Verstappen maintains penalty 'not correct'
26 October 2017 – Max Verstappen has maintained his view that the penalty he received at the United States Grand Prix was "not correct", though admitted he "could have used a few different words" in a post-race outburst.
Verstappen, on a recovery drive from the back of the grid at the Circuit of the Americas, overtook Kimi Räikkönen for third at Turn 17 on the final lap of the race by running over the inside kerb.
However, the stewards quickly deemed that he left the track and gained an advantage to do so, handing him a five-second penalty, which dropped him back to fourth position.
Verstappen aired his frustration to the waiting media, initially hitting out at "one idiot steward", and then a "mongol" (in a Dutch interview), referring to Garry Connelly.
A few days on from the incident, Verstappen described his feelings over the penalty as "pretty similar", though accepted that the words he used to criticise the call were out of line.
"I think after a race the emotions run high, especially when you have been taken off the podium, which I think I deserved [to be on]," said Verstappen, when asked about his reaction.
"I think the punishment was not correct.
"Everybody was running off the track at Turn 19, 8 and 9, even in Turn 6 when you were behind someone you were cutting the inside – a lot of cars were doing it.
"I think also the fans loved it, it was a great move, then they [the stewards] tell you that you are gaining an advantage while overtaking someone... if I was I would do it every single lap.
"A lot of people did it was well, cutting the inside of the corners, and I'm the only one who is getting penalised, which is not correct, so I think it's quite normal that I get angry.
"I could have used a few different words, but I still think the decision is not correct."
Pushed further on the language he used, Verstappen said: "I was angry at that time because I think it was not correct, and I've said the reasons why I think it was not correct.
"You also have to understand a bit my point.
"Of course, the words were not correct, but I can't change that, and they were not meant for anyone, I was not trying to offend anyone, otherwise I would have named them by names."
Verstappen added that he still took positives out of the event.
"At the end of the day, I still had a great race," he said.
"Of course, I was not happy that they took away my podium, but you also have to look at the positives... I'm still a happy person, because the speed was good."