Max Verstappen takes shot at FIA chiefs and Red Bull star supported by fellow drivers

Chris Evans says Max Verstappen needs to 'be a bit nicer'

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen thinks the FIA race directors are “stubborn” and has called for the chiefs to listen to the drivers more often. Following Michael Masi’s sacking due to the controversial finish of the 2021 season, the FIA introduced two race directors; Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

The pair alternate races and are backed by a support team to give advice on key decisions. But there have still been inconsistencies in decision-making this term and Verstappen wants attitudes to change.

“I don’t think it necessarily depends on [having] a single race director,” Verstappen said. “I think it’s more about working with the drivers rather than standing your ground and being stubborn.

“We want it to be better for everyone and it’s not like we’re fighting for ourselves,” said Verstappen. “We have good conversations between the drivers and at the end of the day, more or less, we agree on most things.

“Of course, everyone has their own opinions on certain things.”

Mercedes star George Russell was disappointed with his five-second penalty for colliding with Sergio Perez at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend and he echoed Verstappen’s calls.

“The dynamic of every incident is different,” Russell explained. “The fact is that Checo was on the outside and I had to give him space.

“But when it puts me in a position where I’m already on the limit with my car and someone comes into the corner with more grip, there’s nowhere else for me to go.

“[If we take it] literally, I was wrong and he was right.

“But from the moment I braked, I was at the limit of the car and couldn’t do anything else. He had clean air, Carlos [Sainz] was defending on the inside.

“That’s what happens on the first lap, he’s got a lot of experience, he knows how it goes.

“But from the stewards’ perspective, it’s very difficult. We’re all looking for consistency, but we don’t want penalties being applied left and right.

“We have to work together to establish that we are all on the same page.”

Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc added: “I think consistency has always been something we’ve been looking for and it can always be improved. Obviously having two race directors makes it a bit more difficult.

“Is it impossible to achieve a good level of consistency? I don’t think so.”

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