A five second penalty for gaining an unfair advantage when overtaking Kimi Räikkönen in the last lap cost Dutch Formula 1 driver Max Verstappen third place in the American Grand Prix.
A furious Verstappen, who was told of his demotion just before the prize-giving ceremony, called steward Gary Connely ‘a moron’ in front of the cameras and accused him of picking on him.
‘Everybody is running wide, including myself, everywhere. I am the only one who’s being punished for it. (..) Put some people there who know something about racing and who are not out to get you,’ the paper quotes him as saying of the incident.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner commented that if organisers don’t want drivers to leave the track they need to take measures, such as putting down gravel or higher curb stones. Now it depends on the steward of the day, he told the AD.
According to Britain’s Telegraph, the general consensus after the race was that the steward had taken the correct decision as all four tyres had left the track prior to Verstappen moving up a position.
The 20-year-old had started the race in 16th place after receiving a 15-place grid penalty for using his sixth engine of the season.
The race was won by Lewis Hamilton who only needs nine points from the trip to Mexico City next week to take the championship.