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Verstappen: It's common sense what you do on first lap.

Verstappen: It’s common sense what you do on first lap

Verstappen: It's common sense what you do on first lap.

Max Verstappen insists George Russell lacked common sense in the manner with which he attacked him on Lap 1 of the Sprint Race in Azerbaijan, and that he would’ve overtaken him in a few laps anyway.

The double Formula 1 Champion sustained damage to his RB19 due to contact with George Russell in lap one of the Sprint in Baku on Saturday, which prevented him from challenging Charles Leclerc later on in the race after re-taking his position from Russell.

The Dutchman was vocal about the incident with the Briton, over the team radio and in parc ferme after the race, even having a “friendly” chat with his rival who shrugged off the complaints insisting he would not back down for the Championship leader.

Verstappen elaborated more about his position with Sky Sports F1; he said: “I respect all the drivers a lot. It’s a bit of common sense what you do on the first lap.

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“You just have to picture yourself. They are off the pace and to risk that much on lap one, I think it’s not very rewarding anyway because I would get him anyway within a few laps,” he pointed out.

“There is potential to damage your car as well, not only my car. Of course I had a hole in my sidepod, but he could also get a puncture and then his race is over as well.”

Verstappen: I was fair

Commenting further, Verstappen said: “I thought I was fair in turn two. I gave him enough space. I think he locked up. He tells me ‘I had cold tyres’. Well we all have cold tyres, that’s not an excuse.

“I don’t like it when somebody has that kind of reaction: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ and just walks off. It is what it is. I was not overtaking him. He was overtaking me. I’m just trying to stay out of trouble. It’s two views. It’s my view, it’s his view, whatever…

“[In his position] I would try to fight but not run into someone because that’s not what you want to do,” Verstappen reflected. “That’s something you maybe learn over time. I had my moments as well when I first started in Formula 1 where you make some silly mistakes – a lock-up or potential damage. Maybe it’s just part of the learning curve.

“My only regret is that I didn’t have a great start and that’s something we need to look at,” the Red Bull driver concluded.

Despite Mercedes being the slower car, Verstappen shouldn’t have expected anything less than Russel keeping in mind the latter has had enough time in underperforming cars during his Williams days, and it was his fighting spirit and performance in those days that earned him a drive with the eight-time Constructors’ Champions.