Verstappen "never meant to hurt anyone" with offensive Stroll comments
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has said his comments aimed at Lance Stroll at the Portuguese Grand Prix were "heated up from the outside" but has insisted he never meant to offend anyone.
After the pair collided during second practice at Portimão, Verstappen aimed highly contentious insults towards the Canadian, suggesting he was "a retard" and "a mongol", before later claiming in a media interview that it was "not my problem" if people did take offence.
A social media outcry led to calls for the FIA to look into the Dutchman's comments, although such an investigation was not initiated.
Verstappen acknowledged his choice of words was distasteful but suggested outside influences had prompted the situation to become a bigger problem than it actually was.
"Sometimes things get heated up from the outside," he said. "I never meant to hurt anyone in particular.
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"I don't think they need to make it bigger than it is. I know it was not correct but I cannot change it. I just need to learn from it and I will do better."
Verstappen has revealed he has spoken to Stroll since the incident to clear the air and clarified there were no hard feelings between them.
Whilst reinforcing his remorse for not purposefully offending people, Verstappen has pointed to the speeds of such incidents as to why scenarios arise.
"I never intended to offend anyone," he reiterated. "That was never what I wanted. It happened in the heat of the moment. When you are driving at such speed, things like that can happen. I don't say the words I chose were the right ones.
"I know they are not correct but altogether I never meant to offend anyone with that. Of course, I was swearing at Lance but I phoned him straight after.
"That is what racing drivers are as well, you can be angry at each other but after five minutes you can talk to each other, look each other in the eyes and it is forgotten."
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