Formula One: Verstappen justifies tactics after Hamilton clash

Attempting a pass, Hamilton was forced to use the escape road through the chicane, leaving Mercedes citing Verstappen had driven "erratically and in a unsafe manner" as per Article 27.5 of the FIA Formula 1 sporting regulations. The team gave me a really strong strategy, along with a auto that felt very balanced so I was able to enjoy a successful race.

The FIA then announced that the decision would be referred to the stewards at the next race in America, with neither Hamilton nor Verstappen still present at the track to provide evidence.

The first tweet said: "There is no protest from either myself or Mercedes".

"We knew the start was going to be very decisive and we had a really good one today which allowed me to settle into my own rhythm, " commented the Dutch driver, who had a bout of poor starts during the season that ultimately compromised his finishing position in the race. Max drove well, end of.

Mercedes confirmed in a statement that they had originally lodged a protest to the FIA under the following regulation: '27.5.

According to Mercedes, their protest was withdrawn "in the interests of establishing a final official result once it became apparent that the hearing can not be concluded today".

Hamilton's great recovery should take nothing away from Rosberg's control of the race, or a very good second for Verstappen in the Red Bull, and on this form it's going to take a couple of retirements by Rosberg to give Hamilton a fighting chance of retaining his driver's title.

"It's been an awesome weekend for sure, the whole weekend had gone great from the word go", Rosberg, who led every session at Suzuka, said.

Verstappen has been a breath of fresh air for the sport since he arrived as a 17-year-old with Toro Rosso last season but his uncompromising attitude and aggressive tactics have caused controversy. Hamilton said: "I did the best I could from where I was in the race". We are champions, we move on.

Hamilton, who has now failed to win since Hockenheim at the end of July, nearly fought back to take second as the Briton tried to duck around Verstappen coming into the chicane on the last lap.

The German started from pole and was never seriously threatened through out the race.

Rosberg cruised to a comfortable win at the Suzuka circuit to tighten his grip on the title race.

Latest News