Max Verstappen's maturity has been questioned in the wake of his crash with Lewis Hamilton at the recently concluded Italian Grand Prix. Sir Jackie Stewart criticised the Dutch driver's lack of interest in finding out the state of the Mercedes driver after such a severe crash, especially since the Red Bull landed on the Silver Arrows car grazing Hamilton's head in the process.
The 83-year-old was not impressed with Verstappen's attitude in the aftermath of the collision and is unsure when he will grow up and begin taking more responsibility for his actions. The Dutch driver, who is currently leading the world championship, will serve a three-place grid penalty at the next race in Sochi after he was deemed as the driver predominantly at fault for the incident.
Stewart has no doubt that the Red Bull driver is the fastest on the grid at the moment, but warned him to avoid being involved in on-track incidents going forward. The former three-time world champion, however, is unsure if the the Austrian team's bosses will have the courage to wield the stick and ask him to keep his racing clean.
"Verstappen is taking longer than expected to mature. Not even to go to see Hamilton after a serious accident when you have just driven over the top of the guy is something I don't really understand. Especially when he is still in his car and remained there for a long time before getting out," Stewart said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"Max has quite a lot to learn. But who will he listen to?," he added. "He's very, very good. He's probably the fastest driver on the grid now, but to be a proper champion you cannot be entangling yourself in crashes all the time."
Verstappen and Red Bull remain adamant that the he did not deserve a penalty. Christian Horner called it a racing incident, but the race stewards handed the penalty after claiming that the Dutchman was predominantly to blame for the coming together.
Stewart, who was very influential in promoting driver safety in the years gone by, was critical of the stewards for handing a driver just a slap on a wrist. He believes Verstappen should have received a harsher penalty if they thought that he was at fault for the crash, one that could have been devastating for Hamilton had the halo not been there.
"The stewards have more information, but if they were so certain Verstappen was entirely to blame then why does he only get a three-place penalty?" Stewart said.
"If it weren't for the halo, Lewis could have died, and the supposed culprit only gets a slap on the wrist!"