Max Verstappen takes frustration out on Lewis Hamilton in FP2 incident at Imola

Henry Valantine
Max Verstappen in Emilia Romagna GP practice.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.

Max Verstappen raised his hand in frustration at Lewis Hamilton in an apparent moment of impeding during FP2 at Imola.

Verstappen seemingly had to lift off the throttle of his RB20 through the swift left-right of the Villeneuve Chicane while Hamilton was exiting, leading the Red Bull driver to cut across the Mercedes in frustration and abort his lap.

Max Verstappen airs frustration at Lewis Hamilton in FP2 moment at Imola

Verstappen had already voiced his disdain for how difficult his car had been to handle during FP2, taking to team radio after a hairy moment and saying: “**** my god, I don’t know, man. It’s so difficult, everything. This time suddenly the front grips up a lot and I almost spin.”

Soon afterwards, Hamilton appeared quickly in front of him and the reigning World Champion had to slow down – with Hamilton moving over to the right-hand side of the circuit and raising his hand out of the cockpit in apology as Verstappen drove alongside and gesticulated from his car.

Hamilton had already attracted an earlier critique from Fernando Alonso during the session for not getting off line quickly enough for his liking.

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When asked about that moment after FP2 finished, Verstappen looked to remain tight-lipped, instead wanting to focus on how Red Bull need to recover something of a gap to their rivals.

“It’s not the first time,” he said.

“You try to of course always stay calm about it, but it happened again.

“At the other end also, I don’t want to really talk about it too much because that’s not our issue. Today, we were just severely off pace. That we need to fix.”

Verstappen finished seventh in FP2, half a second slower than the quickest time set by Charles Leclerc at Imola as the drivers took in qualifying simulations on Friday.

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