Max Verstappen gives Lewis Hamilton the finger

Verstappen gives Hamilton the finger over practice run-in

2021 United States Grand Prix

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The rivalry between Formula 1’s two championship rivals spilled over into a practice session at the Circuit of the Americas, where Max Verstappen branded his opponent a “stupid idiot” on his radio after the pair came close to colliding.

Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton ran side-by-side along the pit straight, drifting close to each other. The Red Bull driver had to abandon his attempt to set a timed lap as a result.

The incident began on the lap before as the pair circulated at a slow pace to prepare for their timed runs. Verstappen closed up to his championship rival and passed him on the inside of turn 15.

Hamilton followed his rival around the next corners and passed him as they approached the final turn. Verstappen remained on his outside, however, and stayed there as they drove along the pit straight, their wheels drifting close together at one point.

They arrived at the first corner still side-by-side. Verstappen, unable to take the racing line through the corner, backed out of his lap and raised his middle finger at Hamilton as they approached turn two.

“Stupid idiot,” he remarked on his radio. “Ignore it, don’t worry about it,” replied his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

Hamilton continued on his lap until he caught Charles Leclerc at turn seven and had to back off. The Mercedes driver made no comment about the incident with Verstappen on his radio.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Verstappen gives Hamilton the finger over practice run-in”

  1. I thought it was LH who overtook Max but it was actually Max at t15? So what is he complaining about after t2 then?

    1. They say racing drivers have a short memory.

    2. They weren’t on a timed lap when VER passed HAM

      1. They were not on a timed lap when Hamilton passed verstapen

        1. That’s cute, but we all know the timed lap starts in the last corner

          1. That’s cuter. We all know drivers prepare for timed lap long enough before the last corner.

  2. Pressure is getting to max. He really threw his toys out of the pram. Refusing to do a lap is such baby behaviour.

    1. RandomMallard (@)
      22nd October 2021, 22:20

      I don’t think Max “refused to do a lap” because he was angry at the incident, he didn’t complete the lap because he was unable to take the ideal line through turn 1 simply because of where Lewis had placed his car (Lewis was completely fair imo), so knew it would be an uncompetitive anyway. Similarly Lewis backed off the lap in question because he caught Leclerc, meaning it would be an uncompetitive lap that wasn’t worth draining the battery/using tyre life for.

      1. Fair comment, and I agree it damaged both their laps, but I was talking about when he said “i can’t be bothered with this, I’m boxing” or something along those lines a few laps later. He didn’t set a representative time on the soft tyres because he refused to.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          22nd October 2021, 22:31

          Ah okay my misunderstanding. I don’t have Sky so aren’t able to watch the full sessions live, so wasn’t aware of what went down a few laps later

        2. Because he would need to do a recharge lap and then a timed one too, which would delay his race trim. I thought it was a pragmatic decision.

        3. He did this because putting a timed lap took to long and interfered with the planned long runs.
          But making up a story is way nicer of course.

    2. Seemed more like Lewis got a little hot headed. He ‘flatspotted’ his tyres behind Verstappen as they were all in the queue for a fast run, which annoyed him and went for it in the last corner. Lewis was super slow in his outlap, so drivers overtook him.

      1. This is just a completely fabricated telling of events. Utter nonesense.

      2. @montalvo Jeez, why do you need to lie ?

        1. @zann @lordlambert Lie? Utter nonsense? So you’re both saying Lewis didn’t lock up at T19 behind Verstappen and went for it moments after? Just watch the actual onboard. I’ve put flatspotted between apostrophes for a reason, but brake marks were visible. Time stamp 14m40s on F1TV.

          And his outlap was slower than slow, Again, just watch the onboard.

          1. Trying to make sense of a couple blinded ham fans?

  3. Their little battle practice was funny.

    1. I guess Lewis wanted to do some practice against him. Hamilton never does this against other drivers.

      1. Lewis is all sort of out of ordinary stuff this season. If the stress is getting to someone its Hamilton.

        Hamiltons legacy is under question already since Rosberg beat him in 2016. If now Verstappen beats him at the first sign of competition.. Then Hamiltons merc championship will look exactly as hollow as they are, won with a superior car and nobody was near, only had to beat his team mate, couldn’t even do that.

