Furious Daniel Ricciardo described Max Verstappen’s driving as “amateur” after he was taken out of the Hungarian Grand Prix by his Red Bull team-mate.
Verstappen ran wide at turn one on the opening lap and as he attempted to stay ahead of Ricciardo at the ensuing corner, locked his brakes and crashed into his team-mate.
The force of the impact tore through Ricciardo’s Red Bull bodywork and into his radiator. The Australian spun on his own fluid before grinding to a halt.
Ricciardo said over the team radio: “Was that who I think it was?’
“Yes,” his Red Bull team replied. “F****** sore loser,” Ricciardo responded.
Then, as Verstappen drove past on the second lap, Ricciardo flipped his middle finger in the direction of the 19-year-old teenager. Verstappen was handed a 10-second penalty for the incident and hit with two points on his superlicence.
“It was amateur to say the least,” said Ricciardo, who started sixth, one place behind Verstappen.
“There was no room to pass. Valtteri Bottas was in front and I was on the outside so there was no room.
“I don’t think he likes it when a team-mate gets in front. You’ve got the whole race to try and repair the mistake but the pass was never on. It wasn’t even a pass, it was a very poor mistake.
“There isn’t an excuse for it. He tried to go round the outside at turn one and all of a sudden what was a good start is a bad start. He sees me go past and thinks, ‘I’ve got to fix this’, and then we crashed.”
Verstappen, who survived the incident without any damage to his Red Bull, finished fifth before issuing an apology to Ricciardo and his Red Bull team.
Reflecting on Ricciardo’s remarks, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: “You take your helmet off after you have just been eliminated from a grand prix and you are not going to say ‘whoops’.
“Daniel was really revved-up after, but with an hour to calm down it is now, what I would describe, as a normal situation.”
Horner added that he had warned both of his drivers about their opening-lap conduct because Dietrich Mateschitz, the billionaire founder of Red Bull