FIA set for Monaco GP crackdown a year after Max Verstappen left ‘irritated’

F1 preview: A lap of the Monaco Grand Prix

FIA bosses are set to look at qualifying accidents with a “magnifying glass” in a new crackdown for the Monaco Grand Prix. Last year, Max Verstappen was left “irritated” after Sergio Perez crashed at Portier on his final lap.

The changes are intended to stop drivers from purposefully crashing after their first runs in Q3 to secure a better grid position for Sunday’s race. Ferrari star Carlos Sainz revealed details about the update on Thursday.

The Spaniard said: “It is a rule that the drivers have tried to put on the table, because when you have a front row on the first try, you always go to the second with less to lose with the others.

“It is true that the FIA already told us in Baku that they are going to be looking with a magnifying glass and if it seems half-intentional they are going to review it.

“But how can they know if it is intentional or not?” Last year’s accident ensured Perez started ahead of his team-mate on Sunday and he benefited from Ferrari mistakes to take the win.

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Verstappen moaned over team radio: “This shouldn’t be allowed. Otherwise, it’s just better to do your lap and then just bin it into the wall.” After the session, he added: “It is irritating and a pity of course that the one who put it in the wall was my team-mate.

“But in the end, you don’t get a penalty for that. So if you know you have a good first run, then you can think: ‘Ah well, you know what, I’ll park it and tactically send it into the wall.’ You could do that.”

Rumours the crash was intentional emerged late in the season and they were a theory behind Verstappen’s apathy towards his team-mate at the end of the year.

Verstappen refused to let Perez pass in Sao Paulo and mentioned the reason why was due to an incident between the pair earlier in the season. It was widely suggested that the Monaco crash was behind the feud and Verstappen refused to deny the rumours although Perez pleaded that the incident was not intentional.

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Nico Rosberg was also accused of crashing on purpose back in 2014 after running wide at Mirabeau. After the accident, title rival Lewis Hamilton said: “Ah that was very good of him. Very good.”

Michael Schumacher was penalised back in 2006 after it was determined he intentionally parked his car at the Rascasse corner to stop Fernando Alonso from challenging for pole. Verstappen backed the new rules and even suggested race stewards should go further with their punishments.

Verstappen commented: “In other categories, you see someone who causes a red flag immediately loses all his lap times in qualifying. That might be something to think about, but it doesn’t seem like the FIA wants to.

“As I said, I have to make sure that I finish a good first lap anyway. This is important because I think it’s going to be a bit more difficult for us here in Monaco. It’s closer here.”

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