Max Verstappen says his comments regarding how he would deal with a driver unwilling to race after witnessing a horrifying crash such as Romain Grosjean's shunt in Bahrain were "misunderstood".
While Grosjean miraculously escaped the harrowing crash and blaze with only minor burns to the back of his hands, the F1 paddock and fans alike were shocked by the magnitude of the accident, replays of which were broadcasted multiple times by F1's world feed during the event's lengthy red flag period.
Asked at the time if a driver should be given the option of pulling of a race on the spot after witnessing the terrifying wreck, Verstappen said that if he was an F1 team boss, he would "kick out of his seat" anyone who would not be willing to race.
The Dutchman's blunt comment was blasted by many fans on social media. But in Red Bull's Sakhir GP preview, Verstappen clarified his words.
"I think people misunderstood what I meant," he said. "What I was trying to say is that as drivers we know the risks when we get in the car and if anyone has doubts they should consider stopping racing.
"There is nothing wrong with that if you feel uncomfortable to race but we are part of a team and they rely on us to do our job which is drive the car."
Verstappen admitted that Sunday's situation would have been very different had Grosjean suffered a more serious fate.
"Had Romain not walked away obviously things would have been very different on Sunday," he added.
"I think back in the 60s and 70s it was way more dangerous and the drivers of that era were still going out on track because they knew it was their job and that’s what they loved to do, even though they knew the risk was very high of losing their friends around them.
"The safety in place now is incredible and I respect everyone's own decisions but that is how I feel. Nobody ever wants to see an accident like that but all that really matters is that Romain is ok."