Martin Brundle points out Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen ‘irony’ after ‘boring’ Monaco GP

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in conversation

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton have not always seen eye to eye

Martin Brundle has pointed out “the great irony” of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s complaints about a boring Monaco Grand Prix, claiming the pair “didn’t care one bit” about the F1 spectacle during their title-winning peaks. 

Finishing sixth and seventh respectively, Verstappen and Hamilton were among the most vocal critics of the race in Monaco as the top 10 on the grid finished in the positions they started for the first time in F1 history.

Martin Brundle spots Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton ‘irony’

Additional reporting by Sam Cooper

Verstappen, the reigning three-time World Champion, was heard describing the race as “boring” over team radio as he aired his regret that he did not bring a pillow.

Hamilton, meanwhile, told media including that his race was “not eventful” and claimed fans would have been “falling asleep” as the afternoon unfolded.

The pair’s criticisms of the spectacle come after Hamilton and Verstappen, who memorably duelled for the F1 2021 World Championship, have enjoyed crushing dominant spells over the last decade.

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Hamilton won six World Championships in seven years from the start of F1’s V6 hybrid era in 2014 to cement his status as the most decorated driver in history, while Verstappen has won 49 of the last 74 races stretching back to his maiden title-winning campaign in 2021.

The irony of their complaints has not been lost in Brundle who, writing in his post-race Sky Sports column, has argued that Hamilton and Verstappen did not care for the spectacle during their most dominant days.

Brundle said: “Lewis Hamilton said it was one of the worst races he’s driven in, and Max Verstappen’s pillow talk was painful when he said he wished he had one for a sleep during the race.

“Now the great irony here is that those two drivers didn’t care one bit while we all had to observe them relentlessly winning races and championships by a country mile, but they were right.

“It was lacklustre to say the least.”

With overtakes hard to come by on Sunday, Brundle pinned the blame for the lack of action on the first-lap red flag following a scary accident involving Sergio Perez and the Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.

With F1’s rules permitting tyre changes under red flags conditions – and thereby allowing teams meet the requirement to run at least two tyre compounds over the duration of the race – most drivers completed the remainder of the race without pitting.

Brundle has described the early red flag as “the worst-case scenario” for a full Monaco GP, claiming only rain, Safety Cars and red flags can spice up the action at the principality.

He explained: “It was largely and sadly a non-event of a race.

“At the best of times this layout needs an awkwardly timed safety car or red flag, or rain. Better still, all three.

“The worst-case scenario is a first-lap red flag on a day when two of the three tyre compounds can be massaged into completing the entire 78-lap race distance, thereby making best use of the regulations which permit a tyre change during the red flag stoppage, and so enabling everyone to also tick the box for using two different tyre compounds during a dry race.

“That’s exactly what happened.

“This created a scenario where Ferrari, with [Charles] Leclerc out front and Carlos Sainz in third, basically measured their pace to George Russell in fifth place, a driver they would never again see in their mirrors after a few laps, to avoid a pit stop window opportunity opening up for the McLaren of Lando Norris in fourth.”

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