Portuguese Grand Prix: Christian Horner defends Max Verstappen's obscene rant

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Formula One on a Friday is usually unspectacular.

Due to the teams running race simulations for the race on a Sunday as well as finding the optimum setup for their car and driver, drama is at a minimum.

When going to a new circuit such as this weekend (at the helter-skelter Portimao circuit in the Algarve region in Portugal), it is critical for teams and drivers to have as much track time as possible on the Friday sessions so that they can familiarise themselves with the circuit and correlate their simulations back in HQ.

It is therefore very odd to find any sort of racing on a Friday but yet Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Lance Stroll (Racing Point) managed to find themselves wanting to use the same piece of road.

This resulted in an incident which brought out the red flag.

Now if this happened on the road on a Sunday drive you’d be frustrated but you sort out insurance details and go on your way. Verstappen on the other hand went for the, "Let’s insult the other driver in full view of everyone and make everyone know that I am unhappy", approach.

This led to the flying Dutchman to call Stroll a 'r****d' and a 'mongol' - a derogatory term for those who suffer from Down’s Syndrome. To rescue his blushes, Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, explained that it was an entirely emotional reaction:

“I think emotion gets in there, he’s that kind of character.” Horner then explained “What you have to remember, these drivers, there’s stuff going with them through all of the session. Some drivers work together and some drivers don’t. And sometimes if Max is coming up behind Lance or Ocon it can get colourful.”

So what we have learnt is that if you have a little bump with someone on your Sunday drive, by all means insult the other driver as much as possible because it’s just a normal emotional response…..right?


GiveMeSport's Sam Righton says:

Okay so let’s just state what happened. Stroll claimed that he did not see Verstappen going into the very fast first corner of the Portimao circuit which to me seems untrue considering that Verstappen was alongside Stroll for the majority of the pit straight going into the corner.

That coupled with the fact that Stroll missed the apex of the first corner means he fully well knows Verstappen was there and was trying to give him space.

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Why the team did not radio him I do not know but considering that:

1. It’s a practice session and 2. Verstappen is in the faster car (and faster driver) you would think, “Ah let’s not race, let’s just back out of this and continue with my stint”. That’s poor maturity from Stroll.

The next aspect is the comments made by Verstappen. He knows what is wrong or right. You don’t exactly expect the next rising star of F1 to be using the sort of profanity he did.

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Yes we have all sworn and cursed when something happens in the heat of the moment but when you are fully aware that what you say will most likely be broadcast to worldwide TV you might want to have second thoughts on using insulting terms which Verstappen used.

Poor maturity from Verstappen.

Basically both acted immaturely during and after this incident. Both of them have not covered themselves in glory.

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