Hill blasts ‘poor loser’ Verstappen for “salty" sprint criticism

Damon Hill has branded Max Verstappen a “poor loser” for being "salty" about F1’s new sprint race format at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. 
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing in

Verstappen stepped up his criticism of F1’s sprint weekend format after a new standalone version of the event debuted in Baku.

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Traditional qualifying for the grand prix has been moved back to Friday with a new ‘Shootout’ session added to the schedule on Saturday morning to determine the grid for the Sprint race, which no longer impacts Sunday.

But after finishing third in the first sprint race of 2023, the reigning world champion, who previously said the format goes against the “DNA of F1”, urged the series to “scrap the whole thing”. 

Responding to Verstappen’s press conference comments, 1996 world champion Hill said:“We should just give Max Verstappen the championship and just not bother with anything else. 

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

‘Verstappen stubborn like Schumacher and Senna’ 

(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and George Russell (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 discuss the Sprint race in parc
(L to R): Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and George Russell (GBR)…

Verstappen was involved in a post-race spat with Mercedes’ George Russell after the pair made contact on the opening lap of the sprint race. 

Battling over third place, Russell and Verstappen twice came to blows before Russell emerged ahead coming out of Turn 3. 

Verstappen later repassed Russell to take third at a Safety Car restart but was left angry about the incident. 

His frustrations boiled over in parc ferme when he labelled Russell a “dickhead”

Hill said Verstappen’s ‘stubborness’ reminds him of fellow multiple world champions Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna

“This is the sort of mindset you see in the sort of people like [Michael] Schumacher and [Ayrton] Senna, they will not accept that they have any part to play in stuff that happens,” Hill explained. 

"If you cast your mind back to let’s say Monza, with Lewis Hamilton, he just didn’t back out of the corner. So he’s done it himself. 

"He’s a hard racer, they’re both hard racers, George and Max, and this is what happens when you get a rock and a hard place together.”

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