George Russell backtracks on Max Verstappen jibe

George Russell has famously collided with Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas in the past.

Ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, George Russell has addressed some comments he made, regarding drivers he didn’t “feel comfortable going against”.

The 25-year-old said that “three drivers” on the grid didn’t have the “spatial awareness of others”; however, he failed to name the trio.

Russell explained how this made it more enjoyable to battle with the frontrunners, who he believes are “able to control their car better”.

“[There are] maybe three drivers on the grid who you wouldn’t feel comfortable going against,” Russell said.

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

“There’s a trust between most of the drivers. I don’t think [those unnamed racers] have the spatial awareness of others.

“So, actually you prefer fighting hard against the great drivers because you know that they’re going to be able to control their car better and place it in hard positions but not dangerous positions comparing with somebody who maybe isn’t at the same level as the best.”

Since making the comments, Russell has since stated that they were taken “out of context”, with him having actually been discussing reigning World Champion Max Verstappen at the time.

Russell and Verstappen collided on the opening lap of the first sprint race of the year in Azerbaijan, where the Mercedes driver dived down the Dutchman’s inside.

Article continues below

It resulted in some ugly scenes after the sprint, as Verstappen waited for Russell to vent his anger.

Russell insisted that he’d been asked what it was like to battle with Verstappen, to which the Briton insisted that he’d become “less aggressive” this season.

The King’s Lynn-born driver was also quick to add that all the drivers on the grid are the “very best guys in the business”, with there simply being a trio a “cut above the rest”.

READ: F1 commentator sacked by the BBC

“It was something taken a little bit out of context when asked how it was racing with Max and if he is less aggressive and whether I enjoy racing with him or not,” Russell told

“I said I enjoy racing, or more comfortable racing the very best guys in the business, more so than some of the others who don’t have the spatial awareness of the greatest ones on the grid. Every single driver on this grid is an extremely talented driver and everyone has won in their respective categories on their journey.

“But clearly, there are two or three drivers who are a cut above the rest.”