Red Bull tell Max Verstappen ‘calm yourself down’ after agitated French GP radio message

After throwing away the lead of the race on the opening lap of the French Grand Prix, Red Bull have been on the radio to tell Max Verstappen to calm himself down after taking the net lead as Lewis Hamilton attempted the undercut in the pit stops.

Verstappen was on pole position in Paul Ricard, the fifth of his career, and initially had a fantastic start over his main title rival Hamilton, before sliding off the circuit at Turn 2, with the seven-time world champion sweeping past into the lead. 

But all changed in the pit stop window when Verstappen pitted ahead of Hamilton whilst the Dutchman was running in second place. Mercedes reacted accordingly, with a 2.2s pitstop for the reigning world champion.

However, the move didn’t work as Hamilton emerged from the pit lane behind Verstappen, handing the Dutchman the net lead.

But Verstappen was heard shouting to his engineer on the radio “Talk to me, hello?”

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” Point none and mode seven okay Max, calm yourself down,” came the response from his engineer.

“I just want to be able to do my job mate,” came the reply from the 23-year-old, looking to take his first win in France.

Hamilton came into the weekend looking to bounce back from two tough weekends in Monaco and Baku, admitting he feels ‘no pressure’ from Verstappen heading to the French GP.

The seven-time world champion lined up second on the grid for the restart, but plummeted to 15th after challenging Sergio Perez for the lead, accidentally activating a button on the car’s steering wheel – which changes brake bias settings and is used to heat the front tyres.

The seven-time world champion lined up second on the grid for the restart, but plummeted to 15th after challenging Sergio Perez for the lead, accidentally activating a button on the car’s steering wheel – which changes brake bias settings and is used to heat the front tyres.

As a result, Hamilton locked up and went straight at turn one down the escape route, finishing P15 in Baku, and despite a DNF from Verstappen, due to Hamilton’s mistake, he walked away still leading the championship.

“Max wasn’t in the race at the time so I definitely wasn’t under pressure from him,” said Hamilton.

“A mistake is when you often drive off the track after missing your braking point or a hit the wall, but it as an unforced error.

“It was something we had that was sitting there that could’ve happened at any point, and it, unfortunately, bit us pretty hard.”

Mercedes say they are to introduce a change to avoid a repeat of the switch mishap that sent Hamilton off the track amid the dramatic end to the Azerbaijan GP.

“We’ve not moved it, we’ve just put a shroud around it just to make sure that I can’t accidentally touch it in the future, but that’s for the short term, obviously the wheels not too easy to change or to move buttons as it’s all designed,” added Hamilton.

“So we’ll look for a longer-term solution in the future.”

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