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Max Verstappen

The story behind Verstappen's press conference outburst

Max Verstappen made it explicitly clear in the post-qualifying press conference at the Hungarian Grand Prix that he was sick of questions about a potential first-lap incident. Tom Clarkson - the man who asks the questions - has explained what happened behind the scenes.

Verstappen Hamilton Hungary
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Max Verstappen had an explicit outburst during the post-qualifying press conference at the Hungarian Grand Prix and now the journalist responsible for asking the questions has explained the story of what happened behind the scenes.

It all unfolded when Tom Clarkson began to ask Verstappen about the possibility of a first-lap incident, given what had happened between the Dutchman and Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix. This prompted Verstappen to interrupt by saying: "Can we just already stop about this? We had so many f***ing questions about this, it's just ridiculous.

"Honestly, [since] Thursday we've been answering this stupid sh*t all the time, so can we just stop about it. We are racers, we will race and of course we are going to race hard but fair. So we'll just keep pushing each other."

Clarkson has spoken about why he asked the question that sparked Verstappen's anger and the dilemma he then faced in having to apologise for the Red Bull driver's swearing.

"The thought process was this: we need to make this title fight more about the drivers and less about the team principals," Clarkson told the F1 Nation podcast.

"And the press conference was the first time we had Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen in the same room, so I thought 'yeah I think it’s fair to talk about what might happen on the opening lap'.

"So I put the question to both of them, except I didn’t because Max interrupts me and really tells me to f off.

"I did upset him. And then, because he was f’ing and b’ing and all that kind of thing, I thought 'I better apologise for that but if I apologise immediately he's just probably going to f and b again', so I thought 'I'll do it right at the end'.

"So at the end I go 'I would just like to apologise for some of the language'. And as I was saying that, Max was walking past me and goes 'don’t apologise for my language!'"

Fortunately it sounds like Verstappen soon got over his anger towards Clarkson though.

"The thing about Max is he does blow up quite easily, but then it diffuses very quickly, always with him actually," Clarkson explained.

"As he was walking out of the room, he did say 'I know it’s not your fault, Tom'. And that was the last I heard."

Also interesting:

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