Verstappen looks to defy the odds in Russia

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2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Round 15

Russian Grand Prix

Sochi Autodrom

Sunday 26 September 2021



Max Verstappen will look to defy the odds when he races in Round 15 of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship, the Russian Grand Prix, at the Sochi Autodrom on the afternoon of Sunday 26 September.


The Red Bull Racing-Honda driver tops the Drivers’ title standings with 226.5 points, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton breathing down his neck on 221.5. The pair came to blows at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month, colliding at the second corner midway through the race in an incident which left Verstappen’s car on top of Hamilton’s and put them both out of the race.

Lewis Hamilton
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Verstappen was hit with a three-place grid penalty for his role in the accident, meaning he will only start from fourth or lower for the Russian GP. Former F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve has hit out at the stewards at Monza for penalising the Dutchman, arguing that wheel-to-wheel racing will be discouraged by such punishments.


They gave [Verstappen] a penalty because the Red Bull ended up on top of Hamilton's head. So you get a penalty for the consequences, and not for the actions, while they always say the consequence shouldn't count,” said the Canadian.

Sergio Perez
Image copyright: Getty Images


Verstappen is always very aggressive, but with Hamilton he is even more aggressive. Then when you put those two together in a corner, they start to overdo it. But these moments are part of Formula 1. If you start giving penalties for this every time, then they will never race again because they don't dare to overtake.”


Red Bull Racing-Honda boss Christian Horner added, “We are disappointed with the three-place grid penalty, but accept the decision of the stewards. What happened between Max and Lewis was, in our opinion, a genuine racing incident.


You can argue for both sides, but ultimately it's frustrating and disappointing to see both cars out of the race in what is proving to be an exciting championship."


Drivers’ Championship standings

1 – Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing-Honda, 226.5 points

2 – Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 221.5 points

3 – Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 141

4 – Lando Norris, McLaren-Mercedes, 132

5 – Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing-Honda, 118


Constructors’ Championship standings

1 – Mercedes, 362.5 points

2 – Red Bull Racing-Honda, 344.5

3 – McLaren-Mercedes, 215

4 – Ferrari, 201.5

5 – Alpine-Renault, 95


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Published: 09/23/2021