        The pressure on the Hamilton legacy is immense. Pretty sure he knows and is totally aware of it and it is getting to him.

        1. Even if Lewis didnt win another race in his career, his “legacy” as the most successful driver of all time is secured. Everything else is opinion.

        2. Hamiltons legacy is not under question by anyone with even the barest hint of F1 knowledge. The only people who question it are not worth listening to, as their ignorance clouds every broken word they utter.

  4. Getting a little frustrated max ?

  5. Meh? Three laps later he was shouting abuse at his team and another driver. he’ll be alright once he gets a cuddle from Horner.

    1. Sam Donaldson (ABC News)
      23rd October 2021, 1:21

      Good one….

      1. Good what? Accurate telling of events? Legitimate speculation on the relationship of Horner and his little boy?

    2. ian dearing

      Meh? Three laps later he was shouting abuse at his team and another driver. he’ll be alright once he gets a cuddle from Horner.

      For sure, Lewis mind games never had the desired effect on Max. He beats him without it, and lose to Max after doing it as well.

  6. Shades of Schumi and Alonso in 2006.

  7. He got baited into reacting. Good for TV thats all about it. It was really good fro TV though :D

  8. Please Max Please …. do not start getting cocky again.

    I think you deserve at least one WDC as you are a remarkably talented driver ….
    sneering at your competition like this just makes you look like a bully and a loser.

  9. RandomMallard (@)
    22nd October 2021, 22:15

    This is a bit of a nothing story isn’t it?

    This kinda stuff happens all the time in practice. It’s just a part of it. And with regards to the reaction, I wouldn’t say its out of the ordinary either. Emotions are running highly, people are gonna have reactions. Kimi has definitely made similar gestures before if I remember correctly, and Lewis made a certain comment about Max after Bahrain 2018 as well that some may see as unnecessary. Not to say that these incidents and reactions are distasteful, because they are, but this is nothing unusual.

    1. @randommallard 100% agree with you. Kimi has flipped the finger for Hamilton alone for quite a few times. Every racing driver has done it and I’m sure majority of drivers on public roads has done it as well! Heat-of-the-moment things and nothing serious, nothing reprehensible. These things happen everywhere, all the time.

      Really think this site is trying to milk clicks with this WDC battle a bit too much with these kind of zero-value articles.

      1. I think it’s unfair to say that RF is trying to milk clicks… this replay/story is all over youtube and other race sites for a reason. It may not be a super unique event, but its not often that this happens during FP2 with the top 2 contenders for the WDC involved.

  10. Verstappen is hot tempered, for sure, but I’m wondering about the utility of hamilton to be as close as Verstappen ‘s cari in a straight on FP2.
    That’s still mindgames ? I remembered he used to push poeple off the track, not leaving space, at starts.

    I don’f know.
    of course, it’s not my little pony, they are here for racing and you have to push on people’s weakness.
    But sincerly, i don’t find Hamilton more mature than Verstappen on those move.

    both of them play silly games

    1. Yeah I think they’re both as bad as each other.

    2. This is a bit of a foolish comment. Max caused the entire situation himself by jumping the queue a few corners earlier, attempting to ruin Hamiltons lap. It didn’t work and Max got shown up.

      1. Like you said few corners earlier, which means still time to do timed laps, but Lewis decided to react and running both drivers lap time. Remember here Lewis is the older and much experienced driver yet he decided to do what he did. Lewis would never have done this if this was someone else. Max has kinda brings the worst out of Lewis.

        1. After the farcical Monza qualifying some years ago, Lewis learned his lesson about sitting around waiting for gaps in the final few corners. This is what he does and he has every right to do it. What used to be a “gentleman’s agreement” turned into a fool’s doctrine after that Monza session. You queue at your own risk; do what you have to do to get your lap in, regardless of the session. This isn’t the worst of Lewis, as you call it, but the result of experience.

