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Hill on Verstappen's 'playground' spat with Russell: You can't be the weak link

One of the big talking points to emerge from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix centred around a tense post-Sprint confrontation between Max Verstappen and George Russell. Damon Hill has given his taken on the incident.

Damon Hill has labelled the exchange of words between Max Verstappen and George Russell after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint race as "playground stuff". Russell and Verstappen made contact during the opening lap of Saturday's Sprint as they battled for P3. The incident left the Dutchman with damage to his RB19, though he still finished the event in third ahead of Russell in P4. Verstappen was furious after the race and shared a tense exchange with Russell in parc ferme, during which he labelled the Mercedes driver a "d***head" . The World Champion went on to make further remarks about Russell, calling him "princess George" when speaking to Dutch media including RacingNews365.nl . Reflecting on the incident, Hill told the F1 Nation podcast: "Maybe [Russell] was a bit impetuous but, nevertheless, that is racing. He showed that he's going for the gap. "As Ayrton [Senna] said, if you're not going for the gap, you're not a racing driver."

Hill: Drivers make it known they're not to be messed with

On Verstappen's comments about Russell after the Sprint, Hill labelled the remarks "playground stuff" and suggested that young drivers sometimes feel the need to show that they are not the "weak link". "They're young lads," the 1996 F1 World Champion said. "They're 25 years old. They've fought in these competitions all their lives, and they make it known that they're not to be messed with. "You can't be the weak link and you can't be the guy that can be rolled over, so they do puff their chests out from time to time and you get those confrontations. "Sometimes a word can be very hurtful, sometimes it's off a duck's back."

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