Max Verstappen in X-rated radio message after just avoiding crash
F1 preview: A lap of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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Max Verstappen hit out at race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase in an X-rated rant moments after dodging Lando Norris in FP3. Norris almost collided with Verstappen on the exit of turn five as the pair struggled for room in the tight first sector.
The McLaren star was on a hot lap while Verstappen slowed on the racing line on a cool down run. Norris was forced to abandon his run and ease off the throttle but Verstappen was incensed with Lambiase.
The incident was noted by the stewards and there were fears Verstappen could be slapped with a penalty just hours ahead of qualifying. He moaned on the radio: “’Mate! *********”.
Lambiase quickly apologised while Verstappen sped up to re-pass Norris. After getting past the Briton, Verstappen raised his hand acknowledging his error.
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Norris was also unhappy at the near-miss and warned race engineer Will Joseph just how close he came to a major shunt. He said: “It’s dangerous what these guys do, they need to use the radio or something, that could have been a massive crash.”
Joseph simply replied: “Okay understood.” Race stewards eventually dropped the investigation meaning neither driver will face sanctions. Red Bull appear to have a considerable pace advantage in Jeddah with the Dutchman almost a second faster than their nearest competitors.
Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin was a staggering 0.998s slower on Saturday afternoon with Lewis Hamilton back in fifth. Despite the strong performance, Verstappen refused to get carried away on Friday.
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He explained: “Today out on track was about fine tuning things, we had a positive day but there are still quite a few things we can do better.
“On the long runs we all seemed fairly close to each other but it’s more because of managing the tyres because they don’t really let you push around here at the moment. With a very low deg circuit then the lap times will always be very close, so it is definitely not going to be like Bahrain.”
Traffic has been a problem for many with Lewis Hamilton also getting caught out on Saturday. The Mercedes star flicked his hand in annoyance as he was forced to run wide at turn 15.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were also affected on Friday while Lance Stroll also narrowly avoided a heavy shunt in sector one.
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