Max Verstappen has reacted defiantly to Felipe Massa's repeated claim that he deserved a penalty for the causing the accident that prompted to safety car in Monaco by insisting that he would not do anything differently should the situation arise again.
The Dutch rookie was pressing on in the Principality, one of only a handful of drivers that appeared willing to try overtaking moves, and was fighting back into the points after a botched pit-stop when he made contact with the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. The collision damaged the front left corner of Verstappen's Toro Rosso and sent it hurtling into the Ste Devote tyre wall, although fortunately the driver was unhurt in the impact. While the rookie's race was over barring the later imposition of a five-place grid penalty for Montreal, Grosjean was able to rejoin after a trip down the escape road, but missed the chance of taking a fourth consecutive points finish.
Massa, who was involved in a similarly high-speed incident in last year's Canadian Grand Prix, had no doubt that Verstappen deserved to be punished for his part in the crash but, having fired a barb in his rivals direction, the Dutchman retorted that what happened in Monaco would not be a catalyst for him to tone down his attacking ways.
“Everybody can have his opinion but… maybe you should view the race from Canada last year and review what happened there!” he pointed out, “Looking at my data, I didn't brake any later. I had braked later there earlier in the race, but that lap was the same as the lap before.
“I was attacking and I wanted those points, especially after the pit-stop that we had. Maybe I could have turned a bit earlier to the right, tried to avoid it a bit more or maybe tried to do it another lap, but I don't think there were many things I had to do differently up until then.”
Confirming that he was largely unhurt in the Monaco impact, the Dutch teenager admitted that he faced a difficult Sunday afternoon in Montreal, but again insisted that his rivals should expect the same Max Verstappen as they have found at the previous six races.
"Fine, I got my penalty, but I'm focusing on Canada now…,” he claimed, “I don't think there is any reason to look back at Monaco, just focus on Canada, where I will try to score some points again.
“I will have some work to do here on this track, but it will not change me as a racing driver – I will keep fighting and, especially when you want to fight for points, I will still go for it. I will not change my driving style!”