Dutch Formula 1 start Max Verstappen does not want drivers to be penalised for bringing out red flags during qualifying, a system that is in place in championships such as the Indycar series in the USA.
The Red Bull driver was speaking in reference to the incident in yesterday's qualifying session for the Monaco Grand Prix, where hometown hero and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc crashed heavily into the barrier at the Swimming Pool complex with 14 seconds remaining in the session. The ensuing red flag stopped several drivers from improving on their lap time with Verstappen being one of the losers.
"I don't think that Charles' (Leclerc) other time should have been taken away or in the future the rules need to be changed," Verstappen told select members of the media including RacingNews365.com.
"That (having a laptime deleted) wouldn't be fair, because we are all doing our very best. It's not easy here in Monaco, especially at the limit. It's easy to make a mistake. If Charles had parked his car with a broken front wing, it would have been a different story. However, he hit the wall and then ended up in the wall in which I also ended up in twice (in 2016 and 2018).
"There is a difference between hitting the wall after a mistake and making a mistake on purpose, I'm disappointed that I couldn't take a shot at pole, but that's how life goes sometimes."
Verstappen will start today's Monaco Grand Prix from second on the grid. The Dutchman's chances for a race win are far from over especially given the pace of the RB16B this season. Another factor playing into the Red Bull's drivers hands is that his title rival Lewis Hamilton will start from seventh on the grid, meaning Verstappen could potentially leave Monaco leading the driver's championship.