Jos Verstappen says the allegations made by his son Max against Ferrari are “understandable”, although the Red Bull driver might have been better off keeping his thoughts to himself.
After a downbeat performance from the Scuderia in the US Grand Prix that contrasted with its recent form, an unequivocal Verstappen contended that the Italian outfit’s underperformance in Austin was because it had stopped cheating.
In Verstappen’s view, Ferrari’s dip in performance in Texas was directly related to the publication by the FIA on Saturday of a technical directive that clarified a potential illicit loophole in F1’s fuel flow engine regulations.
The Red Bull driver’s claim understandably drew the ire of Ferrari, with team boss Mattia Binotto insisting the comments were “completely wrong” and detrimental to the sport.
Speaking on Dutch TV’s Ziggo Sport show, Jos Verstappen agreed that Max’s statement wasn’t useful, but also explained why it likely wasn’t fake news.
“I saw it and thought: Oh no!” Verstappen Sr. said. “It might not have been the smartest statement, but I do understand Max, because he is very driven and wants to win.
“After the summer break he had a zero percent chance against Ferrari and this weekend there was no difference.
“I think everyone knows that Ferrari used a loophole. It explains why sometimes they are suddenly extremely fast on the straight. It perhaps isn’t cheating, but morally it isn’t quite right.
“I’m glad there is clarity now, because everyone was wondering what Ferrari was doing.”