NOVEMBER 2, 2016
Verstappen defended by former F1 driver Lammers
Former F1 driver Jan Lammers has leapt to the defence of Max Verstappen, following the latest bout of criticism aimed at the young Dutchman.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel called the 19-year-old a "c---" in Mexico and was also blasted by Mercedes bosses for a clash with championship leader Nico Rosberg.
Lammers, 60, acknowledged that as a fellow Dutchman he admires his country's new racing hero, but also insisted he is a "big fan of objectivity".
"With that in mind I need to get something of my chest," he wrote on his Facebook page.
"I thought about the criticism and looked back at what Verstappen did that was so terrible. Looking back from when he started his first GP in 2015, I conclude that it was nothing -- absolutely nothing," said Lammers.
"Yes, he did upset a few people, simply because he passed them in a brilliant way or they couldn't pass him because he was clever and skilful in defending. Of course he 'nearly' touched people or they 'nearly' touched him, but that's the skill part of it!"
Lammers, whose last F1 race was in 1992, also aimed fire at Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda, who after Mexico blasted Verstappen's aggression as "arrogant" and "unacceptable".
But Lammers argued that Verstappen has in fact never damaged another competitor's car.
"How many of you formula one drivers can say that over the last two years?" he said. "Certainly not your two choir boys, Mr Lauda!"