Max Verstappen branded ‘sore loser’

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has not held back in his criticism of the new Sprint race format, with his irritation visible throughout the race weekend.

Former Formula 1 world champion Damon Hill has accused Max Verstappen of being a “sore loser” after the Dutchman moaned about the new format and lashed out at George Russell in a post-race confrontation.

Verstappen struggled during the Sprint Shootout, lining up in P3 and failing to gain any places during the race after an opening incident with Russell’s Mercedes.

Russell and Verstappen disagreed over the incident after they got out the vehicle, with the Mercedes driver trying to explain the situation before the Dutchman called him a “d*******”.

Speaking to the media after the race, Verstappen claimed the new format was boring, making clear that he didn’t enjoy the event.

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“I got bored during today’s qualifying [for the sprint] to be honest,” Verstappen said.

“I like to have one particular qualifying where you put everything in it, which was yesterday, which I enjoyed.

“Then you have to do it again today. It’s like, ‘oh my God, another qualifying?’ I just don’t really enjoy that.”

Hill wasn’t willing to tolerate Verstappen’s criticism though, suggesting that the Red Bull driver should focus more on his on-track performance and less on trying to shape races behind the scenes.

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“We should just give Max Verstappen the championship and not bother with anything else!” Hill said sarcastically.

“Sorry, that’s just sulking, a poor loser. It’s fair for everyone, it’s the same competition.

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“He should be thinking about the championship, thinking about tomorrow, put it behind him.”

Verstappen leads the Drivers’ Standings but the result of Saturday’s Sprint race meant his teammate Sergio Perez was able to close the gap in the title race to just 13 points.

The Dutchman is well aware that the Mexican is his greatest competition at this stage of the season, as they both have the benefit of the impressive performance of the RB19.