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Verstappen talks clash with Russell: 'Didn't do it on purpose'

Verstappen talks clash with Russell: 'Didn't do it on purpose'

21-11-2023 14:00

Ludo van Denderen

Max Verstappen was close to having his first retirement of the season. While trying to pass George Russell at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the Red Bull Racing and Mercedes drivers respectively hit each other. Both cars lost parts but were still able to continue on their way. Verstappen even managed to win the Grand Prix.

Russell was penalised by race control with a five-second time penalty. The Briton said afterwards that this immediately ended his real prospect of a podium finish. Russell also said he took full blame for the accident. "Totally my fault," the Mercedes driver said.

Max Verstappen completely agreed with Russell, but otherwise did not blame him too much for the tap. Asked whether he thought his rival's time penalty was justified, he said, "that's always a tricky one. I mean, he didn't do that on purpose. I think he just didn't expect me to pass him into that corner because that's how it felt, I put it on on the inside and he just turned in like there was no one there, so I guess he just didn't see me."

Verstappen struggled with mediums

After the collision with Russell, Verstappen was the fastest man on the track. The Dutchman had enjoyed that last stint. Then the Dutchman was on the hard tyre. On mediums, he had a much harder time, and Charles Leclerc even managed to pass him. How that came about? "Yeah, I don't know. At the moment, we have to analyse why that was, because in the long run, on Thursday, they were fine," Verstappen explained.