Damon Hill feels Max Verstappen’s criticism of the FIA and his jokes about the fines they’ve given him are “disingenuous.”
The Dutchman has been penalised by the sport’s governing body on a number of occasions in recent times, with both sporting and financial punishments being dished out to him.
In Brazil, while he was let off for seemingly forcing Lewis Hamilton off the track at Turn 4 during the race, he was fined £42,700 for touching the rear wing of the Mercedes in parc ferme after qualifying.
Last time out in Saudi Arabia meanwhile, he was forced to move back two places for the first restart and was later given two penalties for his wheel-to-wheel racing with his title rival.
Speaking about such decisions at the final race weekend in Abu Dhabi, he stated that felt he wasn’t being treated equally to other drivers and joked that he was paying for the FIA’s dinners and wine.
“I don’t understand because I thought I was just racing hard,” he told reporters.
“What happened, for me, didn’t deserve any penalty. Really, the other two people who did it, they didn’t get one. It’s only me who gets it and, of course, fighting up the front, people were more critical, I guess. For me, I don’t understand…
“I end up with penalties while other drivers do the same and don’t get a penalty. I’ve paid the FIA a nice fine, so they’ve had dinners and good wine but it doesn’t seem to help.”
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) December 9, 2021
It’s not the first time this season that Verstappen has issued such criticism and made such jokes, and Hill doesn’t think that doing so sends the best message.
With the two title rivals level on points with one race to go and Verstappen ahead of countback, many think the Red Bull man may purposely take Hamilton out, and Hill says his comments have largely caused such predictions.
In his eyes, the 24-year-old is being “disingenuous” and “intimidating.”
“Max is needling a little bit, saying, ‘I hope you enjoy your lunch on my fine to the FIA’,” the former World Champion told Sky Sports’ The F1 Show.
“It is entertaining, but he’s also being a bit disingenuous as well because he’s actually provoked a lot of the reaction and suggestions that he may do something naughty.
“He’s uncompromising and intimidating. Anything could happen. We don’t know.”
Verstappen himself has rubbished claims that he’ll cause an accident, saying: “As a driver, you don’t think about these things.”
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