Verstappen won’t change approach after Hamilton clash

A change of approach in driving style will not be on the cards for Max Verstappen after the Dutch driver copped a wall of criticism following his clash with Lewis Hamilton in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

An attempted pass by Verstappen on the Mercedes driver in the opening laps of the race resulted in damage to the former’s car, forcing Verstappen into retirement while Hamilton went on to finish third.

Both drivers attributed blame on each other following the incident, with Hamilton accusing Verstappen of a lack of respect in making an ‘unnecessary’ move.

However, Verstappen hit back during the Thursday press conference ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, saying he didn’t believe he did anything crazy.

“It’s simple and easy to blame the younger driver. That’s the only way I can see it. There is no reason for me to change anything,” said Verstappen.

“I might have a talk with [Hamilton], it depends if it’s really necessary. Why should I change something? I don’t think I did anything wrong in terms of my approach. I was just trying to overtake a car and I think it was a fair chance. I went for it.

“That’s racing – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You can say whatever you like about the incident. I had fair shot at it, it was nothing crazy, nothing risky but unfortunately this time it didn’t work out.

“Last year in Mexico it could have gone wrong as well, maybe for me or another car. It is racing. It is very simple. I don’t understand why everyone is on top of the topic as these things happen in racing.”

Verstappen’s retirement was just one half of Red Bull’s Bahrain woes, with teammate Daniel Ricciardo also grinding to a halt with an electrical issue.

Despite the problems, the Dutchman says he still has faith that engine supplier Renault is doing all it can to make improvements.

“From Daniel’s car in the race, he had the problem quite similar to me in Canada [last year], and in testing I think as well this year,” added Verstappen.

“It is definitely something to look into, but what can you do about it? It is something Renault needs to sort out and they are working really hard.

“They are trying their very best to provide us with the best equipment here. I am not too worried about it if it happens. If it happens you cannot prevent it.”

The Chinese Grand Prix begins with opening practice on Friday.