Max Verstappen still feels he was punished unfairly in his clash with Valtteri Bottas at the Italian Grand Prix and believes other Formula 1 drivers have got away with worse in the past.

The Red Bull driver received a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Bottas as the pair scrapped for third place in the closing stages of the race, with Verstappen ultimately dropping to fifth behind Sebastian Vettel.

The penalty prompted an angry response from Verstappen over team radio as he hit out at the stewards for "killing racing". 

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“I did calm down - It’s just when I think it’s unfair, I get angry. I think it’s quite a normal reaction when you think something’s unfair and you are unfairly treated, you get angry. At least that’s how it is with me,” Verstappen told media ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. 

“Looking back at it, initially I thought I could’ve given it a few more millimetres, not centimetres but millimetres, but still he was on the white line. To avoid an accident there was still room to the left, but he clipped my wheel. There was no damage and that is why it was very hard.”

The Dutchman said he felt even more hard done by after viewing video clips of previous incidents between drivers at Monza, adding the penalty was “very harsh”.

“So then I was analysing other videos from the year before, because when you go back 10, 15 years before it is a bit irrelevant with the rules and stuff. The same happened exactly between Stroll and Massa, where Massa was very clever.

“He didn’t clip his wheel but stayed on the white line. He took a little bit of the green, but his tyre was still on the white line. I always try to make it as difficult as possible for them to get by, and I will fight for every millimetre on the track, which I did. So I think it’s still very harsh.”

Verstappen believes his controversial on-track clashes have been made worse by the fact he is fighting against more powerful cars.

"I have to defend this hard because I am always down on power on the straight. If we have the top speed you will never be in this position.

I could also easily just say, ‘let him go by’, and then still have a great race and have everyone says ‘Max did an amazing race’. But I’m not there to finish fourth.”

And Verstappen, who has come under fire for his aggressive driving style on a number of occasions, reiterated that he sees no reason to change his approach.

“I felt I didn’t do anything wrong,” he explained. “Like I said, I’m also pushed into this position because we are so slow on the straight. Let’s say I had his engine, I wouldn’t even be in that position. It’s just what we are racing with.

“I just look at previous incidents. Even during the race, like I said, other things happen and then they don’t get a penalty at all while I think that was actually quite aggressive, and then I get a penalty for, in my view, not doing anything wrong.”



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