Max Verstappen was left confused by the rules and procedures after claiming victory for Red Bull in what was a thoroughly eventful 2023 F1 Australian GP.
The Dutchman started the race from pole position but a poor start saw him drop to P3 behind the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton. Fortune favored the two-time world champion when a red flag for an Alex Albon crash allowed him to change his tires for free while the field waited for the restart.
Max Verstappen recounted his start in his post-race interview for Sky Sports with former F1 driver David Coulthard in Parc ferme. He said:
"We had a very poor start. Lap 1, I was very careful because I had a lot to lose and they had a lot to win. After that, I think the pace of the car was quick, you could see that straightaway. We were always there waiting for the DRS to open up to have a chance to pass."
"But with these red flags... I don't know. The first one maybe you can do it but I think the second one, I don't really understand. It was a bit of mess but we survived everything. We had a good pace in the car today again and we won, which of course is the most important thing."
The Dutchman was then asked about his close shave with Lewis Hamilton at the restart and Max Verstappen took the opportunity to aim a cheeky dig at his long-time rival. He said:
"From my side, I just tried to avoid contact. It is quite clear in the rules what is allowed, what you are allowed to do now on the outside. But clearly it is not followed but that's okay. We had good pace and we passed them anyway but it is something for the next races to take into account."
Verstappen also had a bit of a scare when he went off the track on the final turn at Albert Park but chose to see the lighter side in the incident. He said:
"I think I did the city a favour. I just cut the grass a bit more. They don't ned to do that anymore in that area. I don't know, I locked up a bit and didn't want to flat spot the tyre completely so I ran a bit wide but we had a good margin."
He finally concluded the interview by lauding Red Bull for their first win at the venue since 2011 and his maiden visit to the top step of the podium Down Under. Max Verstappen added:
"It is great to win here. My first win. It has been a while for the team as well. But very very happy and also great to see that the fans are having a good time eben now you know. They had a long wait the whole day so I'd say a big thank you to them as well to stick around."
Max Verstappen warns FIA about changing F1's DNA amid talks of removing free practice sessions
Reigning world champion Max Verstappen has warned the FIA about making too many changes to F1 after CEO Stefano Domenicali mentioned he was not a fan of free practice sessions. The Italian has been on record saying free practice sessions do little in terms of providing entertainment for the viewers.
Max Verstappen was vocal in defending the existing system in place for race weekends during an interview with motorsport.com's Italian outlet when asked to comment on the suggestion. He said:
“I don't think [Stefano Domenicali] meant exactly that [removing free practice sessions[, because obviously you can't go to qualifying without free practice. But I'm not a fan of weekends with sprints, I'm not a fan of the number of races we do nowadays.”
The Dutchman went on to add:
“I'm also not a fan of changing the whole format [without practice sessions]. They have to be careful not to change the entire DNA of Formula 1. I think it's important not to play too much with this aspect, because then, obviously, at a certain point everything stops.”
Max Verstappen has also admitted to not being a fan of F1 adding too many Sprint races to the calendar and even suggested that he may not be around for long in the sport if these trends continue.