Verstappen and Hamilton reflect on the events of Interlagos – and that lap-48 incident – on the opening day of the inaugural Qatar GP; Verstappen defends his driving, while Hamilton says he has a “different viewpoint naturally now” after watching relays and new on-board footage
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 18/11/21 6:34pm
Max Verstappen says “we are not here to be in a kindergarten” as he defended his “hard racing” against Lewis Hamilton in the Sao Paulo GP.
With Mercedes attempting to get the stewards’ to review the incident ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix in Qatar after Race Control ruled during last Sunday’s race that no investigation was necessary, Verstappen and Hamilton conducted their respective Thursday media engagements while the hearing was going on.
A decision on whether stewards will granted a full review has been delayed until Friday.
Verstappen said he would accept the same kind of defence from Hamilton.
“Listen, if it would have been the other way around in Brazil it would have exactly played out like that,” he told Sky Sports F1.
“It’s hard racing. We are fighting for a championship; we are not here to be in a kindergarten.”
Hamilton largely kept his counsel on the incident during and after last Sunday’s race and, initially asked during his press conference appearance how he reflected on the lap-48 incident after seeing the footage, replied: “I won! That’s how I reflect on it.”
Smiling, he then elaborated: “It was such a difficult weekend and such a lot of emotions, but we got there. We didn’t give up, we stayed united as a team and we got the result we dreamed of.”
He added: “If you sit in the car, in the moment, and complain it’ll only hold you back, So in the moment I had to keep moving forward.
“Also, it’s difficult to judge on something that you’ve not seen all the angles. Of course, I’ve relooked at it and have a different viewpoint naturally now.
“But, as I said, I’m just putting all my energy to setting up the car and making sure I’m in the right headspace this weekend.”
Hamilton said he was letting the Mercedes team focus on their review challenge, with representatives from both the world champions and Red Bull meeting the Brazil stewards via video conference on Thursday.