Former world champion and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen has claimed that Max Verstappen will cause a ‘massive accident sooner or later if he doesn't change his aggressive driving style.
Raikkonen launched his attack on the young Dutchman after an incident between the pair in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix – the latest in a series of controversial incidents involving the talented young driver this season.
Red Bull’s Verstappen drew the Finnish driver’s wrath after failing to give sufficient room to the overtaking Ferrari, resulting in both Raikkonen and Verstappen being forced off the track.
Verstappen’s favoured defensive tactic of staying in the middle of the track until the attacking car has committed to a direction has repeatedly drawn criticism this season – with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel also having been critical of the tactic.
“Other guys defend, but they do it correctly” Raikkonen told BBC Sport after Sunday’s race.
“He waits and waits and turns after me, and I have to brake and slow down. It is not exactly what should happen. Maybe it needs an accident before it makes it more clear to everybody, but hopefully not because it can be bad for someone.”
Upon hearing Raikkonen’s criticism, Verstappen was quick to defend his actions:
“To be honest, it’s a big lie. I’m just defending my position and if somebody doesn’t like it, it’s his own problem.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was also quick to defend his 18-year-old driver, but also conceded that he has a lot to learn, describing some of his moves ‘refreshing but dangerous’.
“He comes in here, no fear, no respect, and put the elbows out. He reminds me of the great ones, of Lewis [Hamilton, of Ayrton Senna, and you can clearly see some guys around are starting to think twice how to overtake him.”