Max Verstappen has shrugged off four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton’s post-race comments about him ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix podium ceremony.
Hamilton was heard calling Verstappen “a dickhead” in the drivers’ room after watching back an incident between himself and the Dutchman early in the race.
The two collided on the exit of the first corner as Verstappen ran to the outside to try and squeeze Hamilton, but Hamilton’s front wing clipped Verstappen’s left-rear wheel and left the Red Bull driver with a puncture and differential damage that forced him to retired.
Hamilton’s remark prompted questions in the post-race press conference, to which Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel responded with a defence of Hamilton’s comment.
Appearing on the Dutch TV show Peptalk on Ziggo Sport on Monday night, Verstappen was shown the Hamilton clip via Skype.
“He is just out of the car there,” said Verstappen after hearing Hamilton’s words. “Then those things can happen. If you are just out of the car, you are still full of adrenaline.”
Verstappen refuted suggestions he had been too impatient in making his move on Hamilton.
“I was really close behind and there was a chance to overtake, so I thought it was a good opportunity,” he said.
“Our car was great. Then I’m not going to stay behind him.
“I knew we had a very good car for the race, so I knew we would be able to fight them.”
Asked if he was worried about Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo’s exit with a sudden electrical failure, Verstappen replied: “I think I had the same problem during testing.
“After that it didn’t return, but unfortunately this time in the race it did.
“I think overall it’s reasonably OK. The situation is better than last year, that’s for sure.”