Verstappen says Hamilton not open about safety
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[July 02, 2016]
By Alan Baldwin
SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Red
Bull's Max Verstappen has suggested triple Formula One world
champion Lewis Hamilton sometimes hides his real feelings about
driver safety because he wants to appear 'cool'.
The Mercedes driver has criticized moves to introduce a 'halo'
cockpit head protection system next season and also mocked rivals
for 'moaning' about the track at Azerbaijan's first race this month.
Verstappen, the 18-year-old who became the sport's youngest winner
in Spain last month, said Hamilton appeared to express other views
"That what he says in the media but when he talks to his team itís
different," the Dutchman told British reporters at the Austrian
"In the media he's saying like he doesn't care. I had an incident in
the driverís briefing saying the (Baku) pit entry was quite tricky
and heís like 'Oh, you shouldnít bother about it'," he said.
"But then Nico (Rosberg) jumped in and said 'Wait Lewis, you just
said you were getting (nervous) when you were always entering the
pit lane. So what is this approach?'. Maybe he wants to be cool."
Hamilton's Mercedes team mate Rosberg, who won the race and now
leads the championship by 24 points, had been one of those raising
concerns as had 2009 champion Jenson Button, a former partner of the
Briton at McLaren.
The long Baku pit entry, coming off one of the fastest straights in
the sport, alarmed some drivers as did the lack of runoff areas
where the track entered streets around the old walled city.
"These drivers, they moan so much about so many things," Hamilton
had said after going fastest in Friday's free practice in Baku.
[to top of second column]
Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands reacts
at the paddock area. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
Verstappen, who has been skeptical in the past about cockpit
protection systems and had a big crash in Monaco last year when at
Toro Rosso, said he was "pretty much in the middle" when it came to
"Monaco is not safe, but it's really challenging you. But you go
290-300kph. In Baku you go 350, 360. I think we shouldnít go much
faster than that on a street circuit because it will be pretty
dangerous," he said.
"We are looking for safety, we donít want to die on the track. It
needs to be bit of a risk but..."
(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)
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