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2019 F1

Long wait for victory decision stressful

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Red Bull and Max Verstappen had a long wait to discover if their highly popular victory in the exciting Austrian GP would stand.

Stewards deliberated for almost four hours before confirming that the Dutchman would not be penalised for his overtaking move on Charles Leclerc.

“It was very stressful,” Max’s father Jos Verstappen said. “Then there was the fake news (about a penalty for Verstappen).

“It took, what — three and a half hours?” the former F1 driver added.

One conclusion was that the stewards took so long to make their decision because of the ruckus caused recently following the highly unpopular time penalty in Canada that cost Sebastian Vettel victory.

“The problem is that if you punish someone, you must be consistent in your decisions,” Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur told Canal Plus.

The Verstappen and Red Bull camp said it could hardly believe that the victory on Sunday was ever in doubt.

“Isn’t this what people want to see?” Jos Verstappen is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.

“If they take it away, maybe we should go to Indycar next year,” he joked.

Dr Helmut Marko agrees: “It wasn’t an incident, it was racing.

“If they want to talk about it, they can go to a traffic safety meeting. I don’t want to talk about it at all.”

FIA race director Michael Masi explained to Auto Motor und Sport that the decision took so long because they waited for Verstappen and Leclerc to complete their media duties before an hour-long hearing with the drivers.

“We think the verdict is wrong,” Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto said afterwards. “But in the interest of the sport, this time we are not going to protest.”

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