Fans react to Verstappen “head butt” threat over F1 incident questions
Red Bull Racing
Posted By: Editor   |  08 Jun 2018   |  3:38 pm GMT  |  104 comments

Max Verstappen has vented his frustration at having to repeatedly answer questions regarding his patchy start to the season.

The Red Bull driver has been involved in several incidents over the first six races of the season. Most recently, he crashed out during free practice three for the Monaco Grand Prix, which prevented him from participating in the most important qualifying session of the year.

Before then, other incidents include a collision with championship contender Sebastian Vettel in China and a crash during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

By contrast, team-mate Daniel Ricciardo has claimed two wins and is currently third in the drivers’ championship with over double the points of Verstappen.

The incidents have prompted both Verstappen and senior members of the Red Bull team to question if a change of approach is needed, something which the Dutchman denied in yesterday’s press conference.

“I get really tired of all the comments of me, that I should change my approach, so I will never do that because it’s brought me to where I am now,” said Verstappen.

“Of course, at the beginning of the year it’s not been going that well, or not the way I like it. A few mistakes, especially Monaco and China, but it doesn’t make sense to keep talking about it, because I get really tired of it and it just feels like there are no better questions out there other than to keep asking me about previous weekends. So, I’m just focusing on what’s ahead and I’m confident that I can turn things around.

“The speed is there. I’ve been quick every single weekend. It would be much more of a problem if I was really slow, because that’s a more critical problem.”

When Verstappen was asked about the reasons for his incidents, he continued to give a frustrated response.

“I don’t know,” he added. “Like I said at the beginning of this press conference, I get really tired of all the questions. I think if I’ll get a few more I’ll head butt someone.

“Of course, I haven’t scored the points which I should’ve scored, which is not only my fault.

“It could’ve been better, but everybody makes it so dramatic.”

What do the fans think of Verstappen’s response?

From social media:


Jack (08/06/2018, 7:17am):

“I thought he was going to explode during that pregnant pause.Then he blurted the headbutt comment out.

“After he’d said it, he glared at the journo and his eyes burned with pent-up, Prost-like volcanic passion.

“His fans are saying he was joking – because he laughed afterwards with Stof. Unfortunately, the horse had already bolted.

“Perfect example of a brash young bloke who won’t back down from his flawed junior plan of attack which doesn’t work now he’s in the big league.

“That wily old nugget of wisdom rings true … he who walks away, can smile and fight another day … it just won’t sink in. Whether it’s in the car or in front of a camera!

“If overconfidence and defiance were championship points, he’d be champion by the length of the Montreal straight.”

Dren (08/06/2018, 5;47pm):

“He spoke his mind. I find that refreshing and I don’t even care much for the kid. These press conferences are so scripted it gives them a breath of fresh air. I don’t even care if Verstappen meant it or said it in jest, he spoke his mind. The journalists are often just as arrogant asking the questions as Verstappen is responding to them.”

Bob Eager (08/06/2018, 5:14pm):

“When things go wrong everybody is all over him. But it is a double edged sword: both his successes and failures the result of who he is and how he drives. He can’t and he won’t change that, it is just how he is wired. He is always on it and will always try to win, even if it better to back down and avoid all risks.

“It is why he got hired in the first place, and why some people see a future world champion in him. Whether or not he is going to be a WDC remains to be seen.”

All images: Motorsport Images

What are your thoughts on Verstappen’s response? Leave your comments below.

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Strange to read all the comments here, where a lot of people are not aware of the fact that Max was just joking.

Dutch Windmill

Oh come on…. Ever seen a press con. with Louis van Gaal?

In general, Dutch people do not have a problem at all with being very direct, and that is what he was. And besides, there are lots oof examples to be found of people walking out on an interview when they did not like the line of questioning…

Another thing, Max is not answering in his native language, which can make a huge difference in situations like this. If he had said the same thing in Dutch, It would most probably have made a different impression.

interesting detail, there was an interview that morning prior to the press con, with a Dutch reporter, and they were joking about the exact same thing, even the headbutt part came along… It was totally clear how it was meant, as opposed to what he said during the press con itself…

Max was just stating that according to him, the subject was drained enough, press needed to focus their attention on the things that matter.

And honestly, given the lack of F1 knowledge that some of those reporters blatently demonstrate, who can blame him…..?


Driver speaks PR – Driver has no personality, they’re PR machines

Driver speak his mind – Immature, brash, arrogant et al.

What does a driver do!? No wonder they retreat into their shells. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.


It’s a shame that such a wealthy and successful kid with all the support and media training on side is unable to answer intelligently an with wit

To show our less wealthy and successful kids without such support and training, how to deal with these blindsiders that call themselves journalists .

