Verstappen handed a 'gentle warning'

Fri Sep 2, 2016 8:32am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - Formula One's governing body has given Red Bull's Max Verstappen a "gentle warning" about his driving after a controversial Belgian Grand Prix, team principal Christian Horner said on Friday.

"(FIA race director) Charlie (Whiting) was keen to show him a replay of Spa," Horner told Sky Sports television at the Italian Grand Prix.

"It was a gentle warning to say 'that''ll be a black and white flag'...a bit of a warning."

A black and white flag can be waved, once only, at a driver during a race to warn him that he has been reported for unsporting behavior.

If the driver does it again, a black flag will be shown which tells him he has been excluded and must return immediately to the pits.

Verstappen tangled with Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at the start in Spa and then aggressively defended against Raikkonen when the Finn tried to pass later in the race.

Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, accused the 18-year-old of forcing him to brake by changing position and expressed concern that he had acted in that way as payback for what had happened earlier.

The Formula One paddock has been divided by Verstappen's actions, which were not punished by race stewards at the time, with some feeling the Dutch youngster had done no wrong while others condemned him.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Italian Grand Prix 2016 - Monza, Italy - 02/9/16 - Red Bull's Max Verstappen of the Netherlands during the first free practice.  REUTERS/Max Rossi