Max Verstappen has refused to pin the blame on Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the pair’s intra-team collision at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

The Red Bull duo had been battling over fourth and fifth throughout an action-packed race in Baku, with both drivers rubbing bodywork in the early stages as they exchanged positions. 

Having lost out to Verstappen during the pit stop window, a visibly-faster Ricciardo slotted into his teammate’s slipstream and looked to make a move to reclaim fourth, but slammed into the rear of Verstappen's RB14 - taking both drivers out on the spot under braking for Turn 1. 

“I don’t think we need to speak who is at fault because at the end of the day we are racing for a team and representing other people but when this happens it is just not good enough for both of us,” Verstappen said after the race.

“As racing drivers you go for every inch and of course you are not happy when you collide as teammates but we are very fair to each other and spoke immediately after the race.

“The tow is very strong so as soon as he was in front I was catching again and we were pretty similar speeds and always very close to each other,” he added.

“I think before that it was hard racing but fair and we gave each other space, as we had a little brush with the wheels, I think in racing that can happen. It was really disappointing for the team as we have lost a lot of points today unnecessarily.”

But Verstappen said he sees no reason for Red Bull to introduce team orders as a result of their clash, and hopes both drivers will be able to continue to race each other freely in future. 

“This has happened before [elsewhere] and I think you learn from it and I think of course we have to make sure it does not happen again.

“I don’t think letting us not race anymore is the way forward but of course we will talk about it and see what happens.”

Ricciardo said he was "heartbroken" for the team's missed opportunity but did not apportion blame to his teammate. 

"I'm pretty down. I guess the situation is that we are thankful we are allowed to race. I think myself and Max, we love to race as we show so that’s cool and we did get close a few times in the race already touching and that so sometimes we on the limit and then unfortunately it ended how it did.

"It’s not a nice situation. I think we both feel pretty bad that it ended like that and for the team it’s just pretty crappy. As far as the incident itself, it’s a tough one, I will let the fans have their comments.

"I think the thing is once I came out, I thought the gap was opening up on the inside, once I was there I had to commit to that but yeah… let’s say heartbroken for how everyone is feeling in the team right now."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...