Max Verstappen Snaps At George Russell In Baku

Giancarlo Perlas April 29, 2023
Max Verstappen and George Russell get into a heated argument after the qualifying in Baku. (Image from F1 race coverage)

Red Bull’s championship leader Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ George Russell collided in the opening corners of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint race, leaving Verstappen’s car with a gaping tear in its left sidepod. Verstappen was furious and criticized Russell, saying that he should have given him more space to avoid damaging his car. After the race, the two drivers had a heated exchange in parc ferme.

In the post-qualifying argument that ensued, Verstappen said that he gave Russell enough space in turn two and that he expected the same from the Mercedes driver next time. He also let out an expletive along the way.

However, Russell defended himself, saying that he was not going to hold back just because Verstappen was the championship leader and that the Red Bull driver should have given up the corner. He claimed that he was surprised by Verstappen’s resistance to the position and that he wasn’t expecting such a reaction from the Dutchman after the race.

Post-Match Interview with Max Verstappen and George Russell

In an interview after the event, Verstappen criticized Russell’s move and said that the Briton should have thought about the risks he was taking, as it was only the first lap of the race. He also added that he respected all the drivers, but common sense should have prevailed on the first lap. The reigning champ mentioned that there was potential to damage Russell’s car as well, not just his own.

Russell, on the other hand, claimed that he was doing his best to have a clean fight and that none of the contact was intentional. He was surprised that Verstappen was still trying to hold it around the outside, considering that it was a street circuit and that Verstappen had a lot more to lose than he did. The Mercedes driver defended his move and said that if the roles were reversed, Verstappen would have done exactly the same.

It was All Part of Racing

In the end, both drivers had different views on the incident but agreed that it was part of racing and that they would move on from it. The exchange between Verstappen and Russell may have created some drama and tension between the two, but it also adds to the excitement of the season, as both drivers are expected to be in the title race this year.

Starting Positions in the Azerbaijan GP

The results saw Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc nab the first position in the grid. Despite the unfortunate incident that triggered a Safety Car restart, Max Verstappen still managed to get the second position while his teammate Sergio Perez trails in the third position. Meanwhile, George Russel and his partner Lewis Hamilton are in the eleventh and fifth posts of the grid, respectively.

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About Author

Giancarlo Perlas

Giancarlo Perlas is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations, particularly in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. Alongside his civic and corporate pursuits is his love for cars, particularly those made by Mercedes-Benz. In 2012, he found himself with like-minded individuals within BenzInsider. From then on, he used the platform as a way to share his passion with the automotive community. Follow his Facebook page at, X (formerly Twitter) @giancarloperlas, and IG @benzinsider. View all posts by Giancarlo Perlas →

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