After rules over track limits caused controversy at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen believes that talks are needed between the FIA and drivers to clarify what he believed to be inconsistent rulings during the race.
Verstappen was locked in a battle with Lewis Hamilton for the lead during the final laps of the 2021 season opener, and managed to overtake around the outside of Turn 4. However, the Dutchman was deemed to have exceeded track limits and so was forced to give the place back. This is despite the fact that Hamilton had been regularly running wide at Turn 4 during the race after FIA race director Michael Masi previously stated that policies over track limits would not apply there in the Grand Prix as they had in qualifying and practice.
When Red Bull queried this with race direction, Hamilton was given a warning over team radio, and Verstappen thinks that the confusion over the policy appearing to change mid-race needs to be cleared up.
"Things can be easily resolved if you just put a wall there or gravel, it would help a lot," Verstappen told RacingNews365.com and other select media. "In qualifying we had to stay on the kerb, so that is also what I was doing in the race, to be clean, but then I heard that Lewis was just going wide, so I did it for two laps, but then I was not allowed to do it any more.
"I don’t think you should be able to change it through the race. Either you can go wide, or not. I can understand of course with my overtake outside of the track limits that that’s not allowed, so that’s fine.
"But if you cannot gain an advantage by going wide overtaking, why are you allowed to do it on your own? That is what I think is not correct.
"We will talk about that with the drivers and also with Michael about it, and we’ll see what comes out of it. I think it was a little bit messy in the race. I think everything before that was very strict, and I think good, how we handled everything.
"But definitely in the race, I think for 30 laps or something, Lewis was going wide, and you gain time there. I tried it for two laps, and then they told me not to, so it’s a bit odd. About my overtake and whatever, I think yeah, that was fully understandable."