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Ted Kravitz

Ted Kravitz disagrees with Verstappen’s penalty: It was “hard racing”

Max Verstappen was one of two drivers who received a penalty during the Las Vegas Grand Prix last weekend

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Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports F1 has shared his thoughts on the penalty that Max Verstappen received during the Las Vegas Grand Prix last weekend. 

Ted Kravitz on Las Vegas Grand Prix and Verstappen's penalty
Max Verstappen takes the lead from Charles Leclerc at lights out in Las Vegas. (Credit: x @F1)

The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix is complete and the race around the Las Vegas Strip Circuit marked the 18th win for Max Verstappen this season. The Dutchman began the race in P2 after Carlos Sainz took a 10-place grid penalty, but it wasn’t all plain-sailing for Verstappen.

The penalty Verstappen received was given because the stewards deemed that he “forced” Charles Leclerc off the track. The FIA document stated:

“Car 1 appeared to miss the apex of Turn 1, did not follow the racing line and consequently forced Car 16 off the track.”

Over the radio at the time, Leclerc said that Verstappen had pushed him off. At the time, Red Bull said that they weren’t going to give the order for Verstappen to give the position back to Leclerc and so Verstappen kept the lead of the race.

However, once he was given the five-second penalty, the commentators were debating whether or not it was harsh enough. In his post-race Ted’s Notebook, Ted Kravitz shared his opinion on Verstappen’s penalty, claiming it was just “hard racing”.

Kravitz’s disagreement

Ted Kravitz spoke in his post-race show about Verstappen’s five-second penalty. He shared his thoughts, conveying his disagreement with the steward’s decision. Kravitz said:

“If we go to how Max Verstappen did it, well, it began with a very stout defence against Charles Leclerc on lap one. Now you can look at this two ways.

“The stewards decided to look at it in a way that merited a five-second penalty for forcing another driver off the track. I don’t know, I’ve kind of seen that before.”

Kravitz went on to give his take, saying that it wasn’t worthy of a penalty because it was just Verstappen doing some “hard racing.” He continued:

“I sort of felt that that was sort of hard racing. You go down, you’ve got somebody on the outside, and then you’re kind of walking him gently to the outside, compromising him while then you cut in and they go off.

“Is that not allowed anymore? I mean, yes, it was firm. It did cause another driver to go off the track.”

Verstappen and Leclerc - Kravitz
Max Verstappen overtakes Charles Leclerc at turn one during the F1 Grand Prix of Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

During his Ted’s Notebook, Kravitz then touched on how Red Bull could have avoided the penalty. As mentioned above, Red Bull didn’t order Verstappen to give the position back to Leclerc, they let him keep the lead. On this, Kravitz said:

“What Red Bull should have done of course, was say, ‘Look, you know what the stewards are like’ – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, they could give you a penalty for breaking wind these days – ‘What you need to do Max is give Charles the place back, wait a lap and then inevitably pass him again.’

“They didn’t do that. So Max picked up the five-second penalty, which he served in his stop.

“Very good pitstop and he actually recovered to not only pass Charles Leclerc but there was a nice fight with Sergio Perez, his teammate, so that was what happened with that.”

One final race

Next weekend is the season finale in Abu Dhabi. Ferrari are only four points behind Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship. Leclerc, however, is currently in P7. But he’s only a few points behind his teammate, Sainz, in fourth. With one race left, it’s all to play for.

Headline image: GettyImages

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