Verstappen criticized for not making room for Russell in Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race.

Formula 1 pundit Peter Windsor has expressed surprise that Max Verstappen did not give way to George Russell at the start of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race, claiming that Verstappen cannot race Russell as he does with Lewis Hamilton.

This resulted in a collision at Turn 2, which left Verstappen frustrated and confronting Russell after finishing third in the race behind Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.

George Russell defended himself after the collision with Max Verstappen during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint race. He claimed that he wouldn’t restrain himself just because Verstappen is leading the championship and suggested that Verstappen had more to lose in the event of contact.

Meanwhile, Peter Windsor shared his surprise at Verstappen’s failure to accommodate Russell’s assertiveness during their battle, which he claims is different from how Verstappen races Lewis Hamilton.

Windsor made these remarks on his YouTube channel: “It was always going to be an issue, I think, between Max and George Russell.”

“I’ve got to say I’m a bit surprised that Max didn’t read that. I mean, if it’s Lewis Hamilton that’d been alongside him I think Max could have driven the first two corners the way he did, but with George Russell?

“And George’s history of what he does in that situation? Max is on the outside at Turn 1, got away with it, [is] on the outside going into Turn 2 which is really, really asking the guy on the inside not to make any mistakes.

“We’ve seen so many times the driver on the inside, if there are two cars abreast going into Turn 2 at Baku with the tyres not fully up to temperature, running wide with understeer and then inevitably hitting the guy on the outside.

“I was surprised that Max didn’t just let George Russell go, because we’ve seen what George can do in that situation. Go right back to Jerez, the [2017] GP3 decider when he did that to his team-mate at ART, Jack Aitken.

“He does that. It’s the way George drives. He’s a really tough, hard racer.

“And of course they did touch and there was a big hole in the side of Max’s car after that.

“For a driver leading the World Championship with the front row of the grid [on Sunday], to me that was not the sort of thing that a Niki Lauda or an Alain Prost would have done.

“They would have said, ‘Right George, go. I’m going to DRS you within a lap or two, I’m not going to damage my car’.

“I suppose you could say, on the plus side, that just shows what a racer Max Verstappen is.

“Every corner, every lap, every race be it a sprint or a grand prix, he’s always going to want track position – a bit like Ayrton Senna.

“So you can’t criticise him for that.

“I’m just saying I’m surprised, I guess, that the management at Red Bull didn’t drum it into him more to say, ‘Look, if you’ve got George there be very, very careful.

“‘If it’s Lewis or it’s Carlos Sainz, you can probably get away with it.

“But if it’s George – and George makes a good start – there’s no way he’s going to back off.

“And you can read that. You can read that going into the race. That’s the way George is.

“He didn’t do it and so Max had to drive the entire race with this massive great hole in the left-hand side.

“I suppose the satisfying thing from [Red Bull chief technical officer] Adrian Newey’s point of view is that it really made the car difficult to drive and you’ve got to say that Max did a really good job to bring that car home in third.”