The 2021 world championship leader was involved in a dramatic collision with F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton midway through the Italian Grand Prix as the pair battled for position at the first chicane.

In his attempts to sweep around the outside of Hamilton into Turn 1 to claim the apex for Turn 2, Verstappen bounced over the sausage kerb and clipped Hamilton’s left-rear wheel, launching him airborne onto Hamilton’s Mercedes.

Verstappen’s car ended up landing on top of Hamilton, with his right-rear wheel coming down across the roll hoop and Halo before striking Hamilton’s helmet. Both drivers were beached in the gravel trap and forced to retire on the spot.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, Stewart said he was disappointed by Verstappen’s actions in the aftermath of the incident, as well as for getting caught up in it in the first place.

“Verstappen is taking longer than expected to mature,” said the 82-year-old, who won the 1969, 1971 and 1973 world championships.

“Not even to go to see Hamilton after a serious accident when you have just driven over the top of the guy is something I don't really understand.

“Especially when he is still in his car and remained there for a long time before getting out. Max has quite a lot to learn. But who will he listen to?

“He's very, very good. He's probably the fastest driver on the grid now, but to be a proper champion you cannot be entangling yourself in crashes all the time.

“If I were their team principals, I'd tell them, ‘For Christ's sake, don't do it again'. Just because you are leading the world championship, it doesn't mean you are bulletproof.”

Verstappen was deemed to be “predominantly” at fault for the collision by the Monza stewards and has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Russia.

But Stewart, who played an instrumental role in improving safety standards in F1, has described the punishment as “a slap on the wrist”.

“The stewards have more information, but if they were so certain Verstappen was entirely to blame then why does he only get a three-place penalty?" he said. 

"If it weren't for the halo, Lewis could have died, and the supposed culprit only gets a slap on the wrist!”