Valtteri Bottas explained that his "f*** you" message after winning the Australian Grand Prix was directed at those who had taken a negative view on him during his struggles in a 2018 season that saw him fail to win a single race.
After crossing the line, he said over team radio: "To whom it may concern… f*** you!"
While insisting that the message was not premeditated, he said it was delivered with specific individuals – who escaped identification – in mind.
"It just came, I just wanted to send my best regards. That's it. Honestly, I didn't think about it or plan it, it just came," he said.
"Obviously there are many people who support you, and honestly I appreciate that a lot.
"There are always ups and downs, and you can really see the true support quite easily.
"And then through the difficult times there's the other part, which is a lot more negative. That's their weakness, so it's fine."
On criticism he faced through his winless 2018, he said: "I can't say [it was] unfair, because everyone can say what they really want.
"Just for whom it may concern, maybe they should look in the mirror sometimes and think actually why they do that. For me it's OK now.
"It would be quite a long list, unfortunately, that's how it goes. I'm sure the people to who it was, they would know it."