Unrepentant Max Verstappen regrets choice of words in US outburst

An unrepentant Max Verstappen stopped short of apologising for his outburst after the United States Grand Prix - in which he described one steward as an "idiot" - but did express regret for his choice of words.

The Red Bull driver - controversially stripped of his podium position last Sunday after he was adjudged to have illegally passed Kimi Raikkonen in the closing corners of the Austin race - also called the same steward a 'mongol' on Dutch television.

Mongol is an outdated reference to somebody suffering from Down syndrome. Verstappen was believed to be taking aim at Garry Connelly, the long-serving Australian FIA steward also on the panel when the Dutchman was kicked off the podium here in Mexico City last year.

"After a race, emotions always run high, especially when you have been taken off the podium," Verstappen, 20, said ahead of this week's Mexican Grand Prix. "The punishment wasn't correct because everyone was running off the track.

"I think the fans were loving it. It was a great move and then they tell you that you're gaining an advantage while overtaking someone. If I was really gaining an advantage I would do it every single lap.

"A lot of other people did it as well. They were cutting the inside of the corners and then I am the only one who was getting penalised, which I think is of course not correct.

"It quite normal that l got angry. I could have used different words but l still think the decision wasn't correct.

"I was angry, but the words were not correct."

FIA racing director Charlie Whiting explained why Verstappen was penalised, but he, nor the governing body itself, wished to comment on Verstappen's ill-advised outburst. Whiting also revealed that Verstappen was yet to apologise.

Lewis Hamilton, who will be crowned world champion here on Sunday if he finishes fifth, believes Verstappen will learn from his errors.

"He will say different things when he is 30 and handle things differently," Hamilton, 32, said. "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 allow it to shine. He will learn through his own mistakes but that doesn't take away from his real talent."


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