F1: Verstappen Monaco Penalty A Nonsense
Max Verstappen had quite a weekend in Monaco, fast and fluid through free practice, sensible in qualifying and tactically astute during the race, where he pulled off some tidy passes.
He also directly influenced the result of the race, when he caused the sport's first Virtual Safety Car period and then the Safety Car which flummoxed Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to the extent that they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Perhaps driver steward Tom Kristensen is a big Lewis Hamilton fan and wanted to punish Max for Lewis losing the race, because the penalty for the accident - a five place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks time - has no other explanation.
It's a complete nonsense.
Verstappen's accident with Roman Grosjean was just that - a racing accident, an attempt to overtake that didn't go as planned. Verstappen tried to dummy the Lotus driver into Ste. Devote, the tight first corner at the bottom of the hill. As he switched from left to right he misjudged his speed, Grosjean's braking point or the gap between the cars, tagging Grosjean's right rear with his left front and barrelling into the safety barrier at some speed.
This was no crazy, suicidal move guaranteed to end in carnage, this was a legitimate passing attempt being made at one of the few places at Monaco where that is possible. To penalise Verstappen for this move sends completely the wrong message to the drivers (and fans).
We want overtaking. We want more of it. We even want overtaking which doesn't come off occasionally.
Because the Monaco race was pretty tedious even with the efforts of the Toro Rosso driver. Without them it would have been a complete snooze-fest.