Formula One last season was filled with shoulder rubbing, some mischief and what some would even call extremities. Some, if not most, of the most serious cases among these cases were collisions between the final top two finishers, and not just on one or two, but more occasions.
While you may expect these to be behind us given there’s an even more exciting and unexpected season ongoing, Red Bull technical officer, Adrian Newey, thinks otherwise, and according to him, a number of those unfortunate events could have either been avoided or handled better.
The Briton agrees with almost everyone else that Max Verstappen tends to not play by the rules at times, like it was in Brazil when he was “naughty” and Saudi Arabia, where the reigning champion, according to Newey, made a “silly” move that pushed last season’s title fight to the last race in which Verstappen emerged victorious, albeit controversially.
Despite agreeing that Max makes some mistakes and is a little too aggressive for most people’s liking, Adrian thinks the Dutch don’t deserve the poor treatment they get. “I think his reputation for being wild is unfair,” said the technician, who’s of the opinion that Max is “generally very fair.”
According to Newey, Hamilton gets the complete opposite treatment and judgement of Verstappen, as it supposedly was following the British Grand Prix’s Lewis-caused coalition last year. To him, Lewis was left off too easily because his (Hamilton’s) reputation isn’t as notorious as Verstappen’s.
“Silverstone to me was a clear professional foul…”, said the 63-year old, who clearly wasn’t impressed with how the legal team handled the resulting punishment.
In Adrian’s opinion, some of the mistakes Max makes might be because “he’s still young” and learning. Whichever case it is doesn’t affect his view of the Dutch driver, though.
“No airs, no pretences… he’s amazing.” That’s but a small part of what Newey considers the defending F1 champion to be.