Max Verstappen has apologised for any offence he may have caused following comments he made regarding Felipe Massa and Brazil after qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The 19-year-old was unhappy with the Brazilian after his qualifying lap in Bahrain, with the Dutchman claiming that the Williams driver ruined his warm-up procedure by cutting in front of him at the final corner of the last Q3.
"On my last Q3 run, I was behind Lewis [Hamilton] and we were preparing our laps and just as I went into the final corner, Felipe just dived in front of me and stopped," Verstappen said after qualifying.
"There was a big gap behind us so I was like 'why did you do that?' So I stayed in first gear, first gear all around the corner to make a gap to him and that basically ruined my lap because you have cold tyres, you have a shi... very bad exit out of that last corner and then it's ruined Turn 1 because there is understeer and the tyres are too cold."
Verstappen added that he felt that it would have been nice if Massa had respected him more before being asked if he would talk to the 35-year-old about the incident, to which the Red Bull driver responded with: "Well, he's a Brazilian so there's not much to discuss!"
The comments made by Verstappen regarding Massa's nationality drew criticism from many on social media who claimed that the Dutchman's remarks were offensive, and on Sunday, Massa himself warned Verstappen to "be careful" with his words.
Speaking to Brazilian radio station UOL Esporte on Sunday following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Massa said: "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'.
"Without a doubt, it was not right to speak about Brazilians without even knowing what he was talking about."
It now seems as though the young Red Bull driver has taken on Massa's advice as he published a statement on Facebook, apologising for his remarks, praising the Brazilian people and attempting to clarify his comments.
"I feel like I need to clarify my remarks that were made after this weekends qualifying session," he said.
"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."
Verstappen added that last year's Brazilian Grand Prix, in which the 19-year-old stole the show by moving from 16th to a podium finish in terribly wet conditions, was one of the "highlights" of his career.
Massa finished Sunday's race in sixth position, earning eight points, whilst Verstappen was forced to retire due to brake failure.
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