Max Verstappen has been slammed by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff for almost scuppering Nico Rosberg’s title hopes.
Red Bull’s Verstappen banged wheels with Rosberg’s Mercedes at turn one of the Mexican Grand Prix last weekend, with both drivers fortunate to escape without any serious damage.
Verstappen managed to avoid punishment for that incident, yet incurred a five-second penalty later in the race as he tried to prevent Sebastian Vettel from overtaking.
Wolff said: “You could say that Max should have got a penalty for banging the wheels with the championship leader in turn one and pushing him off the track.
“I think maybe the penalty he got at the end was a penalty for all the driving.
“As refreshing as it is and as ruthless as the great ones are, if you race the championship leader three races down to the end, wheel banging, this is not what should happen.”
Rosberg – whose championship lead now stands at 26 points ahead of the final two races – agreed that Verstappen had overstepped the mark.
“He locked up the front tyre and went off the track. It may not look that big, but feeling-wise it was a massive impact,” said the German.