Qatar GP: Max Verstappen happy with Brazil F1 defence and says 'we are not in kindergarten'
Max Verstappen and Lewis 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" now; stewards' decision on right of review delayed to Friday
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 19/11/21 9:23am
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 last Sunday's lap-48 incident ahead of this weekend's Grand Prix in Qatar after Race Control ruled at the time that no investigation was necessary, Verstappen and Hamilton conducted their respective Thursday media engagements while the hearing involving their respective teams was going on.
A decision on whether stewards will grant Mercedes a full review has been delayed until Friday.
- Martin Brundle's verdict on Sao Paulo and new on-board Max footage
- When could F1's world title be won?
- Sky F1's live Qatar GP schedule for this weekend
Speaking about the incident in question five days on as F1 arrived at the Losail International Circuit for the first time, Verstappen stood by his driving and 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 the race and asked during his press conference appearance how he reflected on the controversy after seeing the footage, initially replied: "I won! That's how I reflect on it.
"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."
Hamilton 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 into 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.
"I've not actually really been a part of it. Of course I'm aware of it," he added. "I've literally just tried to give all my energy to getting ready for this weekend, making sure we arrive and hit the ground running.
"I have no idea where they're going with the discussion or what could be the outcome."
Verstappen said Mercedes' challenge on the verdict did not surprise him, adding to Sky F1: "I think they already said after they got disqualified [after Friday qualifying in Brazil] they're going to complain about every single thing, even if there's tape hanging loose. I think that's a normal reaction, that's why it's kind of expected.
"It's a bit of a difference [to Silverstone, when Red Bull sought a right of review]. He still won the race, whereas in Silverstone I was in the wall. Those two are not the same. They were upset by being disqualified."