Those in position to shine a light are the leading edge if our culture, and very difficult to defend if they are not proving to be worthy of all the backing in their reach….

Red bull need to train max harder if they want to continue to put him in the line of fire.


It was a stupid provocative question that got the stupid provocative answer it deserved. Which is very likely the exact answer the journo hoped for. Now they have something to bitch and moan about.

As for the journo’s being offended and saying it was a legitimate question, get off your high horse, it was not a legitimate question . ‘Hey Max, why do you have so many accidents?’ is just to provoke Max. If he really wanted Max to answer he would have asked something like ‘Hey Max, you haven’t had the start to the season, have you got any plans to turn your run of form around?’.

How else would you expect a 20 year old to respond. People say age shouldn’t be factored in because it’s his 4th seaon in F1. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s still only 20, and people at 20 respond differently (less mature) to situations then someone at 28 years old. Yes he’s an experienced F1 driver now, but he’s still only 20. Those are two seperate things. People getting their panties in a bunch over this one interview. Maybe you should watch the interview he had with Will Buxton on thursday. In which he als says he doesn’t need to change his aproach, but says he has to fine-tune it, which is exactly what he should do.


What a crushing bore F1 has become for this to be a story


Grubbie, it isn’t a story.


To all the people having a go at he journalists for “asking bad questions”…

What happens next time Max crashes? Are people just supposed to ignore it, pretend it didn’t happen?

The journo’s keep asking the same questions because Max keeps crashing the car. It’s not up to the journalists to find some creative and original way to ask Max about his crashes….it’s up to Max to stop crashing. Stop crashing, the questions will stop, it’s really that damn simple.


It’s funby how so many of the people who said that the removal of the grid girls was ‘political correctness gone mad’ are now queuing up to slate Max for threatening to head but someone! I would have thought you guys would have been full of approval for the drivers ‘going back to the seventies’…..


I agree with you about the root cause of this particular spat, as in Max needs to stop crashing. But the Journalists keep doing this. It is not the asking of a legitimate question but the repeated asking of the same question. Sometimes you even get them all asking the same in the same press conference. I suspect that if Max has a good weekend then Hartley will become the subject of their attention with repeated questions about his future.


Good on you Max for showing us you believe in yourself. Let no journalist ask you impertinent questions like that. Until they sit in an F1 car and drive it at over 300 kph they have no right to judge your efficacy as an F1 driver.


So disappointing that this site turns out to be a tabloid. Making an elephant out of a moquito. Same for the BBC, whic should be seriious public broadcaster. I

just looked at the footage. Come on! He elaborately answers a question and then this ‘journalist’ of the Daily Mail just repeats the question. To which he answers with the ‘headbutt’ remark. He is a 20 year Old Guy. At that age you are either timid or cocky. If he would have been the former he would not be in F1. If you are not convinced of your skills you do not belong in F1.


Personally speaking, I don’t know what the fuss is all about.


Brutes and not brains making their way into F1 now…


No need for the silly statement if the stewards had done a proper job in Baku, as with a fitting penalty applied, that would have been a lesson learned. That he still craps on about his litany of incidents not being all his fault and talking about China and Monaco being his only real errors, are a direct consequence of that afternoon of poor officialdom. A line needed to be drawn then and there.


Did you ever have to speak in public, during shaving in the morning think of a nice punch line to throw in, decided against it because it wasn’t appropiate, only to find yourself blurting it out all the same when the moment arrived? It happened inadvertently because it just was in your mind and you’d even rehearsed it once or twice.

Looks like this happened to Max. He was shown being interviewed in a car on his way to the very press conference where he said all this. The journalist in the passenger seat asked him “What are you going to say if they keep asking you about all the accidents?” and this time in complete jest Max replied “I just might headbutt somebody!” Laughter in the car. Moments later, when the questions came, he heard himself repeating it…

Not spontaneous. Not rehearsed either. Case of still in the mind and not having the control to stop it from coming out. Not wise but it happens.


The fantastical lengths someone will go to in their efforts to defend Max astounds me. I mean, I couldn’t have made up that excuse half tanked and sideways yet here you do with apparent ease.

Here’s the link to the actual press conference where he mentioned the ‘headbutt’ not once but twice.

If you honestly believe Max is unable to speak with clarity then how can we, and you, take anything he says seriously is beyond me.

Comments like that dont endear him to fans, to the contrary actually as they in fact alienate him and those that may admire his speed in the car won’t follow him outside of it when such arrogance and immaturity are constantly on display. But hey, whats it matter when he has a small group fanatics on the Internet willing to defend him at all costs even of it means they embarrass themselves in the process.


Little bit weasily to state he mentioned it twice. He didn’t. Another journo went back to the crashes and mentioned it for him. This guy got a decent answer anyway. But you could have seen it if you had read the link you use to justify your attack on MV. He might not be a class act, but you certainly aren’t one either.


