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‘Repeat offender’ Max’s driving was ‘not acceptable’ – Lauda

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Verstappen - 2016 Mexican GP

Former Formula One driver and Mercedes team chairman Niki Lauda cautioned that, the young F1 sensation Max Verstappen is in risk of destroying his own F1 career if he continues with the over-aggressive driving, disrespect and haughtiness that he said he again demonstrated in Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

F1 triple time world champion blamed Max for opening lap incident with Rosberg that “could have cost Nico the championship.”

Lauda said the 19-year-old Verstappen’s driving was “not acceptable”.

“Nico was clearly in front,” he said. “And Verstappen then rams him off the track. This could have cost Nico the championship. It is not acceptable.

“It’s Verstappen’s fault. He drives too aggressively. At some point, he has to realise it.”

Lauda agreed the FIA’s decision – says Verstappen deserved his five seconds penalty for going off-track at Turn 1.

“That was a just and right decision,” he said. “A repeat offender like him has to be penalised.

“Helmut Marko (Red Bull’s driver adviser) should talk to him. If he didn’t drive that aggressively, he would develop much better.

“His talent is unbelievable, but then he smashes it all with these stupid actions.

“He doesn’t realise -? he thinks he is doing everything right, but he doesn’t. He has to calm down.”

Asked about his finger-wagging at Vettel during their scrap, Lauda added: “The next insolence -? I don’t know where this arrogance comes from. I don’t understand it.

“This is a lost cause -? the fury of the other drivers just gets bigger and bigger.”

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