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Mongolian government urges UN to take action against Verstappen and Red Bull · RaceFans

The government of Mongolia has drawn the United Nations into its complaint against Max Verstappen, accusing the Red Bull driver of failing to publicly apologise for repeatedly using racist language.

Verstappen’s use of the word “mongol” on two occasions, at this year’s Portuguese Grand Prix and during the 2017 United States Grand Prix, is detailed in a letter from Mongolia’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Lundeg Purevsuren, to the UN’s representatives on matters relating to racism.

Purevsuren criticised the response he received from Verstappen’s Red Bull team to a letter he sent them last week, following the driver’s outburst in Portugal. Verstappen referred to rival Lance Stroll as a “mongol” following a collision between the pair, which was broadcast live on the F1 TV streaming service.

RaceFans understands Red Bull’s response to Purevsuren characterised Verstappen’s remarks as comments made in the heat of the moment which were not intended to cause offence.

Asked about his entire tirade at Stroll, in which he also called the driver a “retard” and swore several times, Verstappen said last week he “never intended to offend anyone” and acknowledged his words were “not correct” but added those who were unhappy with his outburst don’t “need to make it bigger than it is”. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has described Verstappen’s response as an emotional reaction.

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The Mongolian government considers Verstappen’s comments a matter of “serious importance” because he has used “similar language in 2017 during the Formula 1 US Grand Prix,” wrote Purevsuren. “In both cases he refused to apologise publicly for using… words based on the term ‘mongol’ [and] respect the Mongolian nation and community.

“It is [obvious] that him and the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team did not learn the lesson in 2017, insisting that it was not his problem if anyone [was] offended by his language. Unfortunately, [the] lack of proper response from the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team management and their attempts to stop the driver’s unacceptable behaviour as ’emotional outburst’ have a negative effect on their image.”

Purevsuren asked the UN to support their complaint against the team and its sponsors.

“Recalling the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination adopted in 1965 and the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed in 2011, in [particular] its articles 11 to 15, I urge for your support to take actions against Max Verstappen and the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team and their sponsors for his unacceptable behaviour of repeatedly using racist and derogatory language against any ethnic groups in order to prevent the recurrence of such unethical behaviour in sports.”

Purevsuren’s letter was sent to Li Yanduan, the chairperson of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and E. Tendayi Achiume, the UN’s special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, and copied to FIA president Jean Todt.

In June Formula 1 launched its “#WeRaceAsOne” initiative to “show that we as a sporting community stand united against racism”. It supports the FIA’s “#PurposeDriven” movement in which the sport’s governing body committed “to fight systemic racism and prejudice”.

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