Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Verstappen’s ‘colourful’ language an ’emotional’ reaction – Horner

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his driver Max Verstappen’s profane criticisms of Lance Stroll during yesterday’s practice session was an ’emotional’ reaction.

Verstappen launched into a string of obscenities against rival Lance Stroll after the pair collided during the second practice session, and called his rival a “retard” and a “Mongol” – the latter used as a derogatory term for sufferers of Down’s Syndrome.

Asked about his driver’s furious reaction to the collision, Horner said: “I think emotion gets in there, he’s that kind of character.”

Verstappen collided with Stroll as they went into turn one side-by-side. The Red Bull driver was under the mistaken impression his rival was backing off and would not begin another fast lap, while Stroll was not aware Verstappen had drawn alongside him.

“His expectation was very different to the outcome,” Horner explained. “What you have to remember, these drivers, there’s stuff going with them through all of the session. Some drivers work together and some drivers don’t. And sometimes if Max is coming up behind Lance or Ocon it can get colourful.”

Asked yesterday whether he was concerned anyone would object to his choice of words, Verstappen said: “Not my problem.”

The collision ended Stroll’s session, while Verstappen was able to continue. “It wasn’t too bad,” said Horner, “a little bit of bargeboard damage, that was it. So it was relatively quickly repaired.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “Verstappen’s ‘colourful’ language an ’emotional’ reaction – Horner”

  1. I think that’s a rather poor excuse for bad language.

    1. Emotion are the ONLY excuse for bad languague.

      But I guess you have no emotions, and therefore never said anything bad?

      1. Depends what you mean by bad language. If you mean swearing, there are a thousand reasons other than emotion to use it. And in many cases you don’t even need a reason.
        If you mean slurs such as mongol can be excused by emotion then do you put the n word in that category as well? Or well known gay slurs? I don’t see any excuse for that sort of language.

    2. Sorry to say had it been Hamilton the whole world will come crushing down on him probably

    3. Third article about this Keith and Dieter? Just Wow, your hearts are really at racing

      1. Asked about his driver’s furious reaction to the collision, Horner said: “I think emotion gets in there, he’s that kind of character.”

        ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. Retard and mongol, I know in the heat of the moment, is not acceptable. Common in the Netherlands, but still not acceptable.

    1. They are not really acceptable in (most of) the Netherlands anymore either, but its hard to change things you have heard and said for 20 years, especially when you’re angry I guess.

  3. Verstappen sounded like the little prince denied the priority he thought he was entitled to have.

  4. I think what’s being missed – by Horner and a lot of people – is that everyone gets lairy; I am very prone to bleepable outbursts myself, I think it’s completely understandable when drivers let off a string of swears. I’m quite fond of the sort of **** **** **** outburst they can come out with in the heat of the moment.

    What’s different between going off on one on a swear-filled rant and using slurs is that this is not normal language. Slurs are not a higher level of swearing to show you really mean it, they’re obscenities that specifically hurt other people. Lots of people pick them up into their vocabulary – I did when I was a teenager, apropos South Park, as I’m sure lots of other people did – but you get rid of them when you realise how harmful they are.

    Nelson Piquet Jr was fined for calling a fellow (at the time) NASCAR driver a homophobic slur on Instagram in 2013 (when I’m not sure F1 knew what Instagram was…) and I think it would be appropriate for Verstappen to be issued community service, as following his incident with Ocon a few years ago, with the FIA Disability commission. Motorsport should be inclusive, full stop.

    If you used m*ngol on Twitch you would be banned, for context on how broadly acceptable this is or isn’t considered. If the FIA and FOM choose not to do anything then it will reflect extremely poorly on the sport’s reputation. I don’t think any kind of on-track penalty would be appropriate but encouraging education and outreach would be.

    I don’t think Max is a bad person I just think there needs to be a line made clear regarding inclusive language. Call each other a w***** or d******* or, as he did with Sainz earlier in the session, a c*** by all means (I actually thought the Sainz thing was very funny, huffed out in the pit lane while sulking during the first red flag) but it is never ok to use slurs.

