‘Salty and a poor loser’: Max Verstappen slammed by Damon Hill after Azerbaijan outburst

Verstappen once again spoke out against sprint races and was also angry about a first-lap collision with George Russell on Saturday in Baku

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Saturday 29 April 2023 16:34 BST
Max Verstappen confronts George Russell after collision in Azerbaijan

Damon Hill did not hold back as he labelled Max Verstappen ‘salty’ and a ‘poor loser’ after the Dutchman once again criticised the sprint race format on Saturday.

Hill, the 1996 Formula 1 world champion, also pointed towards Verstappen’s hypocrisy after a first-lap collision between the Dutchman and George Russell in the sprint race in Azerbaijan.

Double world champion Verstappen, who has raised the prospect of quitting the sport due to the recent format changes, finished the sprint in third – with team-mate Sergio Perez winning – but could not hide his irritation in the post-race press conference.

Saturday saw the inaugural ‘sprint day’, with a ‘sprint shootout’ qualifying session in the morning before a 17-lap race in the afternoon

“Just scrap the whole thing [sprints],” Verstappen said.

“I think it’s important to go back to what we have. It’s artificial excitement, I would say. I got bored through today’s qualifying to be honest.

“I like to have one particular qualifying and put everything in it and that was yesterday which I of course enjoy and then we have to do it again today.

“I’m like, my god another qualifying! I just don’t really enjoy that.”

Damon Hill did not hold back as he labelled Max Verstappen (pictured) ‘salty’ and a ‘poor loser’

Yet Hill, speaking on Sky Sports, was unimpressed by Verstappen’s remarks.

“We should just give Max Verstappen the world championship,” a sarcastic Hill said.

“Salty. Poor loser. It’s the same competition. He should be thinking about tomorrow and the championship and putting it behind him.”

Verstappen was also angry with George Russell after a collision on the first lap which caused damage to the sidepod of Verstappen’s Red Bull.

The 25-year-old Dutchman referred to Russell needing to learn how to judge manoeuvres on track – yet Hill referred to the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, when Verstappen similarly launched down the inside and crashed into Lewis Hamilton, as a moment when Verstappen was in a similar position to Russell.

Verstappen starts second on the grid for tomorrow’s grand prix in Baku, alongside Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who starts on pole.

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