AUSTIN, TEXAS - Having been accused of not giving up enough space on the race track, Red Bull's Max Verstappen was in no mood to concede ground off it on Thursday as he labelled comments by five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton as "disrespectful" and "silly".
Hamilton, who can clinch a sixth Formula One driver's title on Sunday at the US Grand Prix, had some critical words for Verstappen after the pair banged wheels during the opening lap of last Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix.
The Briton went on to win the race but later said that when racing Verstappen you have to give him more space in places where other drivers are "more respectful".
Ferrari's four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel backed Hamilton's assessment of the Dutchman's aggressive approach.
As the two world champions criticised Verstappen, who is famed for his bold overtaking manouevres, he shrugged off the attack claiming a psychological victory.