    (just because I know 9046898 people will try this one: yes, it is often used to mean someone is stupid, that’s because they’re comparing neurodivergent people or people with Down’s syndrome to stupid people, that’s, specifically, why it is offensive, as well as the ignorant historical context)

    1. @hazelsouthwell LM should invite you as a Marshal or a sort of a PR teacher for race drivers.

    2. Thanks for putting it so well @hazelsouthwell

    3. @hazelsouthwell

      These strict rules about what people can say and how people can say them actually creates an environment that only highly privileged and capable people can navigate. They exclude very many people.

      I think that opinions like yours are the result of a very privileged life, where you only see the needs of those who are slightly less privileged, who are part of your highly privileged bubble.

      1. @aapje Absolutely ridiculous. Without getting in to my own life, it is easy to explain to children why not to use hurtful words – it’s something we teach people really early on in their lives. ‘Don’t use slurs’ is not the depths of dialectics.

        I have Asperger’s, so would definitely fall into the category of people who might find it harder to navigate but I don’t because the message of being kinder, where you can, is not difficult to understand.

        In general, it is immensely privileged people who believe they can speak without it having consequences. Like, for instance, millionaire Formula One drivers; it’s good for the sport to lead by example when it comes to openly discussing that mistakes can be made with language, harm caused and lessons subsequently learned and improved.

        1. @hazelsouthwell

          See my comment just below (we x-posted). In reality I see strong civility norms being weaponized against the neurodivergent, less intelligent, less educated, etc.

          A US survey found that 80% of the population dislikes political correctness and it’s pretty obvious that those who do like it are the most privileged in society. You don’t see many truly marginalized people ask for it. If 80% of people dislike what you are doing, you are not being inclusive. You are helping a small elite.

          Slavoj Žižek is good at explaining that political correctness just isolates people from each other by making them afraid of making the wrong comment, while actually resolving marginalization requires deep social connection that political correctness actually makes harder:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IISMr5OMceg

          Note that he specifically calls out English (and Japanese) culture for their cultural norm of marginalizing (and oppressing) others with language that appears respectful, but has a strong undercurrent of ‘othering.’

          1. @aapje The idea that Slavoj Zizek is more accessible than explaining to someone not to use slurs is very funny.

            Aside from the fact Zizek is a borderline-incomprehensible poststructural theorist who frequently contradicts himself and surely has to count as one of the most outrageously privileged people out there, it’s been proved often that inclusive and straightforward language is the best way to increase accessibility. Using plain English, making boundaries and expectations clear rather than arcane and social cue-based, etc.

            Most people support being kind to and not discriminating against people. I don’t know what survey you are citing but using inclusive language – or specifically not using discriminatory language, at the very least, is very popular.

            All I am suggesting is that Verstappen, a millionaire who drives an F1 car for a living, is asked to do some community service as part of learning why his language was unacceptable.

          2. @hazelsouthwell

            As a person with Asperger you surely must be aware that people constantly lie (including to themselves) about the norms and rules they actually apply and the morals they have. This creates an environment that is not very inclusive and straightforward, requiring advanced skills to navigate.

            Political correctness merely forces people to present a false facade. They don’t suddenly feel differently, they are just no longer allowed to be honest about it. But they will still act according to their beliefs and make their beliefs known in more subtle ways. So this makes life harder to navigate for people who cannot deal with those subtleties or who expect people to do what they say. And because you forced people to pretend that they don’t have these beliefs, you can no longer discuss and challenge them.

            BTW, here is the survey/study: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/large-majorities-dislike-political-correctness/572581/

            Note that scientific studies have also found that sensitivity training is counterproductive even though the people who claim to be in favor of inclusivity seem to consider these obviously beneficial and typically refuse to accept the scientific findings showing otherwise.

          3. @aapje

            Here is the thing: if, as you say, people are using those words because they are discriminatory, because they actually believe in their usage as that then the answer is very simple.

            They shouldn’t. It is not acceptable to discriminate against people with Down’s syndrome or intellectual impairments or who are non-neurotypical, anymore than it is acceptable to hold any kind of prejudice agains a disadvantaged group.

            If people do not want their words to be perceived as discriminatory, the best choice is not to use discriminatory words which actively harm others. There should be stigma around discriminating against people and using language that excludes people.

