Max Verstappen’s race-clinching overtake on Charles Leclerc at the Austrian GP is under investigation – and it could cost the Red Bull driver an epic victory.
After a magnificent duel between the two young drivers, Verstappen surged down the inside of the Ferrari into Turn Three with three laps to go but forced Leclerc off the track at the exit of the corner and the pair banged wheels.
- RACE REPORT: Verstappen overtakes Leclerc for epic win
- LIVE: Max under investigation
“What the hell was that,” Leclerc immediately said on team radio, but Verstappen was adamant that he was innocent.
“It’s hard racing, otherwise we have to stay at home,” Verstappen insisted. “If those things are not allowed in racing, then what’s the point of being in Formula 1.”
Stewards confirmed that the incident was under investigation, with both drivers set to report to them at 5pm UK time.
Sky F1‘s Martin Brundle agreed with Verstappen, adding: “If you can’t do that in Formula 1, go home. We may as well all go home.”
Leclerc: It was pretty clear
“I’ll let the stewards decide, but for me in the car, it was pretty clear,” Leclerc said after the race. “I don’t know how it looked on the outside, but we will see.
“I was on the outside just like the lap before, it was fine because he left the space for the exit on the corner, but he didn’t on the next lap, so we touched and I had to go wide and then obviously I didn’t have another chance to pass back, so it’s a shame.”
The fact Verstappen even managed to challenge Leclerc was incredible in itself, after he had an awful start off the line from the front row behind the Ferrari – ending Lap One down in seventh.
He recovered and overtook both Vettel and Bottas before encountering Leclerc in the closing stages.
“What a drive,” said Sky F1‘s Damon Hill. “And in my opinion, Verstappen was well down the inside of Charles at Turn Three, he’s way in front and he’s got the line.
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