Verstappen threatens to cut the radio chat

Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:26pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Red Bull's Max Verstappen has threatened a radio blackout after causing a stir with his comments during last weekend's U.S. Grand Prix.

The 19-year-old Dutch driver, a firm fan favorite for his no-nonsense attitude and overtaking skills, told his Formula One team in no uncertain terms that he was not there to finish fourth when asked to take care of the tyres.

The comment drew criticism from Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko, who said Verstappen needed to find the right balance between patience and aggression.

"I think I'm going to take my radio button off," Verstappen, his face painted like a skull for the Mexican 'Day of the Dead', told reporters at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit when asked about the incident on Thursday.

"No radio for me any more.

"As a driver I always want to go forward, I always actually want to win," he added. "I was just trying to get past."

Verstappen said every time he pressed the radio button, his comments ended up being broadcast to the world on the live television feed and they could sound arrogant.

"But that's just what comes up in my mind. I'm not there to finish fourth, I'm there to win as a racer," he said.   Continued...

Red Bull's Max Verstappen of the Netherlands arrives in the garage area on race day.   REUTERS/Adrees Latif