            In discussing and challenging them, I am saying – as I said above and below – that part of that should be using incidents such as this, which is high profile, as a platform for that discussion and challenge. This should be an opportunity for the FIA and FOM to educate and to take a clear stance, offering the opportunity to people to learn more and for Verstappen to show by example as part of some community service, as when he served a day with the stewards after hitting Ocon and similarly abusing an FIA official.

            I utterly reject your claim that clear coding of expected behaviours would confuse neurodivergent people; otherwise, we are simply excluded.

            I don’t think there is anything further useful to be gained by this conversation.

          4. @hazelsouthwell

            The reason why I like Žižek (which doesn’t mean that I think he is right on anything or even most things) is that he actually tries to understand the points of view of other people and recognize the advantages of the things they ask for. This is sadly extremely rare.

            I understand that you don’t like him, because he calls out the paternalism and arrogance of the elites. My rather strong impression is that journalists self-select extremely strongly along those traits, resulting in most journalists seeing themselves as guides, judges or even activists, while disregarding the wishes of those they want to ‘save.’

            Yet this self-image contrasts strongly with the fact that the trust in the media is highest among the most privileged.

          5. @hazelsouthwell

            I utterly reject your claim that clear coding of expected behaviours would confuse neurodivergent people; otherwise, we are simply excluded.

            Yet I am part of communities with lots of neurodivergent people and many rather strongly oppose this. They feel excluded by the demand to cleanse communities of supposedly harmful behaviors and speech, even as they see those as beneficial to themselves.

            You are simply a new variant of the church ladies that decided that others what is good for them.

          6. @aapje there is nothing oppressive about expecting people not to use a handful of words when so many others are available.

            I have never met a neurodivergent person who finds it helpful to be called slurs and I cannot imagine a world in which this would be the case. In any case, that was not the context this occurred in.

            Good luck for the future but I will not be continuing this conversation as you clearly have no intention to listen.

          7. @hazelsouthwell

            Lance Stroll doesn’t have Down syndrome, so no one with neurodiversity was called names. Your falsehood illustrates my point. You claim to want to defend people with neurodiversity from being called names, but you actually protest people without neurodiversity being called names, but apparently can’t be honest about that.

            Lies like yours are used all the time to demand extensive censoring and change, without any of the people involved actually demanding it. Stroll wasn’t upset.

            This is church lady behavior. You ‘know’ what is right for other people, even though they actually disagree.

      2. What I see happening a lot is that neurodivergent people build a community that serves their needs, which often means having norms that are different from rest of society and thus often derided.

        Then ‘pro-diversity’ busybodies demand that these norms be changed to be more ‘inclusive,’ but what actually happens is that they steal this community from those who built it up, by turning it into a space that is far more normal, even though more normal people already have way more opportunities. Then the needs of the far more marginalized people no longer get served and they are thus left even more marginalized, while the already privileged people beat their chest, arrogantly claiming to have helped the marginalized, while they are actually helping their own privileged selves.

        1. @aapje I don’t know what you’re talking about but F1 is not a neurodiversity-focussed industry (although there are plenty of neurodiverse people working in and around it) and to ask that slurs are seen as bad is not policing or disrupting neurodivergent spaces.

          As I said above, I have Asperger’s myself (I am two points off the most you can score on the diagnostics) and I consider it easy to tell an adult that the use of slurs is unacceptable. It is easy to understand that you can just use other words to express yourself and I see no reason why Verstappen would be in a position to be unable to do so.

          1. @hazelsouthwell

            I am intimately familiar with marginalization and know that actual inclusivity is about acceptance. Slurs with acceptance can be extremely inclusive, while it is quite easy to marginalize people while avoiding overt negative language (which you should know as a Brit, since Brits are masters at that).

          2. So @aapje you’re saying Verstappen was being inclusive calling Stroll ‘mongol’? Or that if we – as a collective of F1 fans and the sport in general – accept a term intended to be derogatory, used in anger and derision, that would make it inclusive? The people targetted by Verstappen’s disdain would feel more included? Basically any fault is down to us, not Verstappen? That’s just over-intellectualized nonsense, used to defend the indefensible. We know Verstappen has anger issues, and I suspect this is an insult he has harboured for Stroll for some time, and relished being able to ‘unleash’ it with the incident serving as ‘justification’. It’s shameful behaviour and really more shameful still to defend it. Just grow up, admit he was wrong, and move on.

