Max Verstappen says Charles Leclerc was “reckless” on the opening lap of Formula 1’s Sakhir Grand Prix for causing an accident which eliminated both drivers.

Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Leclerc were running three-wide on the run to Turn 4 as the Red Bull driver braked earlier than his rivals, while Leclerc locked up in his attempts to get past Verstappen and ended up slamming into Perez’s Racing Point, sending the Mexican spinning around.

In his attempts to avoid a collision, Verstappen ran wide at Turn 4 but lost grip in the gravel and slid off into the barriers, joining Leclerc on the sidelines and out fo the race.

The incident will be investigated after the race but Verstappen is adamant who was at fault for the collision.

“The start wasn’t bad but of course Valtteri squeezed so I had to back out,” Verstappen said.

“Basically from there onwards it was all about just surviving between the cars, I don’t know why they were being so aggressive and so recklesss.

“We were all out in the front and at the end of the day three cars were a victim of that, two cars of course heavily. I don’t know why Charles especially dives down at Turn 4 like that, especially braking that late.

“Checo cannot see what is happening and he basically just locked up his front and went in, and because of Checo spinning backwards I just tried to go around the outside not to damage my car but there’s nothing you can do there.”

Leclerc took full responsibility for the incident, admitting he was to blame.

“I was in fifth and I was side-by-side or just behind Max and tried to overtake him into Turn 4,” Leclerc explained.

“I had seen Checo but I expected him to go round the outside of Valtteri and stay there but I think he decided to come back to the inside and I was there and it was too late for me to slow down.

"I don’t think it’s a mistake from Checo, I am not putting the blame on Checo, if there is anyone to blame today it was me. But more than anything I think it was unfortunate than a blame.”