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Formula 1

Verstappen and Russell’s War of Words



Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP F1 2023

In the high-stakes world of Formula 1, tensions soared as Mercedes driver George Russell and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clashed at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Baku sprint saw the two drivers engage in a nail-biting battle, with a particularly dramatic Turn 2 contact leaving Verstappen’s car damaged and allowing Russell to overtake. Post-race, an infuriated Verstappen confronted Russell and dismissed his explanation, even resorting to derogatory remarks.

George Russell, a Mercedes Formula 1 driver, has expressed dissatisfaction with Max Verstappen’s conduct following their intense sprint battle at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

During the Baku sprint, Russell and Verstappen had a close encounter at Turns 1, 2, and 3. The Turn 2 contact was especially significant, as it resulted in a hole in the sidepod of Verstappen’s Red Bull RB19 and ultimately enabled Russell’s overtake.

After the race, an irate Verstappen confronted Russell in parc ferme, disregarding his explanation for the incident and insultingly referring to him as a “d**khead” as Russell walked away.

Verstappen continued to criticize Russell in the media, including an ill-advised comment to Dutch media where he dubbed Russell “Princess George.”

Following Sunday’s main race, Russell mentioned that he had not tried to resolve the issue with Verstappen, stating that there was “nothing really to say from my side” about what he believes was “a racing incident.” Russell also questioned whether Verstappen’s feelings had changed since his initial, emotionally-charged response.

When asked if he wanted an apology, Russell responded, “No, not really. I don’t need an apology at all.” However, he did admit that he didn’t appreciate the language Verstappen used, although he didn’t specify which particular comment he found offensive.


“He’s a two-time champion and currently leading the championship. While it doesn’t bother me, he might be somewhat undermining himself with those kinds of remarks.”

“Max is a super good guy, great-great driver, just words like that are a bit unnecessary.”

And, having not yet seen the footage of their battle when Verstappen first approached him, Russell admitted he was actually surprised by what the TV images showed.

“Frankly, I was somewhat surprised by how minor the whole incident was; I anticipated it would be more substantial. Of course, there was some contact, which frequently occurs throughout the grid during the first lap, so indeed, I expected a bit more.”

Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP

Christian Horner, Verstappen’s team boss, believes that the damage to Verstappen’s car, which compromised his race, was the main source of his frustration. Horner commented

“You have two competitive individuals, and Max was upset because the significant damage to his car compromised his race, which naturally led to emotions running high once they removed their helmets,” Horner commented when asked about his take on the incident on Sunday.

“Max has never hesitated to express his emotions. He’s not scared of aggressive racing, but it was the damage to his car that hindered his race that left him feeling wronged.


“We’re well aware that Max is a tough racer, always has been and always will be. The fact that they made contact is the frustrating part, especially for Max, as it negatively impacted his race, and the damage occurred at Turn 2 when George locked up and collided with him.

“Sometimes, that’s just how racing goes. He quickly moved on, shared his thoughts, and then shifted his focus to the next race.”

Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP F1 2023 Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP F1 2023 Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP F1 2023 Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP F1 2023 Verstappen Russell Azerbaijan GP F1 2023

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