          3. So @aapje you’re saying Verstappen was being inclusive calling Stroll ‘m*ng(l’? Or that if we – as a collective of F1 fans and the sport in general – accept a term intended to be derogatory, used in anger and derision, that would make it inclusive? The people targetted by Verstappen’s disdain would feel more included? Basically any fault is down to us, not Verstappen? That’s just over-intellectualized defense the indefensible. We know Verstappen has anger issues, and I suspect this is an insult he has harboured for Stroll for some time, and relished being able to ‘unleash’ it with the incident serving as ‘justification’. It’s shameful behaviour and really equally shameful to defend it. Just admit he was wrong and move on.

          4. @aapje this is arrant nonsense. I think you’ve completely misunderstood the argument here and you’re talking totally across purposes with what @hazelsouthwell is saying.

            Verstappen needs someone to take him to one side and teach him some serious life lessons. He’s obviously missing an important part of his education. If he continues with this kind of language he ought to face some kind of punishment.

          5. Aapje,
            So in your world it is OK for the middle classes to demean the disabled?

        2. Aapje, Your argument makes no sense.
          How exactly is mocking people with Downs syndrome acceptable, regardless of social class?
          The fact this is coming from verstappen, who is amongst the most extremely privileged people on the planet,. He was already called out on this 3yrs ago, when he used the same word in an interview about a race steward.
          It is vile and shameful.

          1. @colly

            When you call someone names, you don’t mock the group, but the person. Attributing false motives to people is hardly honorable behavior.

            And Verstappen seems to come from a lower (middle) class background. This means a lack of social capital and having to earn things, rather than get things handed to you even when others have more merit.

            Attacking people for lower class behavior who participate on merit in places dominated by higher class people, has a long history.

      3. @aapje
        Your entire argument is naive and thoughtless. I honestly can’t see where your train of thought is coming from.

        1. @aapje‘s Entire argument lies on the assumption that Max Verstappen is underprivileged. Max “the Bryce Harper of motor racing” Verstappen.

          1. @faulty

            No, it does not. Learn to read.

    4. People tend to put a let more weight to stuff nowadays. What are words? who decides what os offensive in what context? the word ‘idiot’ is pretty common and widely accepted. why? it has exactly the same origin as mongol or retard. So, although it is good to explain to people that you find some words offensive, we should be extremely careful in giving it the weight and context some people do. this will inevitably lead to demonising people and will lead to even more polarisation.

      As long as we dont have the full explanation of the people saying these words, now the exact context. we should be really careful in judging.

      1. The full explanation is that he used two slurs on the radio while representing millions and millions of pounds worth of sponsorship for brands so I think we can probably get away without a huge moral panic that he might face criticism or – shock horror – consequences.

        Absolutely do not understand why people are so keen to defend the use of words which cause harm in the face of requests for someone to receive additional education about them, not be thrown in jail.

  5. Years ago I used to say “that’s pretty g@y” as a way to say something was bad. This was common in my work at the time as I was a chef and we were all really sweary. However someone called me out on it and my choice of words and I reflected on it and they were 100 percent correct to educate me on that, afterall I have never considered homosexuality to be a bad thing.
    Likewise there is no excuse for Verstappen, you are a product of your upbringing and he should take time to reflect on his words when he is in the position he is in.

  6. Most people here that are saying this language is unacceptable etc., are probably the ones swearing and ranting most when driving their own car. There is only one difference, those people don’t have a onboard radio which records them.

    When adrenaline rushes through your body, and your first reaction is out of emotion this is simply what you get. And the language he used, is just a literal translations of a dutch driver ranting.

    1. Nonsense. Of course people swear in their cars, including me but it’s the kind of language Hazel has listed above. When you are an f1 driver you are not just a driver, you represent a brand, and as Hazel said, he didn’t just say the C-word for extra power he used a racial slur used against people with downs. Didn’t a driver get sacked from his nascar team for saying the n-word during an e-race? This isn’t as bad but it draws a simular parallel.

      1. late response but – Yes, a driver got sacked for saying a very offensive word during an eSports race.

