AUSTIN -- Max Verstappen says there is always "one idiot steward" who makes decisions against him after Formula One races.
Verstappen looked to have stolen a brilliant podium from Kimi Raikkonen's grasp on the final lap of the U.S. Grand Prix. The Dutchman caught the struggling Ferrari driver as he tried to save fuel and executed a thrilling move on the inside of Turns 15 and 16 to pass.
The move led to shouts of joy from both ends of Red Bull's pit-to-car radio, but it was short-lived. The stewards quickly adjuged Verstappen had put all four wheels off the circuit while making the move, slapping him with a five-second penalty which relegated him back behind Raikkonen.
Red Bull fumed at the decision, while Max's father Jos shared a picture of the FIA's logo with the caption "Ferrari International Assistance". Verstappen said the incident reminded him of last year's Mexican Grand Prix.
Speaking after the race, Verstappen said: "I'm feeling good personally. Of course a big shame that you miss out on the podium afterwards. They take you away again.
"It's just one idiot steward up there who makes the decisions against me. Also in Mexico. Now I get a five-second penalty and a penalty point, for what? At the end of the day, everybody's running wide everywhere, there are no track limits, and then the crowd is loving it and you do something like that in front of world TV.
"You pick someone out from the podium again and tell them to go away. At the end of the day, I still had a great race. I'm happy with fourth. Just the way they did it is unbelievable."
Verstappen says decisions like that will kill the sport.
"You can't protest, it's in the rules. They know how to make therules. At the moment it's in their favour. They decide and you can't do anything against them which is of course really weird. But what can you do? It's not good for the crowd. I really hope next year nobody is coming, because like this, the sport doesn't make sense.
"Everyone is loving it, great action. You go five or 10 centimetres in the inside of the kerb, everyone is running wide everywhere, nobody's saying anything, like in qualifying at Turn 19 you could just run wide wherever you liked. And they killed the race basically like that."
Verstappen's thrilling drive came from 16th on the grid after serving a big engine penalty, and capped a weekend which saw him sign a Red Bull contract extension which will keep him with the team until 2020.