Max Verstappen’s aggressive move at the Austrian GP raises eyebrows! Martin Brundle finds the act alarming, reflecting a throwback to Verstappen’s earlier, riskier style. Full insights from a 40-year veteran in racing analysis. 🏁🚗

Jun 9, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (NED) races during the Canadien Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 9, 2024; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (NED) races during the Canadien Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris engaged in a showdown that ended disastrously at the Austrian Grand Prix, prompting pundits to question the moves of the 3-time world champion. The incident not only forced Norris out of the race but also saw Verstappen limping to a fifth-place finish, albeit after a puncture and a 10-second penalty. But it was his driving directly after the clash that saw questions arise.

Veteran commentator Martin Brundle, a voice of authority in racing analysis for over four decades, shared his concerns over the aggressive on-track behavior exhibited by Verstappen post-collision. According to his column for Sky Sports, he said:

“Did he know he was there?” he asked. “He confirmed post-race that he did, he’s on top of it all well enough. They touched and it finished Norris’s race and left Verstappen limping home for three-quarters of a lap with a puncture.

“What I found alarming is that after the contact and as they were both limping along, Verstappen clearly tried to impede and collect Norris if he could.” This assertive move by Verstappen might reflect a regression to his more impulsive early-career racing tactics, suggesting a temporary veiling of the matured, strategic competitor we’ve seen in recent times.

“In commentary, and in these columns, I’ve waxed lyrical about Max’s talent, and I stand by that,” Brundle continued. “He’s one of the very best I’ve ever witnessed in 40 years.

“I’ve also said that he’s calmed down, matured, and plays more the percentage game with three championships in his pocket. But that appears to have been a thin veneer as this race was very much Max 1.0, with his default driving tactics and denials resurfacing.”

The pundit questioned if the ramifications of the on-track clash were compounded by off-track drama involving a dispute between Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, and Max’s father, Jos Verstappen. The latter withdrew from a Legends Parade, igniting speculations over internal conflicts affecting Verstappen’s mental game.

“I’m making no excuses for him, but I do wonder if the ridiculous spat between his father Jos and team boss Christian Horner has finally surfaced on track for him,” Brundle speculated.

Further adding to the complexity of the situation, Brundle criticized the Red Bull team’s post-race communications, describing it as a “difficult listen” as the Milton Keynes squad blamed it the clash on the McLaren driver.

“It damages their credibility all round,” Brundle asserted.

On the flip side, Norris faced criticism for his bold but perhaps overly eager approach. Brundle advised:

“It must also be said that Lando’s race craft was rather gung-ho. He’ll need more finesse, patience, and cunning than that if he wants to start beating Max regularly to win a championship.”

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