Sir Jackie Stewart Slams “Immature” Max Verstappen Over Monza GP Collision
Now… we have had our disagreements with Sir Jackie Stewart. Not that he reads this publication, so he won’t know that we have had disagreements with some of his public utterances. But when he talks we always listen because during his time in Formula One he became the greatest F1 champion of them all in terms of race wins. And he drove in an era when driver safety was at the bottom of the list, if at all. Stewart has used his authority as a former F1 champion to lead the improvement of driver safety. When he reaches his next destination, he will leave a legacy of forward-thinking, being ahead of his time and arguably saving many lives that otherwise would have been lost. He has been at the top of his profession and has experienced the sorrow and suffering of losing friends to the perils of motor racing. And now he has voiced his opinion about the recent clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Italian Grand Prix.
Verstappen’s no retreat-no surrender mentality caused a collision with Hamilton while fighting for position at Monza’s low-speed Rettifilo Chicane. The two title protagonists ended up touching wheels that launched the Red Bull into the air and over Hamilton’s Mercedes. The Red Bull bounced over the roll hoop and the right rear wheel connected and bounced off Hamilton’s crash helmet. Were it not for the Halo the crash could have resulted in a very serious injury for Hamilton. Possibly even death.
Race stewards later adjudged Verstappen to be the cause of the incident and slapped him with a 3-place grid penalty for the next race. Sir Jackie Stewart was not impressed with Verstappen’s judgment under pressure. Speaking to the media in a recent interview he basically labeled Verstappen as being ‘immature’:
Sir Jackie Stewart:
“Verstappen is taking longer than expected to mature. Not even to go to see Hamilton after a serious accident when you have just driven over the top of the guy is something I don’t really understand.”
“Especially when he is still in his car and remained there for a long time before getting out. Max has quite a lot to learn. But who will he listen to?”
“He’s very, very good. He’s probably the fastest driver on the grid now, but to be a proper champion you cannot be entangling yourself in crashes all the time.”
“If it weren’t for the halo, Lewis could have died, and the supposed culprit only gets a slap on the wrist!”
“If I were their team principals, I’d tell them, “For Christ’s sake, don’t do it again”. Just because you are leading the world championship, it doesn’t mean you are bulletproof”