BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Motor racing - Verstappen unapologetic after Austin outburst

Now Reading:

Motor racing - Verstappen unapologetic after Austin outburst

Text size Aa Aa

By Alan Baldwin MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Max Verstappen remained unrepentant in his criticism of Formula One stewards on Thursday while recognising he could have chosen his words more carefully in venting his anger. The 20-year-old Red Bull driver was demoted from third to fourth at last weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix after stewards ruled he gained an advantage by exceeding track limits while passing Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on the last lap. Verstappen called one of the officials an “idiot” in television interviews, with comments to Dutch audiences showing even less respect. “I think after a race the emotions run high, especially if you have been taken off a podium — which I think I deserved — because I think the punishment was not correct,” he told reporters at the Mexican Grand Prix. “A lot of other people did it (went off track) as well, they were cutting the inside of the corners, and then I’m the only one getting penalised. “Then I think it’s quite normal that I get angry. Of course I could have used a few different words, but at the end of the day I still think the decision is not correct.” Verstappen did not identify the steward singled out for particular opprobrium, although it has been widely assumed he was referring to Australian Garry Connelly. “Of course the words were not correct. I can’t change that right now,” he said. “I was not trying to offend anyone, otherwise I would have named them by name.” Formula One race director Charlie Whiting said the officials’ decision had been unanimous and rejected a suggestion that Connelly’s record showed he “had it in” for the Dutchman. “I know Garry very well and a more honest and scrupulous person you couldn’t ever come across,” added the Briton, who said other drivers who exceeded track limits in Austin went unpunished because they gained no lasting advantage. “Any idea that he may have it in for a driver is wholly unfounded.” Whiting said Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had apologised profusely after swearing at him over the team radio in Mexico last year but none had been forthcoming from Verstappen. “It would be nice if he did,” he added. The penalty for Verstappen has become a major talking point, but Mercedes title favourite Lewis Hamilton saw plenty to praise in the youngster. “He will say different things when he is 30 and handle things differently,” the Briton told reporters. “But what’s great about Max is that he has got this great fire in him and who are we to dim that? “He has got this bright light and what is important is to allow it to shine. He will learn through his own mistakes but that doesn’t take away from his real talent.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)
euronews provides breaking news articles from reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time.