George Russell doubles down on ‘little bit pathetic’ Max Verstappen rant

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver George Russell with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku, April 2023.

Mercedes' George Russell with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Having previously stated Max Verstappen “let himself down” in their spat, George Russell has doubled down saying the World Champion “spat his dummy out” during his Baku rant.

Verstappen was irate with Russell when the two raced wheel-to-wheel on the opening lap of the sprint event at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with contact at Turn 2 tearing a hole in the Red Bull driver’s chassis while at Turn 3 he bounced off the wall.

Calling Russell a “d**khead” and warning him to “expect next time the same”, Verstappen later added about Russell’s comments about him having been on the outside: “It’s not allowed because Princess George is there? That’s ultimately his problem!”

Russell walked away from the confrontation, later saying the double World Champion had “let himself down” with his rant.

It’s an opinion he still holds, telling Sky Sports F1: “It was all a little bit pathetic.

“I think something you learn as a kid is if you’re going to give something you’ve got to be willing to take it as well.

“He’s had his fair share of giving moves like that and being tough and hard at racing and it’s a little bit poor to see how he sort of spat his dummy out when it was the first time he probably got something back in the same regard.

“From my side there was nothing really to say. I thought it was good racing, exciting racing and that’s the only thing that happened that weekend.

“We’re both drivers, we’ve both been in the sport a long time now and we have plenty of experience. We’ll have a chat, everything is fine, move on and I guess we’ll laugh about it one day.”

Despite declaring Verstappen’s rant pathetic, Russell doesn’t believe there’s a need to clear the air with the Dutchman.

“From my side, there’s no air to be cleared,” he said. “I will welcome and say hello to him if he passes by. I’m sure we’ll shake hands if we bump into each other.

“For me, it’s history now and it’s behind us. My view of him is still the same, I still respect him, I still think he’s a great driver.

“Obviously, things are always said in the heat of the moment. But we move on.” recommends

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As for Verstappen, he joked in Thursday’s press conference about his “terrible” relationship with the Mercedes driver, before adding: “No, of course not. That’s what people maybe like to hear but no, it’s absolutely fine.”

He too doesn’t believe they need to hash out what happened in Baku or the subsequent exchange.

“It was already fine immediately after that,” he told Sky Sports News. “You just ask questions at the time, I didn’t like his response to it and then you get into a scenario like that. But that’s it, you move forwards, move on and try again.

“I haven’t spoken to him since the weekend but it’s also not necessary, we’re racing drivers we’ve been growing up together through all the ranks so there is nothing that really needs to be said anyway.”