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Verstappen clarifies Bahrain comments

NEWS STORY
02/12/2020

Max Verstappen has clarified comments he made following Romain Grosjean's crash in Bahrain.

Speaking after the race in which he finished second, giving his team its first double podium finish of the season, the Dutch racer, and winner Lewis Hamilton, were asked whether in the wake of such an incident drivers should be given the option not to continue.

"I don't think so. We're not the safety regulators," said Hamilton. "We're here to do a job and we rely on the FIA who are aware of safety and we trust them implicitly so no, I do not think so."

"Yeah, they get why you win the race. We'd be the team boss, I would kick him out of the seat," said Verstappen.

"If the guy wouldn't race and I would be the team boss, I would tell him then you never sit in the seat again. Yeah," he added.

"I hope you're not my team boss," laughed Hamilton.

"I hope I will never be a team boss anyway," said the Dutchman.

"I feel sorry for anyone who is going to be your driver in the future," replied Hamilton.

Naturally, Verstappen's comments raised the usual ire on social media, where 'fans' turned their attention away from apportioning blame for the accident to hitting out at the Red Bull driver's seeming insensitivity.

Ahead of this weekend's race, the youngster sought to clarify his comments.

"I think people misunderstood what I meant," he said. "What I was trying to say is that as drivers we know the risks when we get in the car and if anyone has doubts they should consider stopping racing.

"There is nothing wrong with that if you feel uncomfortable to race but we are part of a team and they rely on us to do our job which is drive the car. Had Romain not walked away obviously things would have been very different on Sunday.

"I think back in the 60s and 70s it was way more dangerous and the drivers of that era were still going out on track because they knew it was their job and that's what they loved to do, even though they knew the risk was very high of losing their friends around them.

"The safety in place now is incredible and I respect everyone's own decisions but that is how I feel. Nobody ever wants to see an accident like that but all that really matters is that Romain is ok."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by USA1, 03/12/2020 1:51

"It’s a Dutch thing, we are not politically correct people and we say things just like that it’s not always nice but at least better than back stabbing someone, to bad these days you have to be politically correct otherwise it’s too easy to get in trouble, I got you Mr Verstappen from one Limburger to another Limburger 👍"

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by C5, 02/12/2020 22:15

"@Oldgit, I was just thinking the same. When you repeatedly need to "clarify" your statements you should probably rethink how you make them in the first place.

Having an opinion is great, and drivers actually voicing it is even better. At least you know where they stand and it's generally refreshingly free of marketing blobbergegoop. You can then agree or not (i happen to disagree with both Lewis and Max, but then again, I'm not a racing driver).

But no matter what, Max could claerly benefit from thinking a bit more before he opens his mouth. That goes when he's in the car too, by the way.
"

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3. Posted by Potino, 02/12/2020 20:56

"In my opinion, Romain made a mistake, as Karun said on his first look at the video."

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4. Posted by Oldgit, 02/12/2020 20:11

"This is the 3rd (possibly 4th) time this year he has had to publicly explain/expand his comments to make them clearer.

Maybe he should get himself fitted with an anti-stall system so that his brain is working at the correct power level before he releases his mouth."

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