Lewis Hamilton is ‘hypocritical over safety in Formula 1’. This what Red Bull pilot Max Verstappen had to say about the World Champion, referring to an incident at the Grand Prix of Europe in Baku two weeks ago.
“We are looking for safety and we don’t want to die on track,” he said. “I prefer to do it on track than talk about it in the briefing room but I’m definitely not afraid. In the media he’s saying he doesn’t care, but when he talks to his team it’s different. I had an incident in the drivers’ briefing in Baku saying the pit entry was quite tricky, and he’s like: ‘Oh, you shouldn’t bother about it.’ But then Nico jumped in and said: ‘Wait, Lewis, you just said you were (scared) when you were entering the pit lane’. So what is this approach?’ Maybe he wants to be cool,” Verstappen added.
There’s no smoke without fire. Hamilton was again “way off the pace” ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix this Sunday: “I’m not that quick, to be honest, but tomorrow I hope I can pick up the pace. Nico is much, much quicker today. I have to try to find that.”
Hamilton ended the qualifying practice on Friday with disappointing time, being 0.019 seconds slower than team mate Nico Rosberg. Rosberg is already 24 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the driver’s Championship.