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Max Verstappen aims dig at Lewis Hamilton over Brazilian Grand Prix fine

Max Verstappen has sarcastically mocked Lewis Hamilton over the FIA fines both drivers received following the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was fined a hefty £42,000 (€50,000) for touching his title rival’s rear wing during a controversial qualifying session in Sao Paulo, which then saw the Mercedes star receive a five-place engine penalty.

Hamilton battled back from 10th on the grid to snatch a stunning win, with his celebration including a Brazilian flag, which landed him with a breach of the International Sporting Code rule concerning seat belts, leading to FIA action.

An FIA statement read: “The driver of car 44, Lewis Hamilton, undid his seat belts on the in-lap at the end of the race. While the Stewards are sympathetic to the desire to celebrate, it is fundamentally unsafe to undo the seat belts while the car is in motion. Slow speeds in these cars are very fast for an unrestrained occupant.

“Further, Formula 1 drivers set the example for junior categories. It is critical that junior category drivers learn the importance of using all the safety devices of the car at all times.

The Briton was fined £3,700 (€5,000) plus a £14,900 (€20,000) suspended fine through 2022. The total was noticeably lower than Verstappen’s.

And ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Verstappen joked he’ll consider driving without a safety belt in future as it comes with a cheaper fine.

He told DAZN: “I’m not allowed to touch a rear wing anymore, that’s for sure.

“If you do, you have to pay a big fine, but apparently it’s cheaper to drive without the belts. So I’ll think about it.”