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Remember how everybody was criticizing Max Verstappen for calling Russell words after the sprint quali incident? How everybody suggested that Verstappen is cribbing after Russell gave him a taste of his own medicine. Well, as its washed is settling down, some people are changing their mindset about the incident criticizing George Russell’s antics. But what is this new perspective?

George Russell shunted Max Verstappen into turn 3 during the Azerbaijan sprint race. After getting a better start, the Briton flexed his elbows and got past. The shunt created a huge hole in Verstappen’s sidepod, causing him to lose performance. The aftermath was Max Verstappen and George Russell exchanging words that were not so pleasant. Verstappen called Russell a d*ckhead and George threw some taunts back at the Dutchman. 

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The F1 cars are now built to be more sturdy. Look at Alonso who survived Sainz hitting his rear suspension and finishing P3. However. a shunt like Russell’s can and did cost Verstappen the race win. The Briton’s actions have been criticized, suggesting that barging in like that, especially at the street circuit is very risky. Further adding how the drivers are young blood and can’t be seen as being weak. Hence the aggressive exchange of words.

According to the F1 Nation podcast, the host said, “Since they’ve made the cars more robust, banging wheels is seen as acceptable but when you go into the sidepod of someone and you damage their Aero and potentially put them out of the race as well, then that things are probably a bit too much. I certainly don’t think it should be encouraged. I don’t think that we should try to get them to Barge into each other going into corners at street tracks.”

Talking about the consequences of the shunt, he said, “They’re young lads and they have fought in these competitions all their lives and they make it known they’re not to be messed with. You can’t be the weak link. 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 the words can be very hurtful.”

While Max Verstappen’s anger was justified, the words that he used cannot be justified. George Russell suggested that the Dutchman has only let himself down with comments like that. 

George Russell on Max Verstappen letting himself down

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Max Verstappen’s words were very harsh. You cannot go around calling other drivers a d*ckhead. Russell insisted that he did not want an apology from Max. He suggested that it does not bother him, but Max Verstappen has let himself down with comments like that, especially when he’s already a 2X world champion and leading the current championship as well. 

via Imago

According to PlanetF1.com, George Russell said, “I don’t need an apology at all. 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 sorts of comments. Max is a super good guy, a great, great driver, it’s just that words like that are a bit unnecessary.”

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Do you think Verstappen’s comments about Russell let him down?

Written by

Pranay Bhagi

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Pranay Bhagi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports, who has always been passionate about sports and writing. With a degree from a prestigious institute, he has channeled his enthusiasm into sports journalism, particularly F1, a sport that has captivated him for over a decade. Pranay's deep-rooted love for the sport began during the Sebastian Vettel era, and he has been following it religiously ever since.
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Edited by

Varunkumaar Chelladurai