Formula 1 Racing

Furious Verstappen brands Russell a ‘d*******’ after sprint race clash · RaceFans

(L to R): Max Verstappen, Red Bull; George Russell, Mercedes; Baku City Circuit; 2023

Max Verstappen was left fuming at George Russell after the pair collided on the first lap of the sprint race.

The pair fought over third place on the first lap of the race, going side-by-side through the first three corners. The pair made contact at the exit of turn three as Russell claimed the position.

Verstappen repassed Russell later in the race and went on to finish third. The pair confronted each other in parc ferme afterwards.

After Russell apologised and said he had no grip at the start, Verstappen responded: “We all have no grip. We all need to leave a little` bit of space.”

“I know,” Russell replied, “watch the onboard.”

“Expect next time the same,” Verstappen continued, adding: “Dickhead.”

Asked afterwards whether his choice of word had been due to any past antagonism between the pair, Verstappen said: “No, we didn’t really have issues before.”

Speaking after the race Verstappen said Russell should have been more cautious at the start. “I just don’t understand why you need to take so much risk in lap one,” he said.

“He’s understeered into my sidepod, created a hole. We all have cold tyres, it’s easy to lock up but in his beautiful way of explaining ‘aw mate, locked up, look at the onboard’. Well, it doesn’t make sense.

“But it’s fine, we still got into P3, got some good points, but it is what it is.”

The stewards did not note or investigate the collision between the pair.

Verstappen said his car’s handling was “a bit weird” as a result of the damage, which included missing floor parts and a hole in his sidepod. “You expect a balance, but the car was jumping around a lot and sliding in some weird places, vibrations.

“I need to look into the data to know exactly, of course, how much damage it did, but it’s not great. Of course you try to close the gap a bit, you are constantly in the dirty air. And I guess at one point also, my tyres were running a little bit too hot.”

This article will be updated

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