@Sars, actually I am at a crossroads here. I do think that dropping that comment perspired the way I sketched it. My main concern commenting was not to allow the anti-Max posse to blow this out of all proportion. However, I am not at all comfortable with a person uttering things like that personally let alone publicly. I think it’s uncivilised and he should distance himself from it. Unfortunately more often than not I get disappointed by young people in this respect. Without actually being ‘thugs’ (quote Cyber) their use of language and imagery is often of a regrettable level. Max was quite OK until now so I hope he does not consider what he said to be normal. Incidentally, when Max drove over the finish line in Spain 2016 Dutch commentator Olav Mol, in tears, cried in English [please do not mod, editor]: “Yo hey, yo f****** ho!”. Very modern, profanities mixed with display of emotions. Just imagine that in the 20th century.


Agree with both you Sars and Lemwil. Seeing how many likes aggressions get, one have to wonder if I am just becoming an old fashioned fart and this drop of any level of moral and decency being the new norm? I just hope not.
Though I actually consider the early Mad Max movies for good classics in the dystopia genre, I do not want to see F1 becoming the motorized version of MMA. ;o)


Making repeated threats about physical violent offense should have no place in a formal F1 driver press conference. Do all journos still love this immature idi?t due to the many clicks he gives them in return or do we need to see some broken noses before enough is enough?
Even JA appear to forward the story happily without a single opinion.
What a miserable silly circus the F1 scene has become.


Ron Dennis once said a fast & fragile car is better than a slow & reliable car.

Max is fast & fragile, but he is young & will learn how to make the finish line.

His comments are refreshingly out there, & I think anybody who takes them too seriously should perhaps switch their focus to knitting.


I think that any journalist who is so lacking in the ability to ask an origional question should be banned from the press room. Last season I wanted to reach into the ether and strangle every one that kept asking Palmer “ when are you leaving Renault” This season it is ask Max about driving style.


I would not give this incident too much attention. It’s seem to be a typical F1 spin on events, but at the same time it’s a bit dimwitted, since if he screwes something up now he’s put hiself in a very uncomfortable situation. One can see that as refreshing but will also just add to the pressure. And the jokes around this are acctually funny, so Max and we got a lot of jokes out of it. Will he headbutt also Helmut when he’s asking, dont thisk so:)


Don’t know who Rob Palmer is but if he doesn’t know the difference between those two situations then he has no business commenting on F1.


Max age is only 20 we can not (should not) expect that much maturity from him to avoid these sarcastic question again and again. I don’t like his driving style at all he took risk with his life which might be okay but also with the other’s as well (what I dislike most)……… but he is fast and exiting no doubt about it, sometimes his drives were exceptional and I do not want to take credit away for this. If he do not want to change his driving style, its fine all depends on him. The only question is does his contract says that he can not be demoted to Torro Rosso if not we know Red Bull wont hesitate to put Sainz there.


Keep on truckin Max, I’m loving your work. It’s kept the Dutch fans nice and quiet.

BTW, Drag racers are fast in a straight line too but you don’t see them mixing it with other cars or going around corners.


I thought the funniest part was when he said only two of the crashes were his fault.

Lol, I nearly fell off my chair laughing.

If I see him in the wall again this weekend, I just might.

Will be be even funnier seeing the next journo asking him why he crashed 🙂


Not exactly a great ambassador for Red Bull when it turns out they have employed an arrogant potential thug for a driver – but like Father like Son.


I’m no Max fan, but give the kid a break. If you thought that was a serious threat that he was going to physically assault someone, you need to get a grip.

Most of the time the press conferences sound like the responses are from a PR robot, boring as hell. Let the kid say what he’s thinking – the red bull guys currently make the conferences worthwhile. It’s got to be better than hearing Lewis and his pretend-modesty.


If he had actually head butted someone I’d be more impressed. I mean it’d be the first thing he’s deliberately hit in a while…

Seriously though, meh! I could careless what he says off track, I’m more interested in seeing his response on track.


Maybe he should have asked the journalist if he had absolutely no better questions? A lot of the journo’s are lazy and without much imagination. So they keep asking the same questions over and over…

If they had about 30% of the ambition that Max has they would be a hell of a lot better at their jobs.

Of course it’s a joke, just with a serious undertone: stop feeding on the small errors and ask something intelligent next time.

Torchwood Mobile

Lovely diplomatic responses from fans, that I don’t think we would have gotten if a certain other driver had said the same.

And even without the threat, no-one here was this sympathetic when Maldonado said he would never change his style.


And look where it got Pastor!


‘Monaco and China’

Not Baku then?!! 🤔

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