Verstappen: ‘Disrespectful’ celebrations showed how Mercedes ‘really are’

Max Verstappen’s ire over the events that unfolded at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago hasn’t died down, with the Red Bull driver still reeling on Thursday in Hungary from the incident involving himself and Lewis Hamilton and its aftermath.

Verstappen said he had spoken on the phone to Hamilton in the days after their crash at Silverstone, but the Dutchman’s didn’t hold back his indignation in in Budapest, reiterating his criticism of the Mercedes team’s “disrespectful” post-race celebrations.

“If you mean with disrespectful, [it’s] when one guy is in the hospital and the other one is waving the flag around like nothing has happened while you pushed the guy into the wall at 51G….,” said Verstappen.

“And not only that, just the whole reaction of the team besides that, I think. That’s not how you celebrate the win, especially a win how they got it.

“So yeah, that’s what I found really disrespectful and in a way I mean it shows how they really are, you know. It comes out after a pressured situation. But I wouldn’t want to be seen like that.”

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Verstappen refused to elaborate on the content or the tone of his phone conversation with Hamilton.

“Yeah, he did call me,” he said. “I don’t need to go into details about that but we did have a chat.”

The 23-year-old stood by his team’s claim that Hamilton’s 10-second penalty was too lenient.

“I don’t think the penalty was correct because basically, you take out your main rival, and especially with the speed we have with our cars, we are miles ahead of the third-best team.

“We are easily 40-50 seconds ahead in normal conditions, so a 10-second penalty doesn’t do anything. So definitely that penalty should have been more severe.

“I fought hard, I defended hard, but not aggressive, because if it would have been aggressive I could have pushed him or squeezed him into the inside wall,” Verstappen said.

“But I did give him the space, and then I just opened up my corner and when you then commit on the inside like he did and not back out, expecting he can do the same speed on that angle that I had on the outside, you are going to, of course, crash into me.

“I’m on the outside, I’m opening up my corner and not expecting him to commit, and he understeered into the rear of my car.”

Although he remained unhappy, a fatalist Verstappen was determined to put the incident behind and focus on the job at hand this weekend in Hungary.

“You anyway can’t change the outcome,” he said. “I mean, I’m not happy with what happened there, especially to lose that many points due to someone else, but it’s what it is.

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“I can’t really say a lot more about it, you know. I hit the wall quite hard, which is never what you want, but yeah, we’ll try, of course, have a good weekend here.”

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