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George Russell: ‘I’m not simply going to wave him by as a result of he’s Max Verstappen in a Pink Bull’

The war of words between George Russell and Max Verstappen continued into the Baku evening air. On the opening lap of Saturday’s Formula One sprint race, Russell and Verstappen battled in one of the first corners on the Baku City Circuit, a left-handed turn near the start. Russell had the inside line, and as the

George Russell: ‘I’m not simply going to wave him by as a result of he’s Max Verstappen in a Pink Bull’

The confrontation between George Russell and Max Verstappen continued into the Baku night air.

On the opening lap of Saturday’s System One dash race, Russell and Verstappen battled in one of many first corners on the Baku Metropolis Circuit, a left-handed flip close to the beginning. Russell had the within line, and because the two drivers executed the flip, Verstappen fought on the surface to maintain place. Russell made contact with the left facet of Verstappen’s RB19, and the defending Drivers’ champion needed to struggle laborious to keep away from colliding with the barrier.

You’ll be able to see the incident from each onboard cameras on this clip from F1:

Verstappen finally fought again, overtaking Russell after a restart and ending forward of the Mercedes driver, in P3. However the incident was not forgotten. Shortly after the end cameras caught this change between the 2 drivers, with Verstappen nonetheless heated after the contact, which ripped a gap within the left sidepod of his RB19:

Verstappen additionally spoke in regards to the incident following the race:

“Yeah, he’s excellent in explaining and creating excuses. I imply, everybody had chilly tyres, and I feel I had each proper to be on the surface. I additionally didn’t actually threat something an excessive amount of, I gave him sufficient area, you understand, as a result of I knew we have been going side-by-side. However, you understand, you want two guys to work collectively, you understand, to make the nook clearly.”

For his half, Russell didn’t again down from his place post-race, that as a result of he was on the within on the apex of the nook, he was entitled to the spot on the observe:

“I used to be fairly shocked. I believed he was coming over to say ‘good battle’ to be sincere. You understand, from my facet, I used to be on the within. The place was already misplaced from him, and I used to be actually fairly shocked he was nonetheless attempting to carry it on the surface. You understand, ever since we’re eight years previous in go-karting, if you happen to’re on the within on the apex of a nook, it’s your nook. And if you happen to attempt to maintain it on the surface, you’re taking the chance.

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“You understand, I’m right here to struggle, I’m right here to win. I’m not simply going to wave him by as a result of he’s Max Verstappen in a Pink Bull … I believed the transfer was on, and that’s about it, actually.”

Not surprisingly, the crew bosses mirrored the viewpoints of their respective drivers.

“George and Max’s contact was a racing incident. One was attempting to go across the exterior and that’s by no means going to be straightforward,” stated Mercedes Crew Principal Toto Wolff in an announcement launched to the media, together with SBNation. “He picked up harm and that was sub-optimal for his race. It’s comprehensible that he could be upset however George was defending his place.”

After the race, Pink Bull Crew Principal Christian Horner famous that Verstappen is an “elephant,” who is not going to neglect the incident anytime quickly. “I feel he voiced his opinion to George, it’s in all probability a good suggestion he left his crash helmet on!” Horner said of that post-sprint chat between the 2 drivers.

“However you may perceive that, he’s a aggressive driver and whenever you get harm to your automotive and it impacts your race, I’d be disenchanted if he was simply pleased with that,” continued Horner. “He’s like an elephant, he’ll do not forget that, he’ll financial institution that for some time.”

How lengthy Verstappen holds onto the reminiscence is anybody’s guess, and the incident may linger past Baku. Whereas Verstappen is beginning in P2 on Sunday, Russell, who didn’t advance to Q3 in Friday’s qualifying classes, begins the Grand Prix in P11.

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