A great start from Max Verstappen on Sunday's Grand Prix, unfortunately, ended badly or the Red Bull Driver after he was tagged by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in Turn 2.

The damage caused saw his retirement from the race and ruined Red Bull’s chances of a podium finish this time.

Verstappen had been looking to redeem his performance after the summer break and was less than thrilled about the DNF. He bashed Leclerc, saying he was for hard racing, but what happened was irresponsible.

He claimed they had an excellent start for once, so that was positive, and he stayed on the outside. He felt he was well placed during the race, but as they got into the second turn, Leclerc drove into the side of his car. He could not do anything about what happened.

He reiterated everyone at that level of racing knows that downforce is lost behind a car, so that should not have been an excuse for the inadvertent contact. He stated the Ferrari two-time Grand Prix winner should have been experienced enough to know that.

The racing stewards initially ruled it a racing incident. After they reviewed the footage, they gave LeClerc a 15-second penalty for the incident and continuing to drive with a damaged front wing.

Verstappen was also annoyed by the first steward assessment, which seemed to be lenient on LeClerc. He ranted that the whole side of his car was totaled, asking what more the Ferrari driver would have to do to warrant a penalty.

The damaged front wing from LeClerc’s car ended up strewing debris back, and Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes even got a broken wing mirror.

Ferrari got a 25,000 euro fine because of the incident. LeClerc issued a formal apology statement, saying that by not bringing the car into the pits at the end of the first lap for a safety inspection he had created an unsafe condition on the circuit, which could have led to a big incident.

His actions set him back to seventh place on the grid behind Daniel Ricciardo of Renault. He does maintain third place in the championship behind Valtteri Bottas, the incidental winner of the Japanese Grand Prix, and Hamilton.

Alex Albon, Verstappen’s teammate, performed admirably in his stead, managing fourth place behind Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel, who has been regaining his form, made up the difference for Ferrari by coming in second place to deny a consecutive Mercedes podium finish.

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Max Verstappen Pixabay