Max Verstappen takes anger out on the team as he feels pressure’ in Charles Leclerc fight

Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton

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Max Verstappen has started ‘getting angry’ with his Red Bull engineers because of the pressure building in his battle with Charles Leclerc, according to Juan Pablo Montoya. The former F1 star claims the Dutchman is now under pressure as the team realise Ferrari ‘has a quicker car’.

This means the reigning champion must maximise his points finishes but he ‘made a mistake’ running wide at turn four in Spain. He warns Verstappen then put himself in a ‘bad situation’ which then led to him getting ‘angry’ with his team.

The 24-year-old repeatedly swore at race engineers after he was frustrated his DRS flap would not fully open. This meant he was unable to quickly pass the Mercedes of George Russell during the race’s opening stages.

The issue would have likely cost him the chance to fight for the race win if Leclerc had not suffered a mechanical failure. Another Ferrari win would have seen Leclerc extend his championship advantage to around 26 points instead of losing the lead.

Montoya said: “I think that a lot of pressure comes from the fact that the Ferrari has a quicker car at the moment. You know, they should’ve won the race. Leclerc should have won the race by a mile.

“He [Verstappen] made a mistake, he put the car on the grass. He went off into the gravel on turn four. By doing so he put himself in a bad situation and then he starts getting angry with the team. Yes, they had an issue with the DRS, but after he had the issue that went on the radio, they told him ‘ you need to be careful because you are pressing the button twice or you are closing it yourself. So be careful with that’.

“And the team did a good job changing the strategy on him and after that he executed well. They were not racing the Ferrari’s anymore, so it was a different race.“

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Verstappen has now won every race he has finished this season as the momentum starts to swing towards Red Bull. The reigning champion could have been further ahead in the standings had it not been for two early retirements in Bahrain and Australia.

Two mechanical failures from second place mean he has thrown away at least 36 points this season. However, Christian Horner defended his driver, claiming Verstappen’s frustration in Spain was justified considering the situation.

He said: “There was a little road rage going on at that point which is understandable because he must have hit the button 50 times on one straight. It is something we need to get on top of.”

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