SEPTEMBER 4, 2016
Manager backs Verstappen over Villeneuve row
Max Verstappen's manager has moved to put a lid on a war of words between the 18-year-old driver and 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
After Villeneuve suggested that the kind of aggression the Red Bull driver showed at Spa could kill someone, Verstappen hit back by referring to an incident in 2001 when a wheel from Villeneuve's flying car killed a marshal.
"What Max meant is that Villeneuve should be careful talking about his (Verstappen's) driving style and death at the same time," manager Raymond Vermeulen told the German newspaper Bild.
"I can only agree with Max and say it is disrespectful to the family of the marshal."
Vermeulen, who in conjunction with Max's father Jos looks after the teenager's career, said it is also important that Verstappen respects Villeneuve and his accomplishments.
"But we know that Villeneuve is not a fan of Max and doesn't assess him positively. We can live with that," he said.
"But the kind of accusations that he is doing now are very unfortunate."