Nico Hulkenberg says he has little problem with F1’s “rebel” Max Verstappen.
19-year-old Dutchman Verstappen is making waves among the sport’s rule makers and his fellow drivers for a spate of aggressive driving.
But German driver Hulkenberg told the Dutch talk show Pauw: “Max is a bit of a rebel at the moment. He’s a tough racer, but I think it’s good.
“I think it’s part of the game,” the 2017 works Renault driver added.
“He drives with his elbows a little bit out, and what he does is sometimes extreme, as he is sometimes very late,” Hulkenberg said, referring to the Red Bull driver’s most controversial defensive manoeuvres.
“So he gives the car behind very little chance to do something else. There will be incidents, but that’s racing,” he insisted.
In the wake of the latest controversy, in which quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel unleased a foul-mouthed tirade against Verstappen, Hulkenberg is expecting a long drivers briefing in Brazil this weekend.
“The next briefing will probably be long, so I’ll bring something to eat,” he laughed. “If Sebastian starts talking about Max, it will take a long time.
“There is a little bit of friction,” Hulkenberg continued, “but it’s competition and that’s part of it. That’s what racing is and what people want to see.”