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Thu Mar 30 22:29:27 SAST 2017

Verstappen berated for ramming Rosberg

Reuters | 2016-11-01 08:29:55.0
British Grand Prix 2015
Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said Verstappen's driving was exciting but agreed that the 19-year-old should have shown more respect for a title contender who ultimately finished second and is now 19 points clear with two races remaining. File photo
Image by: Reuters

Mercedes bosses criticised Red Bull's Max Verstappen after the Dutch teenager banged wheels with Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg at the start of the Mexican Grand Prix before later aggressive attempts to overtake.

"Nico clearly was in front and Verstappen rams him off the track," nonexecutive chairman Niki Lauda said of the first corner incident.

"This could have cost Nico the championship. This is not acceptable.

"His talent is unbelievable but then he smashes it all with these stupid actions."

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff said Verstappen's driving was exciting but agreed that the 19-year-old should have shown more respect for a title contender who ultimately finished second and is now 19 points clear with two races remaining.

"I think it's refreshing how he drives. His driving is ruthless, I like that," the Austrian told reporters.

"I think that the team gave him a radio call ... when he was catching up that said 'keep it clean with Nico' and this is exactly what I would have said to him. You don't bang wheels with the championship leader three races from the end [of the season]."

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