Daniel Ricciardo says there were mind games at play during his qualifying standoff with Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen as he felt frustrations boiled over in Austria.

The Australian driver says he was looking to get a tow off Verstappen during one of his Q3 flying laps having felt it unfair on him to see his teammate benefit from the slipstream effect for all three runs in the pole position shootout session.

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Ricciardo appeared to try to get Verstappen to go ahead of him on track during an out lap which the Dutch driver refused causing a flashpoint between the two drivers.

Both Verstappen and Red Bull boss Christian Horner have explained the team was sticking to plan as it alternates between the two for who leads during each qualifying with Verstappen providing the tow for Ricciardo last weekend at Paul Ricard.

Ricciardo accepts it was the competitive edge which led to the standoff, each looking to gain an advantage over the other, but the Australian doesn’t feel the “mind games” will lead to a breakdown in their relationship as teammates.

“He knew what I was trying to do and I knew what he was trying to do, it was just frustrating,” Ricciardo said. “At that point we both don’t want to give an inch, fair enough. We are both trying to beat each other.

“I was like can the team step in and try and swap us or send him out first? That is where I was frustrated because I knew the mind games in a way we were playing. As long as I kept getting sent out first it wasn’t going to change. So I was frustrated with the situation.”

Ricciardo estimated a boost from a tow would have been worth two-tenths of a second, which if applied to his Q3 time would have put him ahead of Verstappen and Romain Grosjean in the Haas. The Australian’s irritations have been compounded as he was unable to profit from Sebastian Vettel’s three-place grid drop for blocking Carlos Sainz in qualifying and will start directly behind the Ferrari driver in seventh place.

Despite the lack of a tow Ricciardo accepted Red Bull’s performance in qualifying was below expectations over seventh-tenths of a second off pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes.

“We had not been that quick anyway,” he said. “We know we lose most on the straights, so then I could see I was losing even more on the straight.

“I was like how am I going to be up there in qualifying? That was why I was like just give me one run where I am. What seemed obvious for me at the time was probably a bit chaotic on pit wall.”

Ricciardo's current Red Bull contract expires at the end of this season and he is yet to officially re-sign for the team while reports have indicated a deal is close to completion.