Max Verstappen doesn't regret his comments after US Grand Prix; admits choice of words was 'not correct'
“I was not trying to offend anyone, otherwise I would have named them by names,' Verstappen said.
Mexico City: Max Verstappen said on Thursday he had no regrets and stood "absolutely" by his belief that he was treated unfairly at last week’s United States Grand Prix.
The 20-year-old Dutchman, who was penalised five seconds and deprived of a third-place finish in Austin after running off the track briefly, told reporters he may have used the wrong words in his post-race tirade, but had no change of view.
“I could have used different words, for sure, but I was angry at that time because I think it was not correct and I said all the reasons why it was not correct,” he said.
“You also have to understand my point of view — but, of course, the words were not correct. I cannot change that right now. It was not meant for anyone."
“I was not trying to offend anyone, otherwise I would have named them by names."
Verstappen, the hottest young driver in the pit lane, had roared from 16th on the grid last Sunday to cross the line in third with his dramatic last-gasp pass of Kimi Raikkonen, the 38-year-old Ferrari driver.
But the race stewards ruled he had gained an unfair advantage by cutting off the track at the inside of Turn 17. He was given a five-second penalty, which demoted him to fourth place.
“I think after the race always the emotions are running high, especially when you are taken off the podium — which I think I deserved (to keep)," Verstappen added on Thursday.
“The punishment was not correct. Everyone was running off the track at Turn Eight and Nine and even in Turn Six. When you got behind someone, they were cutting the inside."
Verstappen had blamed his demotion on one "idiot steward" and said such penalties were "killing the sport" during his post-race reaction.
Meanwhile, Formula One bosses have clamped down on drivers taking advantage of imprecise track limits for this weekend’s likely title-deciding Mexican Grand Prix.
The Race Director of the International Motoring Federation (FIA) Charlie Whiting sent a note to teams on Thursday outlining new arrangements at Turn One, where last year on the first lap Lewis Hamilton cut across the grass after running wide and rejoined in the lead.
This weekend, he has been told, he will have to rejoin after going around a group of speed bumps designed to negate any advantage being gained.
Last year’s Mexican Grand Prix also featured Verstappen cutting across the grass in a similar fashion when defending against Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.
The Dutchman went on to finish third, but was penalised after the race and denied a podium, just as he was in Austin last weekend.
New arrangements and rulings are also introduced for Turns Eight and 11.
Verstappen's car, pushed onto the sausage kerb at the Turn One chicane, ended up with its back wheel rolling over the top of his rival's Mercedes, narrowly missing Hamilton's head.
The Dutch driver could take the lead before his enthusiastic fans as Formula One returns to Zandvoort, a fast circuit set in coastal sand dunes at the beach resort near Amsterdam where the last winner was Niki Lauda for McLaren in 1985.
Verstappen is only three points behind Hamilton in the standings and could move ahead on Sunday. Hamilton is chasing a record-extending 100th F1 win.