Max Verstappen accuses Mercedes of trying to ‘slow down’ Red Bull in Lewis Hamilton fight

F1: Can Lewis Hamilton do it again?

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Max Verstappen has once again reiterated that the Red Bull car is fully in line with FIA regulations, and accused rival teams of trying to ‘slow down’ the championship leaders.

A handful of teams, including Red Bull, have come under fire in recent weeks about their so-called ‘bendy wing’, with the FIA introducing new tests to clamp down on illegal wing movement.

Lewis Hamilton raised concerns after winning the Spanish Grand Prix, claiming Red Bull seemed to be exploiting a more flexible wing which could help provide more speed on the straights, and maximum downforce towards corners.

However, there was more outrage from teams after the FIA concluded ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix that the tests would not come into effect until the French GP in two weeks, meaning this weekend the wings can be used.

The four-week delay was met with much resistance, with Mercedes chief Toto Wolff fearing it could end in a messy legal situation if protests are lodged in Baku.

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Red Bull now sit top of the driver and team standings thanks to their performance at Monaco, and Verstappen believes the complaints are down to their recent performances.

“I can understand of course other people looking into things when we are doing a good job with the car this season,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.

“I can understand people complaining, but it’s all within the rules so far. There’s nothing wrong with it.”

Verstappen added: “Of course, they try to slow us down.”

“I think you have to look at the overall picture, the most important and dominant part of the car is the front and we are not flexing as much as other teams there.”

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Ferrari, Alpine, and Alfa Romeo are other teams who have admitted they will have to make modifications to their cars to pass the new FIA rear wing tests.

Mercedes picked up just seven points after Hamilton finished seventh, with teammate Valtteri Bottas retiring mid-race.

Speaking ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Verstappen felt Mercedes will bounce back after their poor performance last time out.

He said: “It’s very nice after Monaco, winning the race and obviously leading the championship. But we want to be leading the championship after the final race, that’s the most important.

“It’s a good boost for the team and we are very happy but we have to keep pushing because Mercedes might have had a difficult Monaco GP but they are still very quick. We’ll see this weekend what they’re going to do.

“Monaco never really suited them, they have a very long wheelbase that is not amazing around there but overall for the rest of the season it seems like it’s quite a strong tool.

“They have been winning a lot of championships so they know what they have to do and I really expect them to bounce back strong “

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