Verstappen 'must learn to shut his mouth' - Briatore

Former Formula 1 team boss, Flavio Briatore, is a fan of Max Verstappen, but has a few choice words for the young driver.

Verstappen, who recently signed a new three-year contract extension with Red Bull, caused quite a stir in the paddock at the United States Grand Prix when he accused Ferrari of cheating via an alleged illegal use of their engine and how extra power was supposedly distributed to the SF90 car.

As expected, that did not go down particularly well with Ferrari and appeared to burn all bridges between the two parties if Verstappen attempted to move to the Scuderia in future.

Briatore, while an admirer of Verstappen’s obvious talents, thinks the Dutchman would be wise to think about what he is saying about other teams during interviews with the press.

READ: Signing Verstappen to Red Bull an 'important step' - Marko

Shut your mouth

Briatore told Italy’s Autosprint: “I like him very much, he is at the top and will stay there for a long time. He is a good driver, does a lot of overtaking and helps create the show in F1. But he must learn to shut his mouth.

“The statement about Ferrari and thinking they were cheating was a huge mistake for two reasons: First: it was not for him to say certain things, possibly. Second: it was not true.”

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Meanwhile, Briatore also thinks that Charles Leclerc, set to be a main rival of Verstappen for years to come, has the mentality to become a World Champion.

Briatore added: “I see Charles as someone who is very mentally solid. He’s already mature enough for winning the title if Ferrari gives him the car. The champions are like him and I am referring to when Schumacher and Alonso were two kids, but were ready to conquer the World Championship.”