Formula 1

Max Verstappen apologises for outburst after controversial podium demotion

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen acknowledged his 'inappropriate' reaction to being demoted to fourth position in Austin on social media yesterday.

The young Dutchman had swayed away from making an apology in the pre-Mexican Grand Prix press conference on Thursday, but later took recognition for his actions in an Instagram post.

Wrote late on Thursday evening, Verstappen typed: "Further to what I said during the FIA press conference earlier today, I would once again apologise for the language that I used following the US Grand Prix.

"My comments were made in the heat of the moment, I know that the words I used were inappropriate and they were not directed at any one person.

"I certainly did not mean to cause any offence and I hope we can move on and enjoy this race weekend."

The 20-year-old was given a five second post-race penalty last Sunday for overtaking Kimi Raikkonen after running all four wheels off track at Turn 16.

The decision led to Verstappen being demoted to fourth in the final results, preventing an unlikely podium for Red Bull as Ferrari's Raikkonen took third spot.

"It's a shame we miss out on the podium as they take it away again, but it's just one idiot steward who always makes the decisions up there against me," exclaimed an incensed Verstappen after the race last weekend.

Verstappen felt an injustice was cast upon him, claiming that other drivers were also running off the track throughout the race. He also claimed he was trying to avoid a collision by overtaking Raikkonen.

But, he has since admitted his reaction directed towards race steward Garry Connolly was 'inappropriate'.

Another steward for the Grand Prix Mika Salo revealed he had recieved death threats after the race in Austin.

Prior to the Instagram post, FIA director Charlie Witting said: "It would be nice if he was to apologise for using inappropriate language."

Verstappen took an altogether different tone to the issue in the FIA press conference on Thursday, acknowledging the reaction was not legitimate, but no apology was made until later.

"After a race, emotions always run high, especially when you have been taken off the podium," claimed Verstappen. "The punishment wasn't correct because everyone was running off the track. And the fans loved it.

"I think it was quite normal that l got angry. I could have used different words but l still think the decision wasn't correct. I was angry. But the words were not correct."

Verstappen has a chance to redeem himself and move on from the controversy this weekend in the Mexico Grand Prix, which starts at 7pm on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton could also clinch the championship with a victory in the race.

Topics:
Max Verstappen
Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen
Max Verstappen
Formula 1

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