'Can't happen again': Uproar over Max Verstappen's 'disgusting' slur

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Pictured here, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen addresses F1 media.
Max Verstappen's comments in practice for the Portuguese GP have sparked outrage. Pic: Getty

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is under mounting pressure to offer a public apology over explosive and offensive remarks during practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Verstappen was left fuming after a collision with Racing Point's Lance Stroll in an eventful second practice, letting his anger be known over team radio.

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The furious Dutchman could be heard swearing and cursing his fellow driver, questioning whether Stroll was blind, before making a shocking racist slur against him.

"Is this f***ing guy blind? What the f**k is wrong with him? Verstappen said.

"Jesus Christ. What a retard. I have damage. What a Mongol. I swear.”

Veratappen has not apologised for the outburst, despite making disparaging comments about a disability and a racist reference to people of Mongolian heritage.

The 23-year-old only made matters worse afterwards when questioned about the fact his comments may have been offensive to viewers.

"Not my problem," was Verstappen's response.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner did his best to defend the driver by downplaying the incident afterwards.

“Emotions run high and this sort of thing is also just Max’s character. We can’t forget that there is a lot going on during a session,” Horner said.

Seen here, the Portuguese practice accident involving Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll.
Max Verstappen was furious after colliding with Lance Stroll (pictured left) during practice at the Portugal GP. Pic: F1/Getty

However, reports from Verstappen's homeland suggested that Red Bull were privately furious with the driver, with boss Helmut Marko issuing him a stern warning.

“We have told Max that this should not happen again in the future," Marko was quoted as saying in De Limburger.

“This was really a no-no.”

Verstappen’s comments cause offence

The 23-year-old also faced backlash from the Mongolian community, with one prominent member demanding a public apology from the driver.

Uuganaa Ramsay, the director of Mongol Identity, said he was left "disgusted" by Verstappen's remarks and F1's failure to punish him.

“We want to express our disgust and deep concern at the use of the term "Mongol" as hate speech," he wrote in a letter to Verstappen and F1 on Twitter.

“We are shocked and disappointed to learn that the Formula One did not take a stand in strong opposition to this label despite its historical value and we will address this directly with the governing body.”

Both Red Bull's Verstappen and Racing Point saw the practice incident very differently, with both drivers summoned to face stewards as a result.

"I was so surprised that he just turned in while I was coming up to him. I don't know where I had to go," Verstappen said afterwards.

"It was just very unnecessary."

Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer disputed those claims from the Dutchman.

"I can assure you 100% that Max knew Lance was there... but Lance doesn't know Max was there. It's pretty simple for me."

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