Felipe Massa Issues Warning to Verstappen after “Brazilian” Comment

Williams driver Felipe Massa has some words of warning to share with young Max Verstappen after the teenager’s recent comments.

In the heat of the moment, things can be said in ways that one would have never intended. Racing is chock-full of those moments. Recently, during the bouts of qualifying at Bahrain, Max Verstappen of Red Bull found himself in one of those heated moments after what he sees as an intentional disruption from Williams driver Felipe Massa “ruined” his lap time.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - APRIL 16: Felipe Massa of Brazil driving the (19) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes on track during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – APRIL 16: Felipe Massa of Brazil driving the (19) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes on track during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Massa – as Verstappen see’s it – dove unnecessarily in front of him during the final corner of the lap and ruined any chance that he had to put in his best time for qualifying. Verstappen, who was asked if he plans to confront Felipe and talk about what happened, responded with visible irritation, and said: “Well, he’s a Brazilian – so there’s not much to discuss.”

Verstappen’s comments have lit a veritable inferno online in various Formula 1-related discussion boards, drawing even more flak to the young driver. Massa, who has recently become aware of the comment and the reaction it garnered online, has given young Max some words of wisdom:

Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing sits in his car in the garage during qualifying.
Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing sits in his car in the garage during qualifying.

“I told him earlier today, ‘Be careful with your words because you will have a Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of year and you will have to race there. So be careful what you say’.

Without a doubt, it was not right to speak about Brazilians without even knowing what he was talking about. He didn’t know what he was talking about, because I didn’t do anything that bothered him. Maybe he wanted to find a reason for being beaten by his teammate – and he needed someone to blame.

I told him, ‘The same thing happened between [Nico] Hulkenberg] and myself, and did you see anyone complaining?’ Before you start a lap, you have to be in the best possible position. If you are not able to do that, it’s your own fault.” – Felipe Massa

Verstappen seems to have heeded Massa’s advice as, shortly after, he issued a comment on social media apologizing for his outburst and to any who may have taken umbrage with his comment. Massa correctly point out that it is both of their jobs to get into the best possible position on-track for a quali flyer in clean air.

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