Russell takes fresh swipe at Verstappen as feud continues in Baku

George Russell has branded Max Verstappen’s comments towards him in the immediate aftermath of the Azerbaijani Grand Prix sprint race as ‘unnecessary’. The defending Formula 1 world champion called Russell a ‘d***head’ after the pair collided with each other earlier on in the Saturday session.

Verstappen started in P3 for the new look format with Russell starting in P4 but on the second turn, the pair collided as Russell looked to find a gap on the inside of the Dutchman. Following the incident, Verstappen was caught on camera confronting Russell about the clash.

Russell said: “I’ve got no grip” before the Red Bull driver fired back: “We all have no grip; we all need to leave a little bit of space”. As Russell walked off, Verstappen called out: “Expect the same next time” before dubbing the Mercedes star a “d***head”.

The ugly exchange was caught on camera and soon made the rounds on the internet. In response to Verstappen’s words, Russell said: “There was nothing really to say from my side at the end of the day it’s heat of the moment for everybody. I don’t know if he comes across differently now at the end of the day.

“It’s a racing incident. I don’t need an apology, but he’s a two-time world champion leading it again at the moment. It doesn’t bother me, but he probably let himself down with those comments. Max is a super good guy, great driver, just words like that are a bit unnecessary.”

Verstappen finished third on Saturday behind Charles Leclerc and eventual Azerbaijani Grand Prix champion Sergio Perez. Meanwhile, Russell placed fourth. The Dutchman went one better on Sunday for the actual race and came behind his team-mate Perez as Red Bull claimed a one-two.

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Reflecting on the sprint race, Russell added: “A little bit disappointed in myself, made a really good start, got into a good position, and I just made a mess of the restart said Russell. I was defending from Lance, [and] almost ran into the back of Fernando.

“Got my tyres dirty, ultimately, it’s why Lance and Lewis got by. From then on, it was line astern I don’t know what it was like behind, but from my side, there was no overtaking.

“I’ll take the extra point, but the only reason we had that opportunity was because we were in a bad position, so whether we finished P4 or P8 as we did, it’s far from P1.”

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