Christian Horner unhappy with George Russell

George Russell attracted criticism from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner at the 2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was left frustrated with Mercedes’ George Russell after Saturday afternoon’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race, with the 25-year-old having hit reigning World Champion Max Verstappen.

Verstappen and Russell started the sprint race at the Baku City Circuit in third and fourth and found themselves side by side through the opening two corners, due to Russell having made a better launch off the line.

Whilst they both got through the opening corner unscathed, the same couldn’t be said for the second corner, with Russell having locked-up and under-steered into the side of Verstappen.

The collision caused significant damage to Verstappen’s left sidepod and floor, with the two-time World Champion having gone on to complete the sprint with a huge hole in the side of his car.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Russell interestingly moved ahead of Verstappen following the collision, before the Red Bull driver reclaimed third a few laps later.

The championship leader was unable to make any further progress, though, with Horner stating that the damage to Verstappen’s RB19 likely cost him “three quarters of a second” each lap.

It was seemingly deemed as a racing incident by the stewards given that the collision wasn’t investigated, something Verstappen didn’t understand.

He actually waited for Russell in parc ferme after the race to vent his anger at the Mercedes driver, before calling him a “di*khead” on live TV as the Briton walked away.

Article continues below

Verstappen was adamant that he did nothing wrong with Horner having seemingly believed the same, with the Red Bull boss having admitted after the sprint that he felt Russell’s move at Turn 2 was “over the top”.

READ: Guenther Steiner sends Kevin Magnussen warning as he faces the sack

“For me, turn one I can live with, turn two was hard-racing between two hard racers, [turn three] felt a bit over the top,” stated Horner after the sprint, as reported by

“When you see a hole like that in the side, it’s got to be three quarters of a second, a lap, at least. Then there’s other complications. The temperature starts going out of control, because the air’s not running through the sidepods as it’s designed to.

“George just runs him too far into the wall (and) unfortunately the result of it was that we ended up with quite a lot of body damage… and that cost him quite a bit of performance.”