Lewis Hamilton says inexperience costing Max Verstappen results
"He's got fantastic pace but, as youngsters, we do not always make the right decisions," says Hamilton after Verstappen tangle in Bahrain cost Red Bull race finish
By Pete Gill and James Galloway
Last Updated: 13/12/18 11:49am
Lewis Hamilton has warned Max Verstappen is losing too many points due to inexperience.
The Red Bull driver has spun twice in the opening two events of the new 2018 season and retired from the Bahrain GP on Sunday after a clash with Hamilton caused irrevocable damage to his car.
Hamilton and Verstappen blamed each other after the race and the world champion believes the incident was symptomatic of the 20-year-old making too many mistakes due to immaturity.
"I just think for him, he's a young driver and is going to be learning all the time, he's got fantastic pace but, as youngsters, we do not always make the right decisions," said Hamilton, who is 13 years Verstappen's senior.
"It's interesting to hear from Christian [Horner] because they have got a car that should be getting good results and through these kind of… I don't know if they are inexperienced, or not potentially mature, decisions, they're not getting the results they would have. He should have finished a decent race really because he's good enough to do that."
Hamilton, speaking in a late-night media briefing before departing for this weekend's Chinese GP, added: "I think to myself if Fernando [Alonso]'s in that car today he would have finished a decent race and got points for Red Bull. I'd like to think if I was in that car today I would have got points for Red Bull.
"I just hope for them he's learning through whatever situation he's going through. I went through that stuff when I was younger so I know how it is and it's easy to also get ahead of yourself and forget to respect the other guys that you're racing against."
Verstappen and Hamilton clashed on the second lap in Bahrain when the Red Bull passed the Mercedes but clipped the W09 in the process, puncturing his rear-left tyre. After limping around the track, during which time the RB14's transmission was damaged, Verstappen retired from the race moments later.
The stewards looked at the tangle but swiftly ruled no action was necessary. Verstappen's Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, described it as a "racing incident".
"I came back and I looked at the replay and my opinion hasn't changed," said Hamilton on Sunday night.
"We were racing, which was all fine, and often when the car is on the outside you should end up running out of road. If you look at it I was actually ahead for quite a period of time and then I accepted defeat and I just backed out because I knew he was going to try to run me wide.
"But then he just kept going - he didn't need to keep going to the edge of the track. He supposedly said he left room, but he didn't. If you look, he was right to the white line. He didn't need to go there because I'd already backed out."