Verstappen 'has made his peace' with Austin penalty

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Malaysian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Max Verstappen says that his thrilling but disallowed pass on Kimi Raikkonen during the final lap of the United States Grand Prix was an example of the problem all drivers had with overtaking in 2017.

Verstappen managed to pass the Ferrari in Austin, but only by running off the track in the process. A subsequent five second penalty meant that Verstappen was demoted back behind the Finn in the final classifications.

He was incensed at the time, but now says that the whole matter is behind him.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: 'Why? It was a great move!'" Verstappen told his official web site.

"But when you look at the rules, it was not correct," he admitted. "Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalised for it

"You always need to focus on the positives," he continued. "It’s always nice to be on the podium. But to finish fourth after having started sixteenth is still a great result.

"[The penalty] wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it," he added. "It was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap."

Earlier the same month he had triumphed over Lewis Hamilton to win his first race of 2017 in Malaysia.

“It felt good," he agreed. "But honestly, it doesn’t matter who I fight with as long as it is for the win. It wasn’t a particularly special feeling."

Verstappen went on to win again in Mexico after passing Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap. Even so, Verstappen still lamented the difficulties with overtaking under the current regulations, with wider cars and greater downforce.

"This year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes," Verstappen said. "With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights.

"[It's] really not that satisfying compared to last year," he admitted.

That said, Verstappen said that he was overall happier with the 2017-specification cars.

"I think in general yes," he commented. "It's been a bit more positive because it's more like a race car. Last year's was a bit more like a toy car for my feeling.

"This year it's a bit more rough," he said. "It's harder to drive but in general it's also just more enjoyable.

"You can go a lot faster into the corners without being too worried about locking fronts and stuff, and I think that helped me."

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