The Red Bull driver was victim when George Russell clattered into him following a surprise overtaking move at Turn 12 – earning the Mercedes a five-second time penalty.
“Max Verstappen defended George Russell, stating that the collision in the Las Vegas Grand Prix was a result of Russell not being aware of his position on the track. Verstappen made a surprise move on lap 25, diving to the inside of Turn 12, but Russell turned in as if he didn’t expect Verstappen to overtake him. Both cars sustained minor damage but continued the race, with Verstappen eventually winning and Russell finishing fourth. However, the stewards penalized Russell with a five-second time penalty, dropping him to eighth place. Verstappen acknowledged that Russell didn’t do it on purpose and believed he simply didn’t see him. Verstappen attributed the exciting race to low tire degradation on the Hard tires, the long straights allowing for slipstreaming, and a headwind on the straight. He also mentioned that the draft effect on certain parts of the track made the racing much better.”