Max Verstappen Explains His Controversial Comments after Grosjean’s Fiery Crash in Bahrain

Published 12/02/2020, 8:53 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 29, 2020 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference after the race FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


Red Bull‘s Max Verstappen has clarified his recent comments following the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Dutchman believes he was “misunderstood” over his remarks concerning drivers’ participation after a serious crash during a race. While Verstappen’s remarks were meant in good humor, some fans didn’t see the funny side of things.

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At the post-race press conference for the Bahrain GP, which saw Grosjean escape relatively unhurt after a hair-raising accident, the top three were asked to reflect on the psychological impact of the red flag period, and the horrifying crash.

Max Verstappen: as drivers we know the risks

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Verstappen joked about ‘kicking out’ any driver who would refuse to resume racing after witnessing a crash, had he been team boss. The Dutchman’s humor left Hamilton feeling grateful that the Red Bull ace wasn’t the seven-time world champion’s boss.

For those unaware, Haas’ Romain Grosjean managed a lucky escape in a big crash at the start of last week’s race. The Frenchman’s accident triggered a red flag, that left several drivers shook, given the theatrics of the crash.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 29, 2020 Haas’ Romain Grosjean walks away from the crash scene with the help of medical officers after crashing out of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

In the buildup to the Sakhir Grand Prix, Max explained his comments made after the race.

“I think people misunderstood what I meant,” Verstappen 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.

He continued, “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.”

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Verstappen went on to reference crashes from the 70s and 80s, which saw many fatal accidents due to questionable or non-existent safety standards.

With the air cleared, Verstappen can focus on ending the season on a high. Considering that the newly crowned World Champion Hamilton will miss the Sakhir race due to coronavirus, the Red Bull star can capitalize on a weakened Mercedes F1 team.

Given current COVID protocols, Hamilton is also likely to miss next week’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, giving Verstappen the best chance to end Mercedes’ streak at Yas Marina.

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More importantly, Verstappen can still beat Bottas to second in the Drivers’ Championship. As things stand, it’s Red Bull’s race to lose in the sand dunes of Bahrain.

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Abhishek Bharadwaj

720 articles

Abhishek Bharadwaj is an F1 author and content strategist at EssentiallySports. Having joined ES in January 2020, he has over 700 articles to his name. While he was first introduced to the world of F1 in 2006, he started religiously following the sport in 2012 and has had an undying passion for it ever since.

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