Motor racing-No more victory burnouts, agrees Verstappen

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Austrian Grand Prix
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By Alan Baldwin

(Reuters) - Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen has ruled out any more victory tyre burnouts on the finish line after the governing FIA took a dim view of his celebration in Austria last weekend.

Race director Michael Masi said after the Styrian Grand Prix that Verstappen's Red Bull team had been told any repeats would not be tolerated and the Dutch 23-year-old said he got the message.

"I understand of course about safety but I looked in my mirrors, went all the way to the right, took it easy," he told reporters ahead of Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix at the same Red Bull Ring.

"Everyone was on the left. I just did a burn-out. OK, if it's not allowed, I won't do it again.

"At the time, I thought it was really funny and safe but of course I understand they don't want to see this happening again, which is fine for me."

Verstappen has won four of the season's eight races and leads Mercedes' seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton by 18 points.

Red Bull have also won the last four races, the first time Mercedes have lost four in a row since 2013 and before the start of the V6 turbo hybrid era.

Verstappen joked he might do some doughnut spins next time.

"Bungee jumping, cage fighting, all this stuff would be great. Back-flips with the car...maybe we can improve it. Maybe we get some bonus points as well, that would be great. The best celebration."

Double world champion Fernando Alonso, joining Verstappen in the video news conference, said the burnout had been good to watch and compared it to the smoky end-of-season post-race displays seen in Abu Dhabi.

"I think the fans like that and you see a lot of videos from those moments from social media," he said. "I think the FIA should police more the track limits (instead)."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

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