Max Verstappen laughs off ‘d**khead’ George Russell’s ‘beautiful’ explanation

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen speaks after qualifying. Baku April 2023.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen speaks to reporters after qualifying ends. Azerbaijan April 2023.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen made his thoughts very clear after picking up damage after contact with George Russell on the first lap of the Azerbaijan sprint.

Verstappen finished the Azerbaijan sprint in third place, having fallen to fourth on the opening lap after some aggressive racing with George Russell.

The Mercedes man stuck alongside the inside corner of the Red Bull into Turn 2, with the paid making contact as Verstappen turned in – the clash tapping Verstappen sideways and damaging the sidepod of the RB19.

Verstappen was furious as he took to team radio to lambast Russell’s actions, managing to overtake the Mercedes again once the race resumed after a brief Safety Car intervention.

Confronting Russell in parc ferme after the incident, Russell explained his side by saying: “I had no grip, I was locking up,” – an excuse that cut no ice with Verstappen.

“We all have no grip, we all need to leave a little bit of space,” Verstappen retorted.

“Yeah, well what do you want me to do?” Russell responded as he walked away from Verstappen. “Then expect next time the same, d**khead!” Verstappen shouted back. recommends

Sprint: Sergio Perez leapfrogs Charles Leclerc to take Saturday Baku victory

Furious Max Verstappen brands George Russell ‘d**khead’ in Baku confrontation

Max Verstappen: Why did George Russell take so much risk?

Speaking to the media moments later, Verstappen had barely cooled off as he was asked whether he was happy with the clarification from Russell.

“No, it’s not clarified,” he fumed.

“I just don’t understand why you need to take so much risk on Lap 1.

“He understeered into my sidepod, created a hole. We all have cold tyres, it’s all easy to lock up…but you know, his beautiful way of explaining ‘oh mate, you know, I locked up, oh look at the board’…. well, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s fine.

“We still got into P3, got some good points, but it is what it is.”

With Verstappen making contact with the wall at Turn 3 as Russell squeezed him out, the Dutch driver was asked whether that had led to any damage.

“No, not the wall. Just Turn 2 where he tapped me,” he said.

“There’s a hole in the sidepod. It doesn’t look that great, but it is what it is and we’ll concentrate on tomorrow.”

Verstappen scored six points from finishing third in the Sprint race, and will start the Grand Prix from second place behind pole-sitter Charles Leclerc.