F1 2021’s title protagonists came to blows in a dramatic collision at Copse as they battled each other hard for the lead on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix last time out.

With Verstappen out of the race following a huge 51G impact that required a trip to hospital for precautionary checks, Hamilton was able to claim an important victory to cut the Red Bull driver’s championship advantage down to just eight points, having impressively recovered from a 10-second time penalty.

The incident left Horner hugely frustrated and led to the Red Bull team principal labelling Hamilton’s move as “desperate” and “amateurish”, while he claimed Mercedes’ post-race celebrations showed a lack of respect with Verstappen in hospital.

Speaking in his post-race column on Red Bull’s official website, Horner revealed Verstappen’s race-ending shunt cost the team $1.8 million (£1.3m). He added that Red Bull was still considering whether to try to take the matter further in a bid to get Hamilton’s penalty increased.

While Horner acknowledged that both Hamilton and Verstappen are “uncompromising” drivers, he stood by his view that the seven-time world champion was the “aggressor” at Silverstone.

“The aggressive 17-year-old F1 rookie Max Verstappen that Hamilton is referring to is not the Max Verstappen of today, just as Hamilton is not the same driver he was when he entered the sport,” Horner said.

“Both drivers are of course uncompromising in their driving style, but they are both highly skilled drivers with a great deal of experience.

“The reality is that Hamilton has met his match in a car that is now competitive, and I agree that both drivers need to show each other respect, but Hamilton was the aggressor on Sunday.”

Horner also moved to defend his scathing criticism of Hamilton in response to comments from his opposite number at Mercedes, Toto Wolff, who hit out at Red Bull for “making it so personal”.

“I would like to respond to some comments I have seen from Toto, who is quoted as saying our comments regarding Hamilton having caused the accident were “so personal”,” Horner said.

“I would like to make it clear. This was an on-track incident between two of the best drivers in the world.

“At the point in time when you have a driver in hospital and the extent of any injuries has not yet been made clear, your car has been written off and the stewards have penalised the driver seen to be responsible, it is natural that emotion comes into play, for all involved, whether you feel wronged or victorious.

“I also felt the narrative that Max was being ‘overly aggressive’ at that stage was unjustified. You only have to look at the fact Max has zero penalty points on his licence and has not been found guilty of any on-track misjudgements in recent years.”

And Horner insisted Verstappen “won’t dwell” on the events of Silverstone as Red Bull looks to bounce back at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

“Hungary will be a different challenge for the car and the team and we will all be fully motivated to retain our championship lead,” Horner explained.

“Max won’t dwell on anything from Silverstone and wants to do his talking on-track. He is determined to put this incident behind him and use it as added motivation for the rest of the season, as are we.”