  11. Getting under his skin and preventing him from putting in a representative a lap is a good strategy for Lewis.
    All in a day’s work lol

    1. NeverElectric

      Getting under his skin and preventing him from putting in a representative a lap is a good strategy for Lewis.

      As Max got under Lewis’s skin more than the other way around this season then he didn’t pick up a critical moment enough to take this effort.

    2. Yes this is the thing isn’t it. Max started with the queue jumping, Lewis ended up with more 1-lap data.

      1. And flat spotted a set in the same event. Yep, smart driving by Lewis :)

  12. And Max once again demonstrates that he believes he has a right to the line he wants to take regardless of where the other cars are.

    1. @jimfromus

      And Max once again demonstrates that he believes he has a right to the line he wants to take regardless of where the other cars are.

      Yeah, Max’s wrong to be involved in Lewis mind games.

  13. I laught when the sky commentators said Hamilton doesn’t play mind games.

    1. The sky commentator in question being Jenson Button, who was his team mate for 3 years…he’s in a decent place to answer that.

      1. @MIke looks like both you and Button missed the 2016 season, is was pretty good.

        1. Yes Button did miss the 2016 season. So did deResta. I believe the question did Ham play mind games with you So I take their word on their relationship with Ham over a third party.
          Not sure how this even fits into Ham mind games, Ham was following the AT I believe reasonable close, Max dived up Hams inside to take Hams position, and then Max slowed considerably before the last turn compromising Ham further. Unless the suggestion is Ham has some control over Max’s actions?
          Seems to me Max believes he has a divine right to any bit of track he wants; whoever is occupying it at the time.

          1. I have alot of time for Max the driver but he genuinely does believe he owns the race track. It is always worth a crash with him to let him know he doesn’t. It pays off in later races.

  14. Oh yeah it’s Netflix stirring pots and making people onto villains lol.

  15. Hamilton playing “mind games” and Keith doing the same with us…

    1. Hamilton playing mind games with Max at 10s, by making Max dive down the inside against his will.

  16. As if anyone can side with Max here. He is exactly what he just called Hamilton.

  17. All I saw in that footage was that the RB was slightly faster than the Merc.

  18. Men i hate Max. He really feels he’s entitled to the tracj, i really hope he never ever wins a WDC. I will use voodoo to prevent Max from ever gaining a WDC if necesarry.

    1. LMAO, you can’t rant.

  19. Rude boy!
    Max cracks! More than 1 terse, whiny radio between Max & team.
    Last time it was all LH’s cracking under pressure.
    Horner ramping up his usual bs about Mercs adjustable ride height this time too.

  20. It was actually Verstappen who jumped Hamilton a few corners before. That’s not unusual, but surely done to rile Hamilton up a bit. And it worked as Hamilton gave up his fast lap just get back at Verstappen, but Verstappen was the one who seemed most riled up by it in the end.

  21. Wow he said idiot…. Now let’s see what internet thinks of it

  22. Jose Lopes da Silva
    23rd October 2021, 9:58

    This season is for the ages. It’s a pity if next year we end up with Jenson Button winning 6 out 7 first grand prix and then administrating the advantage.

  23. Racing incident 100%.
    No wait, it’s not Sunday.

  24. This happened to me yesterday too. Car way back sees I’m indicating to move into the left lane, accelerates to try to stop me moving, can’t make it in time and then gives an angry finger. Shrug. From the photo, I’m pretty sure Lewis didn’t even get to see the Max finger though.

  25. verstappen proving he’s just a crass tool yet again.

  26. Great to see all those frustrated ham fans jumping on the occasion.
    It’s starts to look like Dts here :)

  27. Jay (@slightlycrusty)
    23rd October 2021, 13:46

    Max, if you think it’s rude to be overtaken on the warm-up lap, don’t overtake others on the warm-up lap. Breathtaking arrogance.

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