Max Verstappen recalls his incident with Charles Leclerc at Las Vegas GP, claims, the penalty was “probably the right call”
Max Verstappen changed his opinion on his Las Vegas GP penalty after the race.
Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen at Las Vegas GP (Via IMAGO)
Max Verstappen got off to a good start at the Las Vegas GP. However, the Dutch driver struggled for grip at Turn 1 and collided with pole-sitter Charles Leclerc. The three-time world champion had to change his front wing and was handed a five-second penalty. Now, Verstappen has admitted that he might’ve deserved the penalty.
The Red Bull driver was furious after receiving the penalty during the race. Verstappen even gave a sarcastic reply to the FIA on the team radio as he said, “Send them my regards.” However, it seems that the 26-year-old has changed his mind on the incident.
After the race, the 26-year-old pointed out that both cars struggled with low grip under braking at Turn 1. Max Verstappen clarified that he did not plan to push Charles Leclerc off-track. However, the three-time world champion simply couldn’t slow down his RB19 and collided with the Ferrari.
We both braked quite late to defend the position 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.Max Verstappen said as reported by F1i.com
The three-time world champion cited adrenaline as the reason for his disapproval of the penalty during the Las Vegas GP. However, Verstappen reckoned that it was perhaps the right decision as he recalled the incident.
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.
Max Verstappen takes his 18th win in 2023
The Dutch driver has dominated the 2023 F1 season. Max Verstappen has shattered several records this year as he races in a league of his own. The Las Vegas GP was no different. Despite having a collision and suffering damage at the start of the race, Verstappen delivered an incredible performance and emerged victorious in Sin City.
The 26-year-old even made contact with Mercedes’ George Russell mid-way through the race. Nevertheless, Max Verstappen’s pace was too much for rivals including Charles Leclerc. As the three-time world champion swiftly passed the Monegasque driver. Verstappen now has won eighteen races this season, beating his own record of 17 in 2022.
Certainly, Max Verstappen has continued his dominance throughout the 2023 season. The Dutch driver has showcased stellar pace this year behind the wheel of the Red Bull RB19. Now, the three-time world champion would be looking to win the season finale in Abu Dhabi as Formula 1 heads to the winter break.
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