    2. That doesn’t mean that, afterwards, you shouldn’t reflect on what you said and accept that you said something you shouldn’t have at the time.

      True maturity is not necessarily to be perfect at every moment – it is the ability to reflect on when you might have made a mistake and being able to recognise and learn from it.

      Right now, that is what Max is being criticized for – not just the use of that term, but the refusal to recognise that what he said was wrong. It is compounded by the fact that, in the past, when he did use such slurs, he did later accept he was wrong to do so – so, in that sense, his behaviour has worsened because he now seems to be taking the attitude that it is acceptable to use those slurs.

      1. Suffering Williams Fan
        24th October 2020, 13:01

        Exactly. I think the “heat of the moment” excuse is questionable enough, but once he’d had the chance to calm down, if he can’t do better than “not my problem”, it’s time for other people to stop defending him and just call him out.

    3. An ignorant assumption that holds literally no substance in reality…

  7. @Dieter you have an excuse for saying ‘retard’ is used as degoratory for people with Downs. @Keith you have no excuse. Please can you correct this. If you want to know the horrible expression used against people with Downs it is ‘mong’ .

    1. My mistake . Sorry . Need glasses and to read the sentence properly before being ‘outraged’

      1. Ignore my comment, you already corrected yourself.

    2. They say “the latter is used as a derogatory term”, and the word used in mongol. Where are their errors?

  8. I have no issue with drivers showing emotion, especially in the heat of battle on track. My issue is that Max continually does this yet its brushed off as Max being Max (quite rightly too!). However…if lewis, for instance, used such language can you imagine the meltdown that would occur! Oh the humanity!
    Lando is another one that is not bought to task about his language and behaviour in the car. All of this is fine and to be expected from highly driven men but I don’t like the unfair, unbalanced criticism of drivers.

    1. I’ve not head of Lando using derogatory language? I’m surprised, as he usually comes across as trying to be inclusive. What sort of thing does he say?

  9. As good a driver Verstappen is and he is one of the best, this type of rubbish could kill his career. The one thing sponsors will not tolerate from a sportsperson is bad public behaviour.

  10. Wow. He said Mong and Retard. It’s the end the world. #rollseyes #getoveryourselves #socialjusticewarriors #mindyourownbusiness #ignoreandmoveon

    1. @drone
      Says the person who is overreacting to the response and posting stupid “hashtags” on a website that doesn’t use them. Comical.

      1. Oople, you will find that @drone is what could be described as an “outragist” – in other words, somebody who is mainly interested in wanting to be outraged so he can complain about it.

        After all, this was the same person who was ranting and raving about how he was going to quit this site and quit F1 because of the introduction of the Halo – yet, several years down the line, he’s still here and still finding new things to rant about instead…

        1. And yet I’d imagine he throws the word “snowflake” at other people whilst outraging at anything he can claw his fingers into…

  11. Words don’t physically harm, not to mention, kill anyone, so pointless fuss. It’s a normal human reaction to use choice words in given situations.

    1. Nonsense, words are a powerful weapon that has started wars. Words are used by bullies that cause people to commit suicide so to say words don’t kill people is wrong. People can say things in the moment and when you’re on a public platform and when it’s a politician they are normally heavily criticised. As the sky team said today, its a family sport. It is right for someone to be criticised for using a term like mongol. As I said above, I used to use some pretty bad terms, more than what I mention but I reflected on it and also apologised to those offended by it. Life is about self improvement and dismissive attitudes are not the way forward.

    2. So if you had a sibling with a mental disorder or learning difficulties, are you okay with my referring to him/her as a retard? Show some respect so that I might respect you in return.

  12. I am not bothered that he swore, however the choice of language used (intentional or otherwise) has no place today. There are plenty of other equivalent words that he could have said that aren’t slurs. Hazel covers this well in one of the comments above and I can’t add anything to that.

    However I am reluctant to pass judgement too harshly as I don’t know how I would react if someone crashed into me at high speed, if people are certain about how they would react and what they would say are lying.

    I’m personally more concerned that we seem to have lost perspective on the whole thing. What I mean here is that we seem to be happy to overlook the fact that two drivers who are marketed as some of the best in the world seemed quite content to drive into each other at 150mph+ whilst having no regard for their and others safety. Never mind the cost of the damage (that could have been far higher) in these financial times.

