In Brief

F1 briefing: Max Verstappen makes ‘headbutt’ threat after media questioning

Daniel Ricciardo to avoid grid penalty in Canada and doubts grow over Fernando Alonso’s future in Formula 1

Verstappen: I might headbutt someone

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has again made headlines for the wrong reasons after saying he “might headbutt someone” following media questions about his crash record.

Speaking at the drivers’ press conference ahead of this weekend’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, the 20-year-old was asked by a number of journalists about the reasons for his incident-prone start to the season.

Verstappen crashed during qualifying at Monaco and Sky Sports reports that he has been involved in “six on-track incidents in as many events this year”.

Grilled by the media yesterday about the reasons for the incidents, Verstappen said: “I get tired of the questions. If I get a few more, I might headbutt someone.”

Verstappen later insisted he was joking and Sky Sports says he is “unlikely to face any sanction for his comments”.

Ricciardo to escape grid penalty

It was reported earlier this week that Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was facing a grid penalty at this week’s Canadian GP. But according to F1.com that does not seem to be the case.

Red Bull’s Adrian Newey said a defective part in the power unit of Ricciardo’s car would need replacing, meaning an automatic grid drop under the sport’s rules. But Australian driver Ricciardo has revealed he has avoided a penalty as Red Bull can re-use a component swapped earlier in the season.

Ricciardo said: “If something happens in practice [in Canada] and we are forced to change something, then I will get a penalty. But for now, we still have enough parts to run, and if it runs reliable we will do the whole weekend with it.”

Is Alonso’s F1 future in doubt?

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso insists he is not bored with F1, but says the sport has become predictable.

The McLaren ace, who races next weekend at Le Mans, told F1 Today: “The truth is that in recent years, the results have become predictable. Canada is only the seventh race of 21, but we know perfectly well what will happen in the next 14. That’s sad for the sport.”

Spanish driver Alonso would not speculate on his F1 future but it has been rumoured he will switch to IndyCar in 2019.

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