Max Verstappen was not a happy bunny at the recent Formula one Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend. The double world champion has made it clear he dislikes intensely the Sprint weekend formats and that F1 should retain its traditional weekend schedule.
The Red Bull driver had even threatened to quit if Formula One if the powers that be make “too many changes.”
Verstappen threatens to quit F1
When asked by Portugal’s Sport TV about the extra qualifying introduced for the Sprint race weekend Verstappen was candid.
“I think that’s much better for the excitement. Naturally, I hope there won’t be too many changes; otherwise, I won’t do it, I won’t be here for long.”
Inevitably during the shortened new frantic Sprint qualifying format Verstappen failed to deliver and started the Sprint race behind both Charles LeClerc and Sergio Perez.
During the dash for turn 1 the Red Bull driver failed to make a good start and allowed George Russell alongside him. Verstappen gave the Mercedes’ driver plenty of room on the inside but as the two continued to race wheel to wheel through turn 2, Russell lots grip and ripped a large hole in the side of Verstappen’s car.
Max confronts George
This clearly affected the aerodynamics of the Red Bull and Verstappen trailed him in third behind his team mate and Charles LeClerc.
In parc ferme Verstapen headed over to confront Russell who tried to explain his tyres were cold causing the lock up and collision.
Max was in no mood for what he saw as ‘measly’ words and told Russell to “expect next time the same.”
The exchange finished by Verstappen calling Russell a “d**k head”.
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“Princess George” must have his way
During the post race media interviews Max was asked whether it was wise to place his car on the outside of the corner when racing side by side.
The Red Bull driver quickly quipped: “It’s not allowed because Princess George is there? That’s ultimately his problem!”
Contemporary parlance uses the word Princess or “Prinny” to describe someone who has a sense of entitlement, can be high maintenance and sees things only from their own perspective.
Verstappen said he was irritated by Russell’s attempt to explain because, “He tells me ‘yeah I got cold tyres’. We all have cold tyres – that’s not an excuse.”
Verstappen demands Russell accepts responsibility
“I don’t like it when somebody has that kind of reaction about… ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ – and then just walks off.”
When told about Verstappen’s comments Russell appeared to take the high ground stating:
“I don’t need an apology at all,” said Russell.
“But he’s a two-time World Champion, leading the Championship again at the moment. It doesn’t bother me, but he probably lets himself down a little bit with those sort of comments.
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Russell plays row down
“Max is a super good guy, a great, great driver, it’s just that words like that are a bit unnecessary.”
As if adding fuel to the flames the Mercedes’ driver claimed to be unimpressed by what he’d seen back of the incident on a TV replay.
“To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed at how little everything was,” Russell added.
“I was expecting it to be a lot more. Obviously, there was a bit of contact, as there often is up and down the grid on Lap 1.
“I was expecting a bit more.”
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Red Bull team boss grinned when asked about the spat between the two drivers.
“But you can understand that [he’s upset], he’s a competitive driver and when you get damage to your car and it affects your race, I’d be disappointed if he was just happy with that.
“He’s like an elephant, he’ll remember that, he’ll bank that for a while.”
Lando Norris also mocked his rival George Russell in a joint interview with TV broadcaster Sky.
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Norris “looking forward” to Max revenge
Russell revealed before the Grand Prix that he had not discussed the matter further with Max.
“No [we haven’t spoken]. I’ll say hello to him, there’s no hard feelings on my side.”
Norris quickly interjected and reminded Russell of the Red Bull driver’s threat.
“He said to expect the same back, so I’m looking forward to that,” grinned Lando
READ MORE: Divisions growing in Red Bull camp
Ok, last one on Baku's sprint race, as it's just too good to not tweet it. Damon Hill delivering a perfect summary 😅 #F1 pic.twitter.com/GgjIaSLVaX
— Simon Dau (@there_is_no_if) April 29, 2023
I’d rather be a princess then a self entitled bitch.