Max Verstappen’s father Jos regrets said his son should not have commented on the perilous yellow flag situation following Valtteri Bottas’ qualifying crash in Mexico.
After audaciously admitting to not slowing down for the incident and daring the FIA to “delete my lap”, the Red Bull driver Verstappen lost his pole position.
F1 race director Michael Masi is now vowing to speak “one on one” with Verstappen about safety and yellow flags in Austin.
“We have discussed the press conference,” Max’s father Jos, a former F1 driver, told Ziggo Sport. “I think he shouldn’t have said anything. Max also told me that he had not seen the yellow flags at all, which I understand, because normally you are informed by your team in such a moment.
“He also saw that other people were not lifting the gas, so Max is disappointed that only he got the penalty, but I see it as another learning moment for Max,” Jos Verstappen added. “He just has to buy some time next time.
“Max’s heart is sometimes on his tongue, which is just the way he is, but apparently that is not always possible in a top sport.”
“It’s nice that Max is always straightforward, but this time he shouldn’t have said anything,” added the Dad of the precocious 22-year-old.
Meanwhile, race director Michael Masi has denied reports that stewards only decided to penalise Max Verstappen after the Red Bull driver’s controversial post-qualifying comments.
It is rumoured that stewards initially concluded that damage to the yellow light system was a good enough excuse for Verstappen not recognising the need to slow down for Valtteri Bottas’ crash.
But then Verstappen admitted to being “aware” of the crash, and provocatively said when asked if he backed off: “It didn’t look like it, did it?”
Masi, however, said it was not Verstappen’s comments that triggered the investigation into the Dutchman’s behaviour, “We heard about Max’s comments in the press conference after I drew the attention of the stewards to the incident.”
Masi rejected Verstappen’s argument that Lewis Hamilton should also have been penalised for the same infraction, “Lewis’ case was very simple: where he was, there were no yellow flags. But Sebastian and Max got the flags. Vettel slowed down, Verstappen did not.”
Masi also said he is concerned about Verstappen’s dismissal of the safety aspect of the yellow flag incident,
“Do we have to go there – to safety?” the Red Bull driver declared. “I think we know what we are doing. It’s qualifying and you go for it.”
Masi, who said the issue will be addressed at the driver briefing in Austin, responded: “I heard what Max said and I will talk to him about it. Yellow flags are on the agenda. I will discuss it one-on-one with Max but also remind the other drivers of the rules on the grounds of safety.”