Felipe Massa warned Max Verstappen prior to the Bahrain Grand Prix to watch what he says after the young Red Bull Racing driver made remarks about Brazilians, Massa’s nationality.
Verstappen was unimpressed by Massa’s positioning on track as he prepared himself for his Q3 fast lap, stating that Massa ruined his preparations by driving on his inside coming into the final corner.
Following the session, Verstappen jokingly made the comments when asked if he planned on having words with the Williams Martini Racing driver.
“Well he’s a Brazilian – so there’s not much to discuss,” he said.
Brazil didn’t take too kindly to his comment, with many venting their annoyance on social media. Once the news reached Massa, the veteran driver felt it was his duty to relay this upset to Verstappen ahead of the race.
“I told him earlier today, ‘Be careful with your words because you will have a Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of year and you will have to race there. So be careful what you say’,” Massa told Brazilian radio station UOL Esporte.
“Without a doubt, it was not right to speak about Brazilians without even knowing what he was talking about.”
Massa continued by expressing his confusion at the remarks after viewing the incident as nothing more than luck of the draw.
“He didn’t know what he was talking about, because I didn’t do anything that bothered him,” he continued.
“Maybe he wanted to find a reason for being beaten by his team-mate and he needed someone to blame.
“I told him, ‘The same thing happened between [Nico] Hulkenberg and myself, and did you see anyone complaining?’
“Before you start a lap, you have to be in the best possible position. If you are not able to do that, it’s your own fault.”