Verstappen was left fuming at George Russell after the pair made contact as they battled for third place on the opening lap of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix sprint, before branding the Mercedes driver as a “d***head” during a post-race war of words

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Davidson, who took part in 24 grand prix for Minardi, BAR and Super Aguri and is now a simulator driver for Mercedes, reckons the incident highlighted the one weakness of Verstappen’s racing tactics. 

And Davidson believes the two-time world champion could “take a leaf out of” Hamilton’s approach of “playing the long game” when he enjoyed a spell driving a dominant car. 

“Max now having the car he has, Red Bull are the dominant team, and he’s spent many a year in a car that wasn’t a dominant car,” Davidson told Sky Sports News. 

“He was fighting the likes of Mercedes that had that level of performance that he wished he had. So back in the day, like 2020, when he would he be fighting the superior car of the Mercedes, he would go for moves where he would take risks. 

“He would send the car down the inside of Lewis Hamilton because that was his one chance to get in front of a Mercedes and then try and hold them up - the only chance he had really to try and win the race. 

“But we still see him drive sometimes - and Baku was one of those races - with that same approach. 

“He was saying [to Russell] ‘look, if you drive like that, if you send the car down the inside, then expect it in the future from me in return. 

“I would say that’s the last thing now that Max has to just polish up. He’s still a young driver and he’s still getting better, which is quite worrying for the competition that he’s so good.

“It’s the one thing he needs to fix and learn from. Take a leaf out of Lewis Hamilton in many ways when Lewis was in a dominant car. 

“He would give up a position on track to then get it back later on anyway because he had the car to do so. And Lewis would always see the bigger picture and play the long game. 

“I think that’s the only thing that Max can tidy up going forward, because there was need to fight George quite as hard as he did so early on in the sprint race, because he was going to sail past anyway with the level of performance he has in that Red Bull. 

“I think he has to understand the car and the advantage he has this year over the competition. His main focus is Sergio Perez.”

After finishing second to Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in Baku, Verstappen’s championship lead over the Mexican has been trimmed to six points.