Verstappen shrugs off braking rule clarification

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Dutch driver Max Verstappen said he had no plans to change his style after Formula One’s governing body outlawed a defensive manoeuvre that the Red Bull youngster has used to keep his rivals behind him.

Oct 22, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen (33) of Netherlands during practice for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

International Automobile Federation (FIA) race director Charlie Whiting issued a clarification at the U.S. Grand Prix on Saturday to address moves that some of the drivers have questioned.

It reminded them that cars must not be driven “in a manner which could be potentially dangerous to other drivers” and barred “any abnormal change of direction”.

“With this in mind ... any change of direction under braking which results in another driver having to take evasive action will be considered abnormal and hence potentially dangerous to other drivers,” the document added.

“Any such move will be reported to the stewards.”

Verstappen, the sport’s new young star and a race winner in Spain in May, has drawn criticism for abrupt moves while braking into a corner as speeding rivals tried to pass.

Triple world champion Lewis Hamilton cut a chicane and went down an escape road at Suzuka when that happened while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has had to take evasive action more than once.

“In the 10 years that I have been in Formula One, there’s been the same rule that all us drivers understand and it is only newcomers who have come in and potentially not abided by that,” Hamilton told reporters.

“It is about the respect that we have for one another, we’re travelling at serious speeds. You commit to your defence but you don’t do it (move again) while in braking. I think it’s great that Charlie has understood the majority of drivers’ opinions.

“The rules have to be very strict and clear because if they say you are allowed to move under braking, everyone would do it and we will all start a new way of driving which is dangerous,” added the Briton.

Verstappen agreed the rules had to be obeyed but played down the impact on him.

“I don’t think so,” he added when asked whether he would have to change his style. “I think it’s good to make it more clear what’s allowed and what’s not.

“So far it said in the rules that you could go to the inside under braking. Now it’s not. So we’ll see how that’s going to affect the racing.”

Editing by Peter Rutherford