Verstappen's in the headlines for all the wrong reasons again
The 2022 Formula 1 season has pretty much lived up to expectations for many fans.
The sport has again been dominated by decisions, mistakes, arguments over rule changes and perceived favouritism and there has been plenty of controversial moments, whether that be driver related or the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile's own approach to in game management, such as the usage of the safety car.
For those who like a flutter, F1 offers a plethora of odds and promotional betting options to enhance their enjoyment of a race and for many, no doubt Max Verstappen will feature in their choices given how late it is in the race calendar and the advantage he has built in the standings, but Verstappen's biggest problem is he is never too far from controversy and the headlines and it is not wrong to say it is beginning to turn a lot of people off. With Mercedes showing improvement this year, they will be looking to mount a far greater challenge in 2023, and with Audi and potentially others joining up in 2026, better competition will see more action for the bookmakers and hopefully far improved excitement for the fans as most news is again focused on Verstappen and rather than it being his desire to win, it is another drip into unbridled arrogance.
The fall out from his decision to flat out ignore Red Bull race orders at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix continues to dominate. Having refused to give up is place to team mate Sergio Pérez towards the end of the race, Verstappen claimed he was reacting to 'something that happened in the past' but refused to elaborate further or properly explain himself. Perez summed it up for many was he was overheard saying 'it shows who he really is'.
The decision cost Perez two points in his battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, even though Verstappen has already tied up his place in the Championship - and his decision looks even worse as earlier in the race Perez had allowed him to pass in an attempt to pick up another win.
Rather than letting the news slip into history, Verstappen then went on to make matters worse by discussing the 'unacceptable' and 'disgusting' criticism he received following the race and he appeared to accuse the media of carrying criticism they had not aired, as he presumably failed to accurately distinguish social media criticism from real media.
"After the race, I looked very bad in the media. But they didn't have the clear picture. To immediately put me down like that is pretty ridiculous. All the things I have read are pretty disgusting. They started attacking my family, they were threatening my sister, my mum, my girlfriend, my dad. And for me that goes way too far when you don't even have the facts of what is going on. And that definitely has to stop. If you have a problem with me, that's fine, but don't go after my family because that is unacceptable."
Even with that said, he then blamed the media for fuelling the problems on social media.
"A lot of people what they have been writing about me is ridiculous. At the end of the day you contribute to all the problems social media has by writing these kinds of things. It is just incredibly disappointing to read these kind of things. I know how I am and the team knows how I work and I have always been good to the team."
Whatever defence he tries to give himself, with claims the incident was a 'miscommunication' yet the radio transcript contradicting his own claims, he will not have won himself any new fans and it is hard to believe they will be team mates for much longer.
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