Max Verstappen has clarified controversial comments he made in the immediate aftermath of Romain Grosjean's shocking crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver said that were he a team boss and one of his drivers had refused to race on after seeing Grosjean's lucky escape he "would tell him then you never sit in the seat again".
The remarks caused even seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton to respond by saying: "I feel sorry for anyone who is going to be your driver in the future."
Clarifying his words ahead of this weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, that takes place on the outer-layout of the Bahrain International Circuit, Verstappen said: "I think people misunderstood what I meant.
"What I was trying to say is that as drivers we know the risks when we get in the car and if anyone has doubts they should consider stopping racing.
"There is nothing wrong with that if you feel uncomfortable to race but we are part of a team and they rely on us to do our job which is drive the car. Had Romain not walked away obviously things would have been very different on Sunday.
"I think back in the '60s and '70s it was way more dangerous and the drivers of that era were still going out on track because they knew it was their job and that’s what they loved to do, even though they knew the risk was very high of losing their friends around them."
Grosjean, who was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for burns to his hands, was discharged on Wednesday. He will take no part in this weekend's event, with reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi serving as his replacement.
Verstappen added: "The safety in place now is incredible and I respect everyone's own decisions but that is how I feel. Nobody ever wants to see an accident like that but all that really matters is that Romain is okay."
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