    It reminds me of the South Park movie when Kyle’s mum said “Remember what the MPAA says; Horrific, Deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t say any naughty woids! That’s what this war is all about!” I laughed when I heard this 20 years ago but life is now imitating art.

    The most depressing thing about this is yet to come though! You will need a hazmat suit to enter the comments section on here after someone in the gutter press askes Lewis why he hasn’t totally, unequivocally condemned Max’s language similar to how he responded about Petrov’s.

    1. @chimaera2003 If Verstappen had used an explicit racial slur, you know that the ‘heated moment’ excuse would be insufficient. So why use it for a term derogatory of people with Downs’ Sydrome and from Mongolia? The bigger issue for me is Verstappen refusing to show some contrition or apologize, and Horner defending him. Though unsurprising in the latter case, I thought Max would make some apology, he seems to have regressed.

      1. @david-br No idea why he used that word instead of non-racial equivalents and i get your point. However without being Dutch or understanding Dutch culture or language I am reluctant to pile in here. However if someone who does understand these topics can say that there is a more common word used in Dutch without racial overtones then that reflects very badly on him.

        I agree that he could have shown some contrition, he and his advisors (see below) have probably come to the conclusion that he won’t get fired so why bother. I don’t think anything changes here unless Dietrich Mateschitz personally gets involved.

        Horner is between a rock and a hard place, not sure how much power he really has (seems much more expendable compared to Toto), he certainly can’t unilaterally fire Max and RBR have put all their eggs in a Max-shaped basket (if they want to win a championship) so needs to be seen to keep him happy.

        However the role of his advisors should also be questioned. If he doesn’t have an advisor who he trusts that can tell him to do the right thing without fear of being fired then there is a bigger problem.

  13. Being angered is simply no excuse. Formula 1 drivers are expected to deal with intense pressure without losing self-control. That’s what Verstappen signed up for and knows very well. The potential dangers of having a driver ‘lose it’ are obvious. So was Verstappen really ‘out of control’ and his language therefore ‘excusable’? Or was the heated situation perceived by him as ‘justification’ to unleash an insult he had already felt like using for Stroll and prepared in his mind (or verbalized elsewhere) some time earlier? Only he knows. Or maybe people close to him. However, the insult is effectively a racial insult too, ethnic profiling, and should be penalized in some way, say with a fine or re-education courses.

    This is just basic stuff. You don’t get to say whatever insults you want in professional sport.

  14. +
    Horner really is an enabler of these Verstappen outbursts. There’s something unsavoury about the way he has to defend anything he does, like he has no ethical compass himself.

  15. Totally agree. I am very surprised Red Bull© have not distanced themselves from this vile already.

  16. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do that something.

    Perhaps Mini-Max might consider losing his arrogant and juvenile attitude and try acting like a responsible adult.

    He also might consider not foolishly wrecking another car during a practice session; it was his fault because he wasn’t even past Stroll’s right rear tire and made a silly assumption.

    1. He never matured. It was all a lie.

  17. Horner is just lost inside that cold disguise behind his lies.

  18. most of you people reacting have never been in active military’ service. Otherwise you would only laugh at it.

    1. @pietkoster although I’ve never been a member of the military, I am a former war correspondent and have been shelledl, shot at, etc (and we don’t get tanks to hide in!) and can quite cheerfully tell you that the context of a millionaire saying something on the radio while representing brands in a global sport is: extremely different.

      Also ideally we would get rid of the routine use of slurs in the military. It doesn’t make anyone better, tactically, it’s just part of a numbing process that ultimately harms people and probably contributes to the staggering levels of PTSD in returning servicepeople.

      1. Respect. I’ve been in a couple of nice countries too. 6 times. Afghanistan, Bosnia, 91 Gulf war etc. I see swearing there as a moment to release some pressure. I never promoted it however. We never use it in radio comms. So Ves could learn a few things. In Dutch the words he used are not that bad. It is the context that does the work.

        1. @pietkoster exactly that – context is important and in this case, Verstappen’s radio message being used as an opportunity for the FIA and FOM to spread an equality message would be a great outcome that would make the sport look better.

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