January 10, 2023

Crash question triggers Verstappen press conference outburst

The opening lap British Grand Prix crash between the Red Bull driver and his Mercedes title rival has dominated headlines for the past two weeks, with Red Bull’s request for the FIA to review fresh evidence into the accident rejected on Thursday.

Verstappen’s soft tyre choice from third on the grid should give him an advantage on the run down to Turn 1 in the race, and that means he will likely be trying to attack pole position man Hamilton.

But when FIA press conference mediator Tom Clarkson began asking the two drivers for their feelings about a possible Turn 1 battle, Verstappen immediately made his displeasure known.

“I’ve got a question for both you and Lewis now,” Clarkson said to the Dutchman. “There’s been a lot of talk about what happened on the opening lap at Silverstone. If you to end up wheel to wheel after the start tomorrow…”

But before he could finish, an agitated Verstappen said: “Can we just already stop about this? Because it’s… we had so many f**ing questions about this, it’s just ridiculous.

“Honestly. Honestly, the whole Thursday we’ve been answering this stupid shit all the time. So can we just stop about it please?

“We are racers, we will race, and of course we’re going to race hard but fair. So we just keep pushing each other.”

Hamilton was asked if he had anything further to add and simply shook his head.

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The press conference was the first time that Hamilton and Verstappen had appeared together since their British GP collision, and this weekend it has been notable how the emotions of their respective fans have been heightened.

After Hamilton was booed by the Hungaroring crowd during his pole position television interview, Verstappen voiced his feelings that their behaviour was not correct, but reckoned it would not affect his title rival.

“It’s not the correct of course but at the end of the day, I think we are drivers and you shouldn’t get disturbed by these kind of things,” he said.

“You know you should anyway just focus on what you have to do and that’s deliver in the car.

“Luckily, of course, we wear helmets actually when you’re driving – so where it matters you don’t hear anything. That’s maybe a bit different to other sports.”

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