UPDATE (3:35 ET): Max Verstappen issued the following apology regarding his comment, according to Autosport:
I feel like I need to clarify my remarks that were made after this weekend’s qualifying session. Being a passionate racer, I was very disappointed with my last stint and gave an emotional reaction that was taken out of context. By no means did I mean to insult the Brazilian people who I greatly respect and are always very nice to me when I visit the country. One of the highlights of my career was last year’s Brazilian GP and it was extra special to do this in the country that brought us legendary drivers such as (Ayrton) Senna, (Emerson) Fittipaldi and (Nelson) Piquet. I would like to apologise to any Brazilians that feel offended and look forward to racing in your country again.
Following Saturday’s final qualifying round for the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen made a comment that didn’t go over well in Felipe Massa’s home country.
Verstappen was unhappy with the Brazilian driver for potentially damaging his preparation for his flying lap in Q3, according to Motorsport.com. When asked after the round if he was going to speak with Massa, Verstappen said “Well, he’s a Brazilian — so there’s not much to discuss.”
The seemingly light-hearted comment reportedly sparked criticism from Brazilian racing fans, which didn’t surprise Massa at all.
“I told him earlier today, ‘Be careful with your words because you will have a Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of year and you will have to race there. So be careful what you say,’ ” Massa told Brazilian radio station UOL Esporte on Sunday, via Motorsport.com
The 19-year-old Dutchman took issue with the Williams Martini Racing driver passing him ahead of the final turn, though Massa insists he didn’t do anything wrong. Given the two have gotten into verbal sparring matches in the past, Massa unsurprisingly went on to throw a bit of shade Verstappen’s way.
“Maybe he wanted to find a reason for being beaten by his teammate — and he needed someone to blame,” Massa said, according to Motorsport.com.
We don’t really have a dog in this fight, but Verstappen might be wise to heed Massa’s advice.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images
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