Verstappen clarifies Bahrain comments


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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Published: 02/12/2020
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