Christian Horner says Max Verstappen’s insult-riddled radio message after his crash with Lance Stroll in FP2 was just “emotions” running high.
Verstappen was very much centre of attention in a chaotic second practice session in Portugal after he and Stroll squabbled for track space heading down the pit-lane straight in Portimao and collided with each other.
Soon after the collision, a censored version of Verstappen’s radio message was played for the world to hear and his choice of words has led to some widespread criticism.
“Is this f****** guy blind?” he ranted.
“What the f*** is wrong with him? Jesus Christ. What a r*****. I have damage. What a m****l. I swear.”
He added: “He f*** his lap, I’m trying to prepare my lap, and he just f**** my lap by just opening DRS and staying on the normal line.
“No respect. But yeah, doesn’t matter.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 23, 2020
Asked about his comments after the session, Verstappen said it was “not my problem” if people were offended by his insults, while Horner said that what we heard was part of the Dutchman’s “emotional character”.
“I think emotion gets in there, he’s that kind of character,” Horner told reporters in Portugal.
Horner also went on to suggest that Verstappen and Stroll regularly clash on the track in practice sessions…and you won’t bee surprised to learn of the other driver who doesn’t really work well with Verstappen when close to each other.
“His [Max’s] expectation was very different to the outcome,” Horner added. “What you have to remember, these drivers, there’s stuff going with them through all of the session.
“Some drivers work together and some drivers don’t. And sometimes if Max is coming up behind Lance or Ocon it can get colourful.”
Verstappen and Ocon’s rivalry goes all the way back to their F3 days, whilst their biggest flashpoint came at the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix when the former started pushing the latter after a race in which Verstappen was denied an almost-certain race win by Ocon trying to unlap himself.