2022 Italian GP: Max Verstappen lashes out at George Russell

George Russell and Max Verstappen will start second and fourth, respectively, at the Italian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen grew a little impatient with the presence of George Russell in front of him during final practice ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.

The Briton was trying to get some race runs done, and he needed to run at a consistent pace in order to gather the data.

The reigning world champion has never been one to take a lenient view of slower cars holding him up during practice though and, after being stuck behind Russell for a few corners, frustration had built up.

His engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, almost pre-emptively agreed with what the Dutchman was about to say, calling Russell’s driving “unnecessary.”

READ: George Russell insists Mercedes can win as he looks for ‘more magic’

“What is this?” said an irritated Verstappen.

“No idea,” Replied Lambiase.

“But he’s still in front!” exclaimed an angry 30-time race winner.

“I suspect he’ll have a meeting after this session,” replied the engineer, implying that Russell may be facing a trip to the stewards.

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No action was taken though, and the Red Bull driver eventually made his way through as he went on to set the fastest lap in the final session before qualifying.

The 24-year-old went into qualifying hour with a five-place grid drop, while team-mate Sergio Perez took 10, and Carlos Sainz received a full back of the grid penalty.

Sir Lewis Hamilton will also be starting at the back for Mercedes, so Verstappen was essentially set for a two-place penalty.

The championship leader qualified second behind Charles Leclerc, who took an immensely popular pole in front of the adoring tifosi, so Verstappen will start in P7 with penalties applied to himself, Sainz, Hamilton and Perez.

Russell will join Leclerc on the front row of the grid, while his team-mate Hamilton is set to go from 19th behind Sainz.

After qualifying, Verstappen revealed that Red Bull had gone more for a downforce-oriented set-up to try and find more performance over a race distance.

READ: Max Verstappen makes Daniel Ricciardo prediction after McLaren axe

“It was close, but of course, we chose to go for a little more downforce around here,” he told Davide Valsecchi.

“And, over one lap, it’s maybe not the best, but I think for tomorrow it can be quite strong, also knowing that we have to start a bit back.

“All in all, it was still a good lap, I enjoyed it all weekend so far, and I think it will be an interesting battle tomorrow.”