Max Verstappen criticized Charles Leclerc after crashing his mount on the first lap at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday (10/13/2019). Verstappen accused the Ferrari driver of driving irresponsibly, which made him quit the race.
The Red Bull Racing driver also questioned the steward’s response, with an initial announcement, when they did not take further action before deciding to call the two drivers afterward.
‘We had a very good start, that was positive. Then I stayed outside and suddenly turned Turn Two. Charles drove to the side of my car, “Verstappen told Sky Sports television.
“From my side, I don’t think I can do anything different there. We all know that you lose power behind the car so it’s not an excuse and I think he is experienced enough to know it.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 13, 2019
“The strange thing is that at first, they didn’t immediately investigate. All my cars were destroyed. All of them. There was only a hole in the side of the car. Then, they investigated after the race.”
“I mean, what else should he (Leclerc) do to get a penalty? I like hard racing, but I don’t think this is hard racing. This is just irresponsible driving to Turn Two,” said the 22-year-old Dutch racer that.
“He had a bad start so he must be trying to restore the place but there is so much you can do. Too bad that happened.”
Verstappen, who was forced out of the race, finally ended up in the pitlane after 15 laps, while Leclerc entered the pit to replace the new front wing.
Leclerc started in the front row, with teammate Sebastian Vettel taking the pole, but the two Ferrari drivers made a bad start with Valtteri Bottas taking the lead for Mercedes in the first corner.
Verstappen made a strong start, from the third row, in the race at the Suzuka Circuit with Honda engines. However, the Tabarakan incident stopped his efforts.