grand Prix where the two collided Verstappen lost the lead in the race to the former 7-time F1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.
The Dutchman was furious after the incident as going into Turn 1 at the track, the Dutchman was the lead car whereas Ocon was running last in his Force India. However, despite this fact, Ocon did not let Verstappen go so easily. When they went into Turn 1, the two collided. Max let his emotions known over the team radio, but this was not enough for him. After arriving at the pitlane, he got out of his car and confronted Ocon, the two had a verbal exchange, and Verstappen simply lost it, and turned to physical aggression. He pushed the Frenchman multiple times during the altercation.
2. Max Verstappen and George Russell – 2023
Next up is Max Vestappen’s heated argument with George Russell at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The event included the new version of the Sprint format, and during Saturday’s Sprint race, the two found themselves racing against one another on lap 1 of the race. Both are well-known to be aggressive while racing and in the process of doing so, Verstappen got extra greedy and decided to race Russell from the outside going into a corner.
Moreover, as the two turned their respective cars, George Russell’s front right tire made contact with Max Verstappen’s side pod which led to a big hole in it. Because of the collision, Verstappen was not able to chase after the front runners and had to settle with a P3. However, the verbal fight between the two began after the race when the two saw each other. They both got into a nasty fight regarding who was to blame for the incident, and Verstappen took it a step too far when he called the young Brit a “D***head”.
3. Max Verstappen lost his cool during a 2021 press conference
Max Verstappen was involved in an epic battle during the 2021 F1 season with Lewis Hamilton. They had several close incidents during the year, and one of the most terrifying ones was Verstappen going into the barriers at high speed after colliding with Hamilton. While at that moment not much was said by the Dutchman about the incident, but when it was brought up during a press conference where Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were sitting alongside him, he lost his temper.
Verstappen while conversing with the reporter, said, “Can we just stop already and not talk about this, because we had so many fu**ing questions about this, [it’s] just ridiculous, honestly. Honestly, the whole Thursday we have been answering these old fu**ing questions so can we just stop about it please.” The Dutchman was just not willing to listen to any more questions regarding his crash with Hamilton and even dropped the F-bomb.
4. Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo – 2018
While two of the above-mentioned incidents took place with F1 rivals, Max Verstappen’s 2018 clash at the Azerbaijan GP took place with his then Red Bull teammate, Daniel Ricciardo. Coming down the main straight at Baku, Ricciardo was about to overtake Verstappen but the two ended up crashing out of the race. Most agreed that Verstappen was to blame for the incident.
Daniel was left with no choice during the incident, and he fumed after the race. However, Max thought that Daniel was the one who was to blame for the incident and while talking about it after the race said, “I don’t want to talk about it, it’s bad for the team and I think that’s bad enough.” His words at the event were enough to make everyone understand that he did not feel that the crash was his mistake. He indirectly put it on Daniel Ricciardo.
5. Max Verstappen furious with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen – 2016
The last incident on the list is Max Verstappen’s crash with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix. The latter two were Ferrari drivers at that time. The Dutchman, while going into Turn 1 was ultra-aggressive, going down the inside, which led to all three making contact. Vettel spun around, Raikkonen got a left-rear puncture, and Verstappen lost his front-wing endplate.
After the race, Vettel and Raikkonen blamed Verstappen for the incident and when the latter caught wind of it, he was extremely furious. While disregarding their stature at that time in F1, Verstappen said, “I think they should be ashamed to cause a crash like that with their amount of experience and then complain about me. Then they don’t have to make a drama about what happened afterwards.“
He added: “They have to understand I’m not happy with them screwing up my entire race.” Looking at the comments, it is clear that he had no remorse, or regret, about what he did and even went on to blame the two Ferrari duo.
Rishabh Negi is an F1 author at FirstSportz who ardently follows the sport and is also a passionate supporter of the Arsenal football team. He has done his Master's degree from the Delhi School of Economics and sees writing about F1, as something, that provides him solace to disconnect from the everyday chaos of life.
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