1996 Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill has labelled Max Verstappen as a “poor loser” following his criticism of the new sprint format.
Verstappen has voiced his opposition to the alternate schedule since the inception of the sprint in 2021.
For 2023, a new format has been introduced, with separate qualifying sessions deciding the starting grids for the sprint race and the grand prix.
But Verstappen has urged F1 to scrap the new format completely and reinstate the traditional format at every race going forward.
Verstappen comments didn’t go down well with Sky Sports F1 pundit Hill.
“We should just give Max Verstappen the championship and just not bother with anything else,” Hill jabbed.
“Salty. Poor loser. It’s the same competition. He should be thinking about tomorrow and the championship and putting it behind him.”
Verstappen endured a difficult sprint race in Baku – starting from third on the grid, he was demoted to fourth on the opening lap following a battle with Mercedes’ George Russell.
The duo made contact at the second corner, which resulted in a hole in the sidepod of Verstappen’s RB19 car.
The pair were involved in a heated exchange after the race in which Verstappen labelled Russell a “dickhead”.
Hill suggested that the clash was simply a racing incident, and says that Verstappen is showcasing a mentality that has been displayed by some successful champions in the past.
“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 said.
“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.”