Max Verstappen has acknowledged that comments he made in anger, after receiving a penalty that denied him third place in the United States Grand Prix, were said in the heat of the moment and that he did not mean to cause hurt.
Verstappen said during an interview on Dutch TV show Peptalk, “Look, in the heat of the moment you say things, but of course I didn’t mean anything bad. At that moment, it just blurts out. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”
Immediately after the race in Austin he referred to a specific steward (believed to be Garry Connelly) as an “idiot” and suggested that there was a vendetta of sorts against him.
Verstappen told De Telegraaf, “I called that steward an idiot and I will not take it back.
But since then the 20 year old Red Bull driver has apparently cooled on the subject.
The uproar regarding the penalty has come about due to stewards’ inconsistencies during the course of the race at Circuit of the Americas.
There were several off-track excursions during the race as drivers battled for position, the fact that Verstappen was singled out for a penalty triggered the heated the debate that has raged since Sunday.
Verstappen added during the interview, “I think more people want that [change of system],” he said. “It wasn’t correct and it’s ridiculous that you can’t do anything against it. We’ll talk about it, but we need to see what’s right. I don’t have a clear answer to that right now.”
“I don’t have anything to explain. You can sit down with each other and talk for hours, but it doesn’t change anything,” added the 20 year old Dutch driver.
The incident tarnished a tremendous drive by Verstappen who stormed through the field from 16th on the grid and crossed the line in third only to be demoted to fourth, thanks to the five seconds penalty imposed for his kerb hopping move on the last lap, before he could set foot on the podium.
For his heroics on the day fans voted him Driver of the Day.