Published: Fri, November 01, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Verstappen hits back at 'silly' comments by Hamilton

Verstappen hits back at 'silly' comments by Hamilton

"I don't mind. I love racing and I take it one race at a time", he said.

The 22-year-old Red Bull charger added that if anything, Hamilton's opinion was an indication that he was "in his head".

Vettel started Sunday's 71-Mexican GP second behind Charles Leclerc with the duo running 1-2 throughout the opening stint. Back down in eighth, Verstappen fought back three laps later to make a passing move on eventual third-place finisher Valtteri Bottas. The tire shredded off and Verstappen drove almost an entire lap with a bare wheel as the field passed him by.

The ongoing battle for sixth place in the championship has arguably been more exciting than the fight out front as Carlos Sainz' no points finish has allowed Pierre Gasly to leapfrog the Spaniard, with Alexander Albon hot on the heels of the pair now just three-points off sixth.

But while it seems that Verstappen has only himself to blame for being bullish in the post-qualifying press conference, F1 race director Michael Masi says that's not the case.

The Red Bull driver said he was wrong to force the issue at the end of Q3 and considered in hindsight that his penalty was justified.

The two-time defending race champion had been struggling since the summer break but in the thin air of Mexico City his blistering lap in qualifying easily topped Ferrari, everyone's pole favorite.

Asked whether he had backed off, Verstappen replied: "Didn't really look like it, did it? No".

"I enjoyed it", said Bottas, who survived a heavy crash in qualifying on Saturday.

"I thought at some stage I'd get torpedoed by Max", Hamilton said. "I'm planning to be here then so at some point next year my mindset will be to switch into 2021, and wanting to be the pioneer in that era".

On the day that F1 finally revealed its widespread package of rules aimed at closing-up the field and improving the racing spectacle from two seasons' time, Hamilton said he was "planning to be here" and be a part of it. Moments later, Verstappen suffered a puncture following a collision with Bottas. I like food, and the United States is very good for that; steaks, burgers, all the cheat things.

Verstappen's British-born Thai team mate Alexander Albon qualified fifth. It flows at high-speed and that's what I love in a modern Formula 1 vehicle.

Lewis Hamilton got the Mexican Grand Prix victory party he craved but he'll have to wait another week for a sixth Formula One world championship. I didn't have a lot of space to give him extra space.

After summoning Verstappen to the stewards and reviewing video, audio and telemetry evidence, the stewards said the Red Bull driver had seen the auto at the side of the track but not reduced his speed.

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