Max Verstappen tears into ‘dangerous’ George Russell

Max Verstappen is looking for his 13th win of 2023 at Suzuka this weekend, as he's set to get back to his winning ways.

Max Verstappen was left frustrated with George Russell on the opening day at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, after feeling like the Mercedes driver “dangerously” got in his way.

The incident occurred during Free Practice 1 at Suzuka, a session which Verstappen topped by a staggering six-tenths of a second.

During the session, he felt that Russell got in his way, something he complained to the team about.

“That Mercedes was so dangerously in the way there,” Verstappen said over the team radio.

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Russell impeding Verstappen during FP1 comes after the FIA apologised for making a mistake at the recent Singapore Grand Prix, where they didn’t penalise the reigning World Champion for impeding.

The governing body received significant criticism ahead of this weekend for being inconsistent, after Verstappen escaped without a grid penalty after being investigated for three separate incidents of potential impeding.

He only received a reprimand for his actions, despite most drivers having received a three-place grid penalty when found guilty of impeding in qualifying.

Should Verstappen impede another driver in qualifying this weekend, then a grid penalty will at least stop him from winning incredibly comfortably, something which looks on the cards.

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After topping FP1 by six-tenths of a second, the 25-year-old topped Free Practice 2 by just over three-tenths of a second, with the RB19 looking at home.

Red Bull’s Singapore woes appear to have been just a blip in the system, given just how strong Verstappen has looked in Japan.

The Dutchman had predicted after finishing fifth in Singapore last weekend that Suzuka would suit Red Bull significantly better, something which has proven to be correct.

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It was the Marina Bay Circuit’s low-speed style which worked against the RB19’s strengths, with Suzuka’s fast and flowing nature being right down Red Bull’s preferred avenue.

Victory this weekend would put Verstappen ever closer to a third consecutive Drivers’ Championship, whilst it’d also mark his 13th of the season, putting him just two wins behind his 2022 record of 15 in a single season.

With seven races still remaining, Verstappen could end 2023 on 19 victories.