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Yuki Tsunoda says Zandvoort conspiracy theorists need an MRI

MONZA, Italy -- Yuki Tsunoda said Formula One fans who think his retirement from the Dutch Grand Prix was a conspiracy orchestrated by Red Bull need to have their heads examined.

Tsunoda's bizarre stoppage during the race prompted a race-altering Virtual Safety Car period that gave Red Bull's Max Verstappen a pit stop with a much smaller time loss than one in normal racing conditions.

AlphaTauri is the junior outfit in the Red Bull F1 programme, and the abuse the team received prompted it to release a statement about the "insulting" insinuations being made.

When asked whether he can understand why fans might have such theories, Tsunoda said: "First I don't want to know! I don't care.

"I want to ask how your brain is created, what you brain looks like, scan the MRI and see what's wrong. It's funny how they create a story. Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri are completely different team, we are in Italy, they are in the UK. We compete in completely different field."

The FIA, motor racing's governing body, has confirmed AlphaTauri's assessment that Tsunoda's car had suffered a terminal differential issue.

"It's funny that fans are really excited to always create a story," Tsunoda said. "It's just a super simple fact that there was an issue in the car, and we've confirmed it was a differential issue.

"To be honest, a crazy, crazy story. I was also running in a good opportunity to score points, so there's not any reason to help Max, you know?

"I don't know Max was driving in P1 or P2. I don't care about Red Bull Racing because I'm just focusing on my job."

Red Bull head of strategy Hannah Schmitz was also sent abuse on social media, despite the fact AlphaTauri has its own race strategy and controls its own races completely independently.

Reigning world champion Verstappen said it is frustrating to hear such insinuations.

"I think in general it's just ridiculous," Verstappen said of the theories.

He added: "These things shouldn't even happen. First of all, to think about these kinds of things is already ridiculous. Why would you even think that is possible in this sport? Also, that individuals get hated on is beyond me, how you can do that."

Verstappen said social media companies need to do more to stop abusive messages being sent.

"That's the problem when you leave everything open on social media: everyone can say whatever they want. I think there needs to be a lot more addressing on hate, and it seems like these companies, they put a bit of focus on it but not enough.

"You can create other accounts and keep on going. If they block your IP address, you can go somewhere else. People are smart enough to get around it. Definitely they need to come up with a solution for that. Of course social media is growing and I think it's a great tool to have, but some parts of it are quite negative."