Max Verstappen screams at Red Bull to ‘f***ing report’ George Russell
F1 season preview as Max Verstappen looks to defend world title
Max Verstappen reacted furiously on Saturday after being overtaken by George Russell on the opening lap of the sprint race in Azerbaijan. The Dutchman demanded his team to ‘report’ the Mercedes star, claiming that the pair made contact as they jostled for position.
With Verstappen qualifying third and Russell fourth in Saturday’s inaugural sprint shootout, the pair did not take long to go toe-to-toe once the sprint race got underway later in the day. The Mercedes star got a better start off the line, which produced a gripping battle through the first three corners in Baku.
Things came to a head going into Turn 3, when Russell held his nerve and the inside line to pass Verstappen, forcing the reigning double world champion to run perilously close to the wall and appearing to skim his front-left tyre on the way past.
Verstappen was told over the team radio to remember that others have more to lose than he does, but he still reacted angrily, screaming: “He tagged me, that’s how he got the position. F***ing report it.”
Russell got away without punishment from the FIA and remained in third place when the race restarted, following a period behind a Safety Car due to Yuki Tsunoda’s tyre coming lose. On the incident, Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok said: “They both had the right to racing room.
“It’s on the edge. I can see why Max is slightly annoyed but I think George will get away with that. We definitely saw debris fly off the car. It could have been the Mercedes wing or something from the Red Bull.”
Verstappen himself did not agree as he continued to rage over the team radio. “Did he really drive into the side of the track?” he asked. “I don’t understand how he can keep the position and he is damaging my car. I just find it ridiculous.”
The Red Bull star would ultimately have the last laugh as he overtook Russell immediately after the race restart, and he was immediately congratuled with a message on the team radio, which began: “Good job, Max. Nicely done. Without contact as well.”
Verstappen couldn’t resist but fire a sly dig at the Englishman, replying: “Yeah, I know how to do that.”
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