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

Mercedes and Red Bull have been arch nemesis on the tracks of Formula One for the past few years. Both teams do not shy away from sorting to any extreme means to stay at the top of the sport. We saw a glimpse of the fierce rivalry at the recently concluded Azerbaijan Grand Prix. During the initial lap of the sprint race, George Russell, the Mercedes driver, closed in on Max Verstappen’s RB19 and nearly caused a wheel-to-wheel collision.

While the duo escaped a major accident, Russell’s W14 did leave a giant hole on Verstappen’s car’s sidepod. That left the Dutchman furious, who had an epic showdown with the Briton. After the race, Max Verstappen confronted George Russell and slammed him for going aggressive on the initial lap of the race. The Briton claimed innocence and said he had no grip. However, the Red Bull racer was having none of it and called him a “D***head.” The matter has just escalated from that day, and the British driver recently took another potshot at the Dutchman.


George Russell Calls Max Verstappen’s Aggressive Antics “Pathetic”

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

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen blasted Mercedes driver George Russell for racing hard on him in the first lap of the Baku sprint race. While Russell explained his side, the Dutchman did not listen to even a word and issued a threat. Max even warned the Briton to expect the same treatment next time around. Reacting to the same, Russell called Max’s behavior “pathetic.” According to the young British driver, there’s something you learn as a child while growing up that when you give something to someone, you should have that much tolerance to bear it when the same is thrown back at you. The same philosophy is applied to Max as well.

The Dutchman has made his career out of hard racing. But when he is being raced hard, Verstappen has too little gut to accept it. Hence, George Russell feels his spat over the whole issue is just a poor thing to see in a sport. The Briton added that from his side, it was just hard and good racing and nothing more than that. They both are highly competitive drivers who just happen to race hard. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen is yet to comment on the latest statement by Russell. But one thing is for sure, seeing Max’s aggression, he is not ready to back down and will probably not let the issue slide too soon. Exciting times are ahead in the Miami Grand Prix.

Russell Unwilling To Back Down Despite Threats From Verstappen

George Russell
George Russell had to climb out of his stricken Mercedes car and leave it on the track (Image: Getty Images)

George Russell, the Mercedes driver, is not backing down from a fight despite the recent controversy with Max Verstappen. The Briton averted a collision with the Dutchman by running in on him from the inside. Max even issued him a threat for serving the same aggression in the upcoming races. However, the Briton is least bothered. He said he would continue to race the same way he did in Baku. For Russell, it was simply a hard racing move. He went for it, finished it, and moved on.

Hence, he does not see any reason why he should back down from a fight. George Russell added that if the move upset Verstappen, it was none of his concern. These things happen in racing, and it would keep happening, at least from his side, because he is here to fight. The Briton will not let someone fly past time just because that someone is leading the driver championship’s leaderboard. Nonetheless, one thing is certain, the rivalry between Mercedes and Red Bull is just going to intensify from here on, and Formula One fans are in for some treat.