Max Verstappen mocks George Russell’s ‘beautiful way’

Max Verstappen was unable to overtake Charles Leclerc even while having DRS, due to damage to his left sidepod.

Max Verstappen was left absolutely furious after Saturday’s sprint race at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after the reigning World Champion’s hopes of victory were destroyed by George Russell.

Verstappen could only salvage third from the first sprint race of the season, after completing almost the entirety of the sprint with significant damage to his left sidepod.

The damage was caused at the second corner on the opening lap after going side by side with Russell, who was on his inside.

Russell locked-up, though, and under-steered straight into Verstappen, creating the hole in his sidepod.

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Russell actually moved up to third following the collision, before Verstappen regained the spot a few laps later.

Due to his damage, Verstappen was unable to challenge Sergio Perez or Charles Leclerc, with the Dutchman’s championship lead having been reduced to 13 points.

Verstappen waited for Russell after the race in parc ferme to vent his frustration at the Briton, who did try to apologise.

The Red Bull driver was having none of it, though, and called the Mercedes driver a “di*khead” as he walked away.

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Verstappen remained furious during his post-race interview, where he somewhat mocked his fellow 25-year-old.

“No, it’s not clarified. I don’t understand why you need to take so many risks, understeering into my sidepod and creating a hole,” Verstappen stated in his post-race interview in parc ferme.

“He had a beautiful way of explaining; ‘Oh, I locked up, look at the onboard’. But it’s fine. We got some good points but it is what it is.”

Russell was “surprised” with Verstappen’s reaction both on the circuit and off of it, before warning the Red Bull driver that he’s “not going to hold back because he’s leading the championship”.

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“I was down the inside and I think, as a driver you know the risks when you’re on the outside…” Russell told Sky Sports F1 after the sprint.

“I am not going to hold back because he’s leading the championship. I was surprised he was holding it on the outside, he has a lot more to lose than I have. I was surprised he was resisting the position. 

“Nothing more to say on it. I was surprised why he was so angry, he still finished the race in P3. If you’re trying to overtake a guy on the outside, there’s a risk the guy on the inside is going to run into you. I don’t think it would have been any different had the positions been reversed.”