Max Verstappen has backed away from apologising for his criticism of the US GP stewards following his controversial podium demotion.
The Red Bull driver hit out at “one idiot steward” after being handed a five-second post-race penalty, which demoted him off the podium in Austin, for overtaking Kimi Raikkonen after running off track.
Mika Salo, the former F1 driver who was part of the stewards’ panel at Austin, has revealed he received death threats in the wake of Verstappen’s demotion.
“After a race, emotions always run high, especially when you have been taken off the podium,” said Verstappen.
“I could have used different words but l still think the decision wasn’t correct.
“I was angry. But the words were not correct.”
Verstappen reiterated his insistence that his punishment was unjust, stressing that drivers had breached the Austin track limits throughout the weekend without penalty.
“If l was really gaining an advantage, l would have done it on every single lap,” Verstappen added.
The 20-year-old, who did not speak to the stewards before his penalty was imposed, also indicated he had only cut the corner as he chased down Raikkonen on the final lap in order to avoid a collision.
“First I was trying to avoid an accident and then to overtake him,” Verstappen argued.
More to follow…
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