Mongolia accuses F1’s Verstappen of ‘racist and derogatory’ remarks

Sunil Kumar
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The Mongolian government has written to motor racing’s governing body, the FIA, to complain about F1 driver Max Verstappen’s “racist and derogatory remarks” during the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Verstappen collided with rival driver Lance Stroll during Friday practice at the Portimao circuit.

After the incident, a radio message from Verstappen to his Red Bull team was broadcast. It included multiple profanities and a slur for which he was reprimanded, and concluded with “I have damage. What a mongol. I swear.”

Mongolia’s UN ambassador Lundeg Purevsuren wrote to the FIA this week over the comments.

According to a report by Motorsport.com, the letter to the FIA read: “I regret the use of racist and unethical language in public by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen during the practice of the Portuguese Grand Prix of the Formula One World Championship on 23 October 2020.

“Sport is considered a symbol of unity all over the world and I believe that there should not be any form of racial discrimination in sports.

“I support the ‘We Race as One’ initiative of the Formula 1 against racism. But due to the above mentioned incident, I doubt that this initiative meets the reality.

“I am confident that in order to prevent the recurrence of such unethical behaviour in sports, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) will take actions against Red Bull driver Max Verstappen for his unacceptable behaviour of repeatedly using racist and derogatory language against any ethnic groups.”

The report goes on to state the Mongolian government also has sent letters expressing its anger to Red Bull CEO and founder Dietrich Mateschitz and Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers. Aston Martin is Red Bull’s title sponsor.

Red Bull declined to comment when asked by ESPN.

Verstappen apologised for the comments in a press conference ahead of Friday, leading into this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

“First of all I never intended to offend anyone,” Verstappen said. “That’s never what I wanted.

“It happened in the heat of the moment and when you are driving at such speeds, things like that can happen. I don’t say that the words I chose are the right ones, I know that they are not correct. I never meant to offend anyone with that.

“Besides that, I was swearing at Lance but of course I saw him straight after. That’s how racing drivers are as well, we can be angry at each other but within five minutes talking to each other and look each other in the eyes it’s forgotten. I think sometimes things get a bit heated up from the outside.

“I never meant to hurt anyone in particular. I don’t think they need to make it bigger than it is. I also know that is was not correct. But I cannot change that. But of course, you learn from it and we’ll do better.”

Speaking on Friday, Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the matter was discussed with Verstappen privately.

“We don’t condone Max’s comments on the team radio yesterday,” Horner told the BBC. “They were made in the heat of the moment when emotions were running high and Max did not mean to cause any offence. We have discussed this with Max internally.”



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