Toto Wolff believes Max Verstappen should have realised the “dangerous” position he was in during his Azerbaijan Grand Prix Formula 1 sprint race collision with George Russell. On the opening lap of the sprint, the fast-starting Russell muscled past at Turn 2, before squeezing Verstappen into the Turn 3 exit wall – the Red Bull suffering damage which was estimated as costing him three-quarters of a second in lap time. Wolff defended his driver, who was passed by Verstappen on the Safety Car restart, and came home in fourth place, with the sister car of Lewis Hamilton down in seventh. The two exchanged words in parc ferme, with Verstappen branding Russell a “d***head” over the clash. Wolff backs Russell “First of all, friendly exchanges between drivers is a good entertainment factor,” Wolff told media including RacingNews365 when asked for his thoughts on the incident. “It’s a racing situation. You’re trying the outside, that’s never going to be an easy position, they collided, he has a massive hole in the car, and that’s certainly sub-optimal for your race. “It is absolutely understandable that [Max] is upset, George defended the position – and it is clear he was going to do that. “If I am George, I’m doing exactly the same, if I am Max, then I am upset. “I think it is dangerous to overtake from the outside because you could end up in the runoff or in the wall. “Or you can have somebody on the inside that is weak and gives you all the space in the world, but on the inside, it is quite an angle you need to achieve, and if you try to turn around there tightly, you’ll lose out on the next straight.” Verstappen races Hamilton differently The collision was the first time Russell and Verstappen have shared an on-track moment, and Wolff believes that while the World Champion races Hamilton differently, the same does not apply to Russell. “Max races Lewis differently, but between the same generation of drivers, they’re all fierce,” he said. “But it’s always been [that way], they know each other. They had a situation probably the first time when they were 10 [years old], so it is racing.”

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