Third-starting Verstappen was hounded by fast-starting Russell into the first sequence of 90-degree left-handers of the Baku City Circuit.
An aggressive Russell tapped Verstappen’s sidepod into Turn 2 and caused the Dutchman to slide, which gave Russell momentum on the stretch towards Turn 3. Verstappen then had to cede the position when he nudged Turn 3’s outside wall.
The Red Bull driver raged on the team radio about the incident which left him with sidepod damage. “I don’t understand how he can keep the position and he is damaging my car. It’s kinda ridiculous,” he fumed at his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.
With the incident left alone by the FIA stewards, Verstappen then repassed the Briton after an early safety car to seal third behind team-mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
In parc ferme Verstappen confronted Russell about the contact, with Russell pointing to a lack of grip in the first few corners as the cause of their contact.
In what became a heated exchange Verstappen clearly didn’t accept Russell’s explanation and went on to call him a d***head as the Mercedes driver walked off.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
When asked about whether he had been able to clarify the incident with Russell, Verstappen said: “It’s not clarified… I just don’t understand why you need to take so much risk on Lap 1. He understeered into my sidepod, created a hole. We all have cold tyres, it’s all easy to lock up.”
Referring to Russell’s apology, Verstappen said: “In his beautiful way of explaining ‘Ah mate, I locked up, look at the on-board’ … it doesn’t make sense. But it’s fine, we still got into P3, got some good points, but it is what it is. There’s a hole in the sidepod, it doesn’t look that great, but it is what it is and we’ll focus on tomorrow.”
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Motorsport.com – Formula 1 – Stories…