Max Verstappen has been called 'petty' for interview about George Russell after sprint race clash
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Max Verstappen has been branded "petty" for his interview after clashing with George Russell at the Azerbaijan sprint race.
A day after qualifying for the grand prix took place, drivers participated in new sprint race format in Baku and both Verstappen and Russell went wheel to wheel in the opening lap.
The rivals appeared to make contact in both turn two and turn three, with Verstappen's Red Bull car badly damaged in the form of a hole in his side pod.
Verstappen, who went on to finish in third place, fumed over the collision on his team radio and continued to vent his frustrations afterwards.
The reigning F1 world champion was seen remonstrating with Russell directly after the race and appeared to call him a "d***head" in a tense exchange.
After Russell said he had no grip, Verstappen replied: "We all have no grip. We all need to give a little bit of space. But expect it next time the same, you know. D***head.”
George walking away from the whining and Verstappen being a crybaby and calling him dickheadpic.twitter.com/vQO70SwnHR— Stefanie (@fastpitstop) April 29, 2023
The Dutchman doubled down on his thoughts on the Mercedes man in an interview where he did not hold back.
"He's very good in explaining and creating excuses," Verstappen stated.
"I mean, everyone had cold tyres and I think I had every right to be on the outside. I also didn't really risk anything too much.
"I gave him enough space, because we were going side by side. But, you know, you need two guys to work together to make the corner. Clearly he didn't."
Fans felt Verstappen's comments were a little uncalled for, with many deeming his interview "petty".
One wrote: "Always blaming people. Sick."
A second said: "An absolute crybaby and he wonders why so many drivers take issue to him."
A third agreed: "Same old Max. Always the victim. Just doesn’t like when it’s on the other foot."
Another opined: "The lack of self awareness this guy has is truly astonishing."
Russell, however, had a very different version of events and claimed he did not make contact on purpose, as well as admitting his "surprise" at Verstappen's approach.
He told Sky Sports: "I was on the inside and I think, as a driver, you know the risks when you're on the outside. I'm here to fight, I'm here to win and I'm not going to hold back just because he's [Verstappen] leading the championship.
"I was quite surprised that he was still trying to hold it around the outside. It was on a street circuit. He's got a lot more to lose than I have.
"None of the contact was intentional, I was just doing my best to have a clean fight. I was surprised that he was resistant to his position; I was on the inside."
"I'm not going to hold back because he's leading the championship"— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) April 29, 2023
George Russell explains his side of the incident between himself and Max Verstappen during the Sprint 👇 pic.twitter.com/zPoVIoNreD
The Azerbaijan grand prix gets underway at 12pm on Sunday and includes 51 laps of the 6.003-kilometre Baku City.
Fans will no doubt be keeping an eye on any potential incidents involving Verstappen and Russell.
Featured Image Credit: F1 & Sky Sports
Topics: Max Verstappen, George Russell, Mercedes, Red Bull Racing, Formula 1