Lewis Hamilton was left a bit puzzled after Max Verstappen made a pretty insensitive remark about drivers who would refuse to race following the Grosjean incident.
At the Bahrain Grand Prix Romain Grosjean suffered a horrific crash. After he hit the barrier, his car got ripped in two and then burst into flames. At the post race press conference Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were asked if drivers should be allowed choose not to race after such an incident.
“I don’t think so,” said Hamilton.
“We’re not the safety regulators. We’re here to do a job and we rely on the FIA who are aware of safety and we trust them implicitly so no, I do not think so.”
At that point Max Verstappen said: “Yeah, they get why you win the race. We’d be the team boss, I would kick him out of the seat.”
The reply left Lewis a bit puzzled, so Max further explained: “If the guy wouldn’t race and I would be the team boss, I would tell him then you never sit in the seat again.”
Lewis replied saying: “I hope you’re not my team boss.”
This prompted Verstappen to say he hopes never to be a team boss, to which Hamilton gave a fitting response:
“I feel sorry for anyone who is going to be your driver in the future.”
Interestingly enough, even a real team boss, Toto Wolff to be exact, said Mercedes would have considered pulling out of the race, had Grosjean not gotten off with only minor injuries.
“If he had been injured worse, God forbid, we probably would have pulled out,” said the Austrian.
“Health and life are more important than a sporting event.”
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Getting back to the press conference, Hamilton was later asked if he thought about quitting F1 after witnessing the incident, considering he had accomplished all there is to accomplish in his career.
“I’d be lying if I was to say no, of course, you think it’s so important to continue to respect the sport and the dangers that are there,” explained the Briton.
“I’ve been racing 27 years and I’ve seen from a young kid to Jules, his experience. When I was nine, I saw a kid die on the same day that I won a race and so I’ve always been aware of the dangers and the risks that I take and for sure, as you get later on in life I would say you would probably question it more than perhaps when I was in my early twenties.
“So yeah, today, definitely, I was that and I… and I’m also thinking for Romain, I was thinking Jeez, he’s got a wife and kids and that must be something he will for sure have to think heavily on because it’s a privilege to be able to do what we do but there’s so much life also and so many other things to do beyond.
“But as I say, we’ve seen something that was pretty… it was huge that crash and the safety definitely reminds us of the great job that has been done but more needs to be done so we will continue to work on it.
“I don’t have any fears so I’m sure for all of us we just get back in and do what we do but yeah. I’m not thinking of stopping because of that, no.”