F1 season preview as Max Verstappen looks to defend world title
F1 fans have been left to stew over a gripping weekend of action in Azerbaijan so far, and the main event does not even get underway until Sunday afternoon. Max Verstappen’s argument with George Russell took centre-stage on Saturday, and it remains to be seen whether the pair will get an opportunity to do battle again on track during the main event.
Verstappen is among those to have criticised F1’s new format, with the sprint shootout making its debut in Baku this weekend. The reigning double world champion raised fresh questions over his future over the past few days, questioning whether such intense competition is a ‘good life’, while former F1 star Damon Hill has questioned his mentality.
There was plenty for viewers to enjoy on Saturday as Red Bull star Sergio Perez pipped Charles Leclerc to top spot in the sprint to bank valuable Championship points. Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are still shy of the pace necessary to challenge for race victories but Russell still had a part to play, passing Verstappen on the opening lap of the sprint and leaving his mark on the Dutchman’s car.
With all this to delve into and more, follow Express Sport‘s live F1 updates below…
Verstappen refuses to accept Russell apology as Red Bull left damaged[REACTION]
Fresh retirement hint dropped
Despite dominating the sport for the past two seasons, Verstappen has once again admitted that he may not stay in F1 for the long haul.
The sport’s bosses have introduced a new format at several venues this weekend, which features Grand Prix qualifying on Friday, sprint shootout and the sprint race on Saturday, as well as the Grand Prix on Sunday.
Verstappen feels that it’s too much, admitting that he will consider his options when his Red Bull contract expires in 2028.
“I do like racing. I do like winning,” he said. “I know that, of course, there is the salary and everything, and you have a good life. But is it actually a good life? Sometimes, you get to a point in your career where maybe you want to do other stuff.
“I have the contract until the end of 2028 and then we’ll review again, but I do feel that if it’s getting at one point too much, then it’s time for a change.”
Verstappen burns bridges with Russell
Max Verstappen may have ruined any chances he had of making up with George Russell after laying into the Mercedes star following their collision on Saturday.
The Dutchman called Russell ‘Princess George’ while on a scathing rant about their coming-together in the sprint race.
“If you now say ‘the hole was not my intention’, that says something,” he told reporters. “But his reaction… ‘look at the onboards’ and ‘cold tyres’? Yes, we all have cold tyres. It’s just a bit churlish.
“It’s not allowed because Princess George is there? That’s ultimately his problem!”
Good morning and welcome to Express Sport‘s rolling F1 coverage.
And what a day to tune in as we await the start of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which gets underway at 12pm this afternoon.
Tensions are charged in the paddock after a fast and furious sprint race on Saturday, with Sergio Perez riding high after his victory.
Sit back, relax, and stay right here throughout the day to be kept up to date…
Source: Read Full Article