Verstappen was also pushed on whether would approach his one-on-one duels with Hamilton any different now after the incident.
“I don’t think so because for myself I didn’t do anything wrong,” he reasoned. “I fought hard, I defended hard but not aggressive, because if it would have been aggressive I could have pushed him or squeeze him into the inside wall. But I did give him the space, and then I just opened up my corner and when you then commit on the inside, like he did, and not back out, expecting you can do the same speed on the angle that I had on the outside, he understeered into the rear of my car. There’s not much I can do.”
The championship leader reasoned that his clean racing record supports his judgement.
“Of course people easily say, I’m an aggressive driver or whatever, which I don’t think I am,” he said. “I race hard, but at the end of the day I think I know quite well how I have to position my car. I haven’t been involved in accidents where I run into people, I have zero penalty points as well. So, I think that already says quite a bit. Always people have different opinions but from my side that’s how I see it.”
Hamilton was defiant when asked to talk through his thought process going into the overtaking attempting.
“I can explain it [the move] but I’m not going to,” he said. “I’ve been racing 20-God knows how many years, I know how to navigate through corners and overtaking manoeuvres. So, I won’t waste my energy trying to explain it.”
Red Bull has successfully petitioned the FIA to review the incident in which Hamilton was awarded a 10sec penalty, believing the punishment was not strong enough for the crime. Whilst Verstappen has so far refused to be drawn on the subject, he seemed to support his team’s view on the matter when questioned.
“I don’t think the penalty was correct,” he said. “Because basically you take out your main rival, and especially with the speed we have in our cars, we are miles ahead of the third best team. We are easily 40-50 seconds ahead in normal conditions, so a 10 second penalty doesn’t do anything. So definitely that penalty should have been more severe.”
It was also revealed that Hamilton had called Verstappen after the race to clear the air between them, but the Red Bull man didn’t reveal what was said in the conversation. When the Dutchman was asked how the rest of the championship fight would play out, and whether the gloves were off, he replied: “I didn’t know the gloves were on! Who fights with gloves?”
“Losers!” added Lando Norris cheekily, who was asked only a couple of questions during the entire press during the conference.