Max Verstappen labelled ‘immature’ by Sir Jackie Stewart after Lewis Hamilton crash
F1 

Formula One legend Sir Jackie Stewart has said Max Verstappen is “taking longer than expected to mature”, following the Red Bull driver’s crash with Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix.

Verstappen leads the F1 drivers’ standings as he bids to dethrone seven-time champion Hamilton, but neither man recorded any points on Sunday as they took each other out of the race at Monza.

Verstappen had already conceded the race lead to eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo and suffered a nightmare 11-second pit stop before the Dutchman’s difficult afternoon ended with a coming-together with Hamilton – not for the first time this season.

The incident saw Verstappen’s Red Bull go over Hamilton’s Mercedes as both cars slid off the track, before Verstappen stormed off without checking on Hamilton, whose halo appeared to save him from a potentially serious injury.

“Verstappen is taking longer than expected to mature,” three-time champion Stewart told the Daily Mail.

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“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.”

Stewart’s compatriot Hamilton also collided with Verstappen at the British Grand Prix in July, with the Briton going on to win the race while his rival did not finish at Silverstone after the first-lap incident.

Hamilton and Verstappen were both eliminated from the Italian GP in a frightening collision (Luca Bruno/AP)

“If I were their team principals, I’d tell them: ‘For Christ’s sake, don’t do it again,’” said Stewart, 82. “Just because you are leading the world championship, it doesn’t mean you are bulletproof.”

Federation Internationale de l’Automobile officials decided Verstappen was to blame for Sunday’s incident, and as such the Dutchman will serve a three-place grid penalty at the Russian Grand Prix this weekend.

“The stewards have more information, but if they were so certain Verstappen was entirely to blame then why does he only get a three-place penalty?” asked Stewart.

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“‘If it weren’t for the halo, Lewis could have died, and the supposed culprit only gets a slap on the wrist!”

With eight races to go this season, Verstappen leads the drivers’ standings on 226.5 points, while defending champion Hamilton is second on 221.5 points.

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