Red Bull driver Max Verstappen sparked criticism over the weekend after he called Lance Stroll a “Mongol” and a “retard”, and later said it’s not his problem if fans were offended by his use of the ableist slurs.
This wasn’t the first time Verstappen has used such ableist language; at the 2017 US Grand Prix, he called FIA steward Garry Connolly a “Mongol” on Dutch TV after he was handed a penalty for a track limits violation.
Verstappen’s conduct at last weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix prompted Mongol Identity – an organisation which campaigns to end the historical misuse of the term “Mongol” – to publish an open letter which urged the Red Bull driver to apologise.
And now, Uuganaa Ramsay, the group’s director, has told Formula1News.co.uk managing editor Suliman Mulhem that they aren’t looking for Verstappen to be punished by the FIA or by Red Bull – they merely want him to apologise for his mistake.
“We believe in human kindness. We all make mistakes. We are simply asking for a public apology as this carries a louder message to our next generation,” Ramsay told this publication.
Continuing, she said how Red Bull deals with the situation is an “internal affair”, but Mongol Identity hopes “that they will walk the talk, not only tick boxes to be seen as competent when their actions say different.”
Ramsay also offered to work with Formula One and Red Bull Racing “to raise awareness to ensure the drivers understand the connotations of using ‘Mongol’ as a slur.”