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Verstappen’s outburst: justified anger or greater concerns?



hCollision in F1 Sprint

The roar of Formula 1 engines and the scent of burning rubber filled the air as Max Verstappen and George Russell clashed in the season’s first sprint race. Verstappen’s fury was palpable, and it was evident that his emotions were the culmination of several factors.

Max Verstappen’s evident fury following his collision with George Russell during Formula 1’s inaugural sprint race of the season can be attributed to a combination of factors.

Firstly, the natural disappointment of a driver coming out of a race that didn’t go as planned fuels the strong emotions Verstappen displayed on the radio, in the parc ferme, and during interviews.

Additionally, the incident itself seemed to be a fairly even split in terms of blame, and in such cases, it’s common for the disadvantaged driver to feel they were treated unfairly. If Verstappen were in the opposite position, he would likely argue that he hadn’t done much wrong.

Collision in F1 Sprint

Verstappen’s frustration was undoubtedly exacerbated by having to race with a damaged vehicle, which hindered his efforts to overtake Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari and ultimately challenge his Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, for the victory. As a result, he lost valuable points.

Lastly, the collision exemplified an aspect of the sprint format that Verstappen clearly disapproves: the increased risk for him and the carefree attitude it may inspire in other drivers.

Lastly, Verstappen might be aware that he made a misjudgment, leading him to vent his frustration.


This is understandable, as the incident was not a clear-cut case where either driver made a major mistake. It involved one driver on the inside being aggressive and possibly carrying too much speed, while the other driver on the outside was also aggressive and perhaps took an unnecessary risk in a precarious position.

Verstappen could have avoided making himself so vulnerable. Attempting to hold on around the outside of any of the first three corners at this track – or many others – is inviting trouble. At the very least, it requires significant cooperation from the inside car.

In this instance, Russell’s car was required to leave space. Verstappen can argue that this didn’t happen.

Russell didn’t navigate Turn 2 flawlessly. He slightly missed the apex, causing his front to drift a bit wider, which contributed to the collision. Verstappen has a right to be upset; any driver in his position would be annoyed.

However, Verstappen had more room to maneuver. Russell was confined to a tight space, which played a role in the incident. Russell was not obligated to back off or avoid taking risks, as long as he didn’t recklessly lose control of his car, which he managed to avoid.

At times, an aggressive move may require the other driver to yield, as Verstappen should understand well.

Given the multitude of factors involved in this incident and the fact that it occurred on the opening lap, it was always likely to be classified as a racing incident. Verstappen may have anticipated this outcome, given that Russell had less to lose than he did and this incident represented Russell’s best opportunity of the weekend, given his starting position in the Grand Prix tomorrow.


The potential risks of pushing so hard around the outside probably did not outweigh the rewards. While Verstappen sustained some damage as a result, he was fortunate that the outcome wasn’t more severe, as he could have easily crashed into the wall.

Verstappen’s success as a driver stems from his ability to maintain laser focus on what’s in front of him. This often involves approaching every race, every lap, and every corner with the same level of intensity.

However, he has also demonstrated a greater level of finesse in battle than he is often credited for, as was evident in certain drives during his 2020 and 2022 campaigns, as well as in Saudi Arabia and Australia this year.

For several years now, Verstappen has understood that a driver can take more calculated risks in precarious moments when they have a superior car, as there is a greater likelihood of a successful recovery.

While Verstappen is justified in his frustration over the incident, he also miscalculated the percentages.

Unpacking the Fury Max Verstappen Collision in F1 Sprint Race 2023 Unpacking the Fury Max Verstappen Collision in F1 Sprint Race 2023 Unpacking the Fury Max Verstappen Collision in F1 Sprint Race 2023 Unpacking the Fury Max Verstappen Collision in F1 Sprint Race 2023

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