Max Verstappen on Lewis Hamilton practice block: “It’s not the first time…”

Max Verstappen has reacted to the blocking incident with Lewis Hamilton in FP2 at Imola.

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy,
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 World Championship,…

Max Verstappen says it is "not the first time" he has been blocked by Lewis Hamilton after the pair's scuffle during second practice at the F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. 

The 2021 title rivals clashed in FP2 on Friday at Imola when a slow-moving Hamilton got in Verstappen’s way during one of the Red Bull driver’s fast laps.

Hamilton appeared to immediately acknowledge responsibility for the near-miss as he gestured an apology to Verstappen, who cut in front of the Mercedes driver.

The pair did not make contact but Verstappen was visibly irked by Hamilton’s driving.

"It's not the first time,” he told F1TV. “You try to, of course, always stay calm about it. But yeah, it happened again.

"But at the other end, I don't want to really talk about it too much, because that's not our issue today.”

Verstappen was not the only driver who was annoyed by Hamilton's driving, with Fernando Alonso also taking aim at the seven-time world champion for a separate incident in the early stages of FP2.

The Aston Martin driver complained over team radio: “Hamilton thinks that he's alone on the track!”

Verstappen endured an uncharacteristically difficult day as he struggled with his RB20 throughout both sessions. 

The reigning world champion and championship leader ended the day seventh and over half a second adrift of the pacesetting Ferrari driven by Charles Leclerc. Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was only eighth.

Verstappen admitted Red Bull were “severely off the pace” at Imola.

"A difficult day. Just difficult to get a good balance and just not really feeling comfortable in the car, moving around a lot," Verstappen explained.

"It's very easy to lose the car, so we have a few things that we have to look at because today definitely. Just bad, just not comfortable. Also the long run was really bad.

“So definitely a few things that we have to improve if we want to be competitive tomorrow. Today we were just severely off the pace that we need to fix.”

He added: "I guess it can't be worse than what we had today, right?

“We will look at a few things that we can do better for tomorrow. But yeah, it looks a bit like the others took a bit of a step forward. And from our side just a bad day.’'

Read More