Verstappen gives take on Russell investigation

Max Verstappen went on to win the Spanish Grand Prix after a brilliant wheel-to-wheel battle with George Russell.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is pleased that George Russell was not awarded a penalty in the aftermath of their battle at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Having gone into the gravel at Turn Four, Verstappen collected himself and ended up on the tail of Russell as he tried to retake second place, but the sporadic compliance of his rear wing meant that his DRS was not always working.

When it did though, he dived down the inside of Russell into Turn One, but the Briton held his line going through Turn Two, before Verstappen was forced to run onto the astro turf on the exit of Three.

READ: George Russell delighted with podium after ‘survival race’ in Barcelona

Russell kept the position as a result, but was undone by Verstappen’s phenomenal stint on Softs that saw him clear the Mercedes driver when he pitted, and the reigning champion would go on to pass team-mate Sergio Perez for the win. 

After the race, Verstappen affirmed that any action against Russell would have been harsh, so he is glad that they were allowed to battle with their elbows out.

“Luckily nothing happened. I mean, there was a bit of grip on the outside, so I’m okay with it. I think it was hard racing,” he said, quoted by GPFans.

“And of course, I went around the outside but I’m also in the blind spot of George, so I think he didn’t even really notice where I was exactly, right?

“Well, for sure he knew that I was there, but it’s always hard to fully give a car’s width there because it’s a fast corner, you’re drifting wide. 

Article continues below

“So if I was in George’s position, I would have probably done the same, so it’s just how we are, I think.”

Russell admitted that he was surprised to learn of the stewards’ brief investigation into the matter, and would therefore like to clarify with the FIA where the line is.

“It’s important that we are allowing this hard, fair racing,” he added.

READ: Hamilton fans flock to his defence after seven-time champion mocked in Barcelona

“The rule is to give a car’s width and that was what was done and I think there was still a wheel on the track from Max. 

“But yeah, it’s a little bit difficult at the moment. We’ve obviously got the new stewards in and it’s very difficult for everybody, and trying to understand each other.

“What we feel like is required from the driver’s side, and what they expect from us as well, it will just need this open dialogue. 

“But I wasn’t even aware they were looking into it, to be honest. I thought it was hard and fair racing.”

Russell came home to finish third and take his second podium of the season in what continues to be a mightily impressive debut year in Mercedes colours.