SHANGHAI, China -- Max Verstappen says Lewis Hamilton took the easy option by blaming him for their collision at the Bahrain Grand Prix and stressed that he is not planning to change his driving style.
Verstappen was trying to pass Hamilton for tenth place on the second lap of the race when the pair clashed wheels on the exit of Turn 1. The collision caused a puncture on Verstappen's car, which damaged the transmission as he returned to the pits and resulted in the Red Bull's retirement from the race.
After finishing third, Hamilton said Verstappen's move showed him no respect and later told media that a more experienced driver like Fernando Alonso would have scored solid points in the same car. But Verstappen sees no reason to apologise to the four-time world champion and says he will be just as aggressive with his overtaking attempts this weekend.
"It's quite simple and easy to blame the younger driver," he said when asked why Hamilton was upset by the move. "That's the only way I see it.
"Those things happen and there's no need for me to change anything."
He added: "I might have a talk with him if it's really necessary, but 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.
"For example last year in Mexico it could have gone wrong as well [when Verstappen took the lead at the first corner], maybe for me or maybe for another car, as you can see in Mexico it did [Hamilton and Vettel collided]. It's racing, it's very simple. I don't understand why everyone is so on top of the topic, because these things happen in racing."
Shortly after Verstappen spoke to the media, he and Hamilton crossed paths while signing autographs in the Shanghai paddock. Hamilton shook the Dutchman's hand as a "show of respect".
After a spin set him back at the Australian Grand Prix, Verstappen has scored just eight points from the opening two races of the season, but is convinced the Red Bull was capable of a podium in Bahrain.
"The car is very quick, especially in the race. We know in qualifying we are losing out a bit in terms of top performance and top speed and as soon as that all calms down a bit in the race... I was very confident before the race, for example, before we went into the race to still move up a few positions because the car was definitely capable of driving back to the podium. Just looking forward to getting started again here because we have a good package and there are a lot of promising things coming, so ready to go."
Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix U.S. coverage presented by Mothers Polish (All times Eastern)
Practice 1 - Thursday, April 12 09:55 PM - ESPN3
Practice 2 - Friday, April 13 1:55 AM - ESPN3
Practice 3 - Friday, April 13 11:00 PM - ESPNEWS
Qualifying - Saturday, April 14 1:55 AM - ESPN2
On the Grid - Sunday, April 15 - 1:30AM - ESPN2
Race - Sunday, April 15 - 2:05AM - ESPN2
Encore - Sunday April 15 - 1:00PM - ESPNEWS
Encore - Sunday, April 15 - 09:00PM - ESPN2