Red Bull’s Max Verstappen apologized for using offensive language on team radio at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Dutchman, who was deemed objectionable about people with disabilities in Lance Stroll at Reaching Point after the two crashed, gave instructions.
Verstappen removed it, but Emilia Romguna has now publicly apologized ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend.
“It happened in the heat of the moment,” Verstappen said.
“I know the words I used were incorrect. I never wanted to offend anyone.
“Of course I was swearing to Lance but then I saw him live and that’s racing drivers, we can be angry with each other but five minutes later and we look each other in the eye, it can be forgotten.
“Things have heated up from the outside. I never meant to hurt anyone. I also know it wasn’t right but I can’t change it but of course you learn from it and we’ll do better.”
Verstappen was told by his team about Portugal’s offensive language last weekend, and the team’s head, Christian Horner, said Red Bull “would not forgive” the comment.
Horner added: “These were created in the heat of the moment when the emotions were running high. Max had no reason to commit a crime.”
Helmut Marco, an adviser to Red Bull Motorsport, added on German television that the team had advised Verstapen that his comments were unacceptable.
Verstappen made a direct comment after a misunderstanding in the second practice at Autodromo Al Alarve and after Stroll collided in the first corner.
The 23-year-old was able to troll him towards the end of his previous lap and the Red Bull driver tried to pass the Canadian at the next start when he started in a flying lap.
Worstapen dived into turn one for the interior of the stroller but the driver of the racing point changed and they hit each other.
The Formula 1 staff has investigated the incident but based on the decision it has decided to take further action as it was a misunderstanding.
Along with Verstapen, the seat is still open for 2021 and Alex Albon is under pressure to improve his performance and stay closer to his teammates.
Horner made it clear that Red Bull would look for a replacement outside of their driver program if they decided that Albon should be dropped.
Horner said: “It’s Alex’s seat and he’s got his shake in the car and everyone wants him to be able to hold that seat. The sound outside of him should be palpable, keep his head down and have a good weekend.”
Horner said Red Bull was working to fix the rear instability problem that affected Alban’s efforts to close the Verstapen gap.
“A fast car is sometimes a tough car and the way we try to spend time on the lap is the corner entry and this year the car has complexity,” Horner said.
“It has made life difficult but we are coming up with some developments that are starting to tackle it and create more rounded packages that do not have these features.”