Verstappen explains ‘fucking stupid’ remark after Australian GP retirement

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Max Verstappen has explained why he was caught uttering the words “fucking stupid” immediately after he retired from the Australian Grand Prix.

Verstappen’s run of 43 consecutive race finishes came to a fiery end at Melbourne’s Albert Park where an issue with the right-rear brake on his RB20 after the opening few laps forced him into the pits.

Touring down the pitlane, the cake tin – the carbon-fibre brake shroud – exploded, sparking a fire that was swiftly dealt with by his pit crew.

In the garage, a TV camera caught Verstappen uttering his remark. Asked if he was angry with the team, Verstappen replied: “That had to do with the fact that the team was dead set on performing a pit stop while the car was on fire.

“I was really like ‘What are we doing?’ That’s all it was.”

The retirement was Verstappen’s first mechanical failure since the race in Australia two years ago and ended his bid for a record-equalling 10th consecutive victory that he initially achieved last season.

The Dutchman, who still leads this year’s drivers’ championship by four points over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, insisted he was far from disappointed.

“I’m not interested in that sort of thing,” he said. “Of course, I want to win, but I don’t care if it’s the second or 11th race victory in a row. The most important thing is to win the championship at the end.”

The last time Verstappen failed to win a race was in Singapore last year, an experience that proved motivational as he went on to win the final seven races of the campaign, and clinch his third consecutive drivers’ title in the process.

As to whether it will inspire him to do something similar on this occasion, Verstappen added: “No, I just feel good with the car, also yesterday for example.

“Then we really shouldn’t have been on pole position, but the laps we drove were just very good. I just want to finish another good weekend with a good feeling in the car.”

Asked about possible updates for the next race in Japan, Verstappen initially quipped: “The colours will still be the same!”, before adding: “You’re going to see.”

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