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'Nutcase' Verstappen: Teen danger to F1?

2015-06-05 08:19

UNDER SCRUTINY: Torro Rosso driver Max Verstappen has drawn criticism from other drivers in the field after his crash at the 2015 Monaco GP. Image: AFP/Clive Mason

ALAN BALDWIN

MONTREAL, Canada - Formula 1 teenager Max Verstappen drew criticism from an aggrieved Romain Grosjean and others on Thursday (June 4) after saying the biggest crash of his fledgling career would have no effect on his approach to racing.

Verstappen, speaking to the news media at the Canadian GP circuit on his first appearance since smashing into the back of Grosjean's Lotus in Monaco.: "It will not change me as a racing driver."

WILL KEEP FIGHTING

The 17-year-old added: "I will keep fighting, especially when you want to fight for points, I will still go for it." The Torro Rosso driver has been penalised with a five-place grid penalty for the Montreal start.

He has accused Grosjean, once dubbed "a first-lap nutcase" by former Red Bull driver Mark Webber for crashes in his early career, of braking early - something the Frenchman angrily rejected.

Verstappen was in a bouyant mood despite Monaco and was looking forward to the Canadian GP, he tweeted:

Grosjean said: "Max is really, really talented, and what he has been doing is quite impressive, but he has made a mistake. I find it disappointing he hasn't learned from it. Even this morning in the media conference he was saying, 'I'm going to drive the same way'. F1 is dangerous, you need to keep that in mind.

"We went to the stewards after the GP, I tapped him on the back and he could have said 'I'm sorry' but to then say he brake-tested me is completely wrong because I braked later than the lap before."

FINGER POINTING

McLaren'sJenson Button, who made his debut as a 20-year-old in 2000, said the sport's youngest ever driver should choose his words more carefully.

The Briton said: "To point the finger at someone and say they brake-tested you, that's serious, I don't think that happens in motorsport these days, we're all grown-ups and we don't do things like that in F1."

Brazilian Felipe Massa, who appeared with Verstappen at the news conference, said he had not changed his view that the rookie's driving was dangerous.

Massa said: "That's what I believe. We need to follow the rules. I said what he did was wrong," he declared.

Verstappen, in reply, pointed out that Massa crashed into the back of Sergio Perez's Force India in Canada in 2014 - although the Mexican was penalised for that rather than the Brazilian.

Verstappen finished off by saying:"I'm focusing on Canada. Maybe you should review the 204 race and see what happened there."

The Dutch teenager showed no signs of changing his gung-ho driving approach, he posted this on Instagram:

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 F1 season – fresh reports every day.


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