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George Russell

Russell: Verstappen let himself down with unnecessary comments

George Russell does not feel that he is owed an apology from Max Verstappen following the Dutchman's fiery post-Sprint race comments about him in Azerbaijan, but the Mercedes driver believes that Verstappen's words were "unnecessary".

Russell Mercedes Verstappen Red Bull Sprint Baku
To news overview © XPBimages

George Russell feels that Max Verstappen "let himself down" with his remarks following their clash in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sprint race.

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.

Russell doesn't need apology from Verstappen

When asked after Sunday's race in Baku if he had spoken with Verstappen about what happened, Russell told media, including RacingNews365.com: "No, I mean, there's nothing really to say from my side.

"At the end of the day, it's heat of the moment for everybody. I don't know if he feels differently now. It's a bit of a racing incident."

Pressed further on if he wanted an apology from Verstappen, Russell stated that this wouldn't be necessary. However, the Briton felt that some of Verstappen's comments after the incident – without referring specifically to which – were uncalled for.

"I don't need an apology at all," Russell added.

"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.

"Max is a super good guy, a great, great driver, it's just that words like that are a bit unnecessary."

'Underwhelmed' by video footage

Russell had not yet seen video footage of the Sprint incident with Verstappen when the Red Bull driver approached him in parc ferme.

Having viewed the clip since, the 25-year-old was surprised by the clash being less dramatic than he had expected.

"To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed at how little everything was," Russell said.

"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."

Russell went on to finish Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix in eighth place.

Also interesting:

Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the last week in F1.

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