Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen has once again defended himself over his crash at the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago after facing criticism from Felipe Massa over the incident.
Verstappen crashed into the back of Romain Grosjean with 15 laps to go in Monaco when chasing the Lotus driver for tenth place, resulting in a large shunt into the wall at Sainte Devote.
Although the 17-year-old was physically unharmed, he was handed a five-place grid penalty for this weekend’s race in Canada and faced a good deal of criticism from his peers.
One such figure was Williams’ Felipe Massa, who made his thoughts clear in the pre-race press conference on Thursday.
“I think, especially when you’re in your first year, 17-years old and if you do something like that and you’re not penalized, it’s completely wrong,” Massa said.
“I think the FIA needs to be strong in a proper way which is what they did actually, that’s the only thing I said and I don’t change my mind. That’s what I believe. We need to follow the rules. I said what he did was wrong. That’s what I said.”
Speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton in the Canadian GP edition of Paddock Pass, Verstappen suggested that Massa perhaps felt threatened by his relative youth.
“I think he has to see the data first before he can speak,” the Dutchman said.
“But maybe he feels pressure from younger people. Maybe he wants to extend his career by one more year.”
When asked by NBCSN’s Leigh Diffey if he would do anything differently if he faced the same situation again, Verstappen remained certain that he would not change a great deal.
“Not much,” Verstappen said. “I was attacking, I wanted those points, especially after the pit stop we had.
“I don’t know. Maybe turn a bit earlier to the right, try to avoid it a bit more and maybe try to do it another lap again. I don’t think there were so many things I had to do differently, up until then.”