Verstappen thought F1 burnout celebration was “funny and safe”

Max Verstappen felt his victory celebration burnout at Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix was “really funny and safe” but says he understands the FIA’s stance on safety.
Verstappen thought F1 burnout celebration was “funny and safe”

The Red Bull driver slowed as he crossed to perform burnouts in front of his team on the pit wall in celebration of his fourth victory of the season in Austria.

But the FIA took a dim view on Verstappen’s actions, with F1 race director Michael Masi warning Red Bull it “will not be tolerated” again in the future.

“I’ll try to do a donut next time!” Verstappen joked when asked about the burnout feedback from the FIA ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

“No, I understand of course about safety,” the Dutchman added. “But I looked in my mirrors, took it all the way to right and took it easy - everyone was on the left - and then I just did a burnout.

“OK, if it’s not allowed, I won’t do it again. But at the time I thought it was really funny and safe but of course I understand they don’t want to see this happening again, which is fine for me.”

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso defended Verstappen’s celebration and said he felt the FIA should focus on policing track limits rather than burnouts.

Nicholas Latifi was the first driver to cross the line after Verstappen and said he felt the celebration was done in a safe manner, unlike when the Williams racer was caught up in a huge crash with Roberto Merhi at the Red Bull Ring following a Formula Renault 3.5 race in 2015.

“When I was coming to the finish line, I saw Max pulling to the inside to celebrate with the team like most drivers do. So I just make sure to stay as far to the left as possible,” Latifi explained.

“I guess in general, just as a rule of thumb, it’s probably not the best thing to really slow down that much. Obviously in that situation there was no cars directly behind him that were racing and obviously that wasn’t the situation all those years ago in 2015.

“I was racing with another car quite close and as a result, I kind of had my eye in the mirrors and was not expecting a car to be stopped right in front of me on the grid.

"So obviously, it can end very badly, as we saw back in 2015. I think it just has to be a bit of a compromise in that sense.

“Michael thought it was dangerous, so I don’t think a lot of other cars will be doing that in the future. So it’s probably best to not slow down that much.”

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