Max Verstappen warned by FIA over driving style

Formula One - F1 - Italian Grand Prix 2016

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has met with FIA bosses to discuss his recent tactics and driving style.

Formula One - F1 - Italian Grand Prix 2016

Max Verstappen has been given a ‘gentle warning’ by the FIA over his driving style, after the young driver continued to receive criticism for his aggressive tactics.

Red Bull driver Verstappen has come in for widespread criticism from both his peers and fans, after an incident in last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix with Kimi Raikkonen – the latest in a series of confrontations involving the 18-year-old driver.

After defiantly refusing to accept responsibility for the Spa incident however, Verstappen has now held talks with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting, ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Attending the meeting with Red Bull race manager Jonathan Wheatley, the talented young driver is said to have been warned over his conduct in Belgium, and warned that race officials will not be so lenient in the future.

Formula One - F1 - Italian Grand Prix 2016

“Charlie [Whiting] was keen to show him a replay of Spa” Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1.

“It was a gentle warning to say ‘that’ll be a black and white flag’. [It was] a bit of a warning.”

In F1, a black and white flag signifies that a driver has been cited for ‘unsporting behaviour’ – something that has frequently been levelled at Verstappen.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the meeting and incident however, the young Dutchman was dismissive about the magnitude of the meeting.

Belgium Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix 2016

“We just had a chat about what happened. I prefer to do it here with Charlie, instead of in the media or in the drivers’ briefings.”

“But Spa is now gone, and we are in Monza now, so we focus on Monza.”

Before the meeting with Verstappen on Friday morning, Whiting had also previously met with Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday night – both of whom have been heavily critical of the young driver’s racing style.

Speaking on the criticism Verstappen had received from veterans of the sport however, Horner was again quick to defend his young driver.

Belgium Formula One - F1 - Belgian Grand Prix 2016

“To be honest with you, like any 18-year-old [the criticism] seems to be going in one ear and out the other.”

“He really doesn’t care, he’s focused on his own job, he’s not intimidated by the surroundings he’s in and I think that’s what marks him out as a real talent and star of the future.”