Verstappen ‘let himself down’ with f-word rant – Russell
By Ian Parkes
Tuesday 2nd May, 2023 - 2:08am
George Russell feels Max Verstappen “let himself down” with his foul-mouthed tirade following the Azerbaijan sprint.
Russell claimed he was on the receiving end of an f-word outburst from the reigning F1 champion as a result of their collision during Saturday’s 17-lap race.
Verstappen also called Russell a “d***head* as he turned and walked away from their exchange.
The Mercedes driver managed to beat Verstappen into the first corner at the Baku Street Circuit from their grid slots of fourth and third respectively.
Although Russell immediately came under attack through the following two corners, he defended aggressively to keep the Red Bull at bay.
Contact into Turn 2, however, via a lock-up from Russell as Verstappen attacked around the outside, resulted in a hole in the left-hand sidepod of the Dutchman’s RB19.
That sparked Verstappen into confronting Russell in parc fermé.
Speaking to the media immediately after the sprint, Russell defended his actions off track as firmly as he did on it.
Asked after the grand prix whether he had spoken to Verstappen over the intervening period to clear the air, Russell replied: “There’s nothing really to say from my side.
“At the end of the day, it was the heat of the moment for everybody, and I don’t know if he feels differently now but it’s a bit of a racing incident.”
As to whether he felt Verstappen should apologise for his comments, he said: “No, I don’t need an apology at all.”
Instead, Russell feels Verstappen should conduct himself better in future.
He added: “He’s a two-time champion, leading the championship again at the moment.
“It doesn’t bother me, but he probably lets himself down a little bit with those sorts of comments.
“Max is a super-good guy, a great, great driver. But words like that are a bit unnecessary.”
Russell even declared himself surprised his rival had created such a furore.
“I was a bit underwhelmed at how little everything was,” he said.
“I was expecting it to be a lot more. There was a bit of contact, as there often is up and down the grid.”
Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section
Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]