Max Verstappen
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – April 29, 2023 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with Mercedes’ George Russell after the sprint REUTERS/Lisi Niesner/Pool

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix came to an end on Sunday after witnessing much drama. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez took home another street circuit victory, with his teammate, Max Verstappen, finishing second behind him. However, it was a heated convo between the Red Bull ace and Mercedes’ young British driver that became the highlight of the Baku race weekend.

During the initial sector of the sprint race, George Russell, the Mercedes driver, tried to take over Max Verstappen from the inside, causing a near wheel-to-wheel collision. While the duo avoided any major accident, the Briton’s car did make contact with Verstappen’s Red Bull, causing a giant hole in the Dutchman’s sidepod. A furious Max lashed out at George on the team radio and called the move ridiculous. Moreover, Verstappen confronted Russell after the race and hurled not-so-very kind toward him.


Max Verstappen Confront George Russell After Sprint Contact, Calls Him A “D***head”

Max Verstappen, George Russell
Max Verstappen made a beeline for Russell to confront the Mercedes racer (Image: Sky Sports)

Red Bull Racing’s lead driver, Max Verstappen, was furious at Mercedes’ young gun, George Russell, for running into him at the initial turn of the Baku sprint race. The Dutchman was in no mood to let it pass and confronted the Briton after the race. While George apologized and claimed that his move was unintentional as he had no grip on the tyres, it all fell on deaf ears for Max, who retaliated further. The Dutchman replied that we all face grip issues, but the Briton should have stayed vigilant and left some space for him. As George made his way back to Mercedes garage, Verstappen called him a “D***head.”

Further, during the post-race interview, Max Verstappen clarified his stance and said he doesn’t understand why George Russell wants to take such risks on lap one. Moreover, he also said that he meant every word he said to Russell during the heated confrontation. The Dutchman believes that the Briton had no right to defend his position so strongly since Red Bull is a more dominant car than Mercedes. He even called Russell a “princess” and said there was no point in going so hard initially as he would any which way overtake him in the next three laps. Overall, Max seemed furious and was not listening to any arguments made by George in his defense.

George Russell Claps Back At Verstappen, Issues Justification Over His Strong Move

George Russell
George Russell is interviewed. Zandvoort September 2022. Credit: Alamy

If Max Verstappen is willing to lay out his point of view in a rather aggressive manner, George Russell is certainly not someone who would hold back. In the post-race interview, the Briton hit back at the Dutchman and justified his move. The Mercedes driver said he was on the inside, and it was his position. The Briton further explained that even in go-karting, you are taught that if someone is on the inside, the position belongs to that particular machinery, and the person on the outside must stand down.

Moreover, George Russell issued a stern warning to Max Verstappen. He said he is not going to hold back on a fight just because someone is leading the driver’s championship points table. The Briton is here to fight and will not just wave back to Max because he is sitting in a flying Red Bull. Russell concluded by saying it was hard racing, and he did not mean to cause damage to Vertappen’s car. Overall, the long-withstanding rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull just got heated up and is likely to get aggravated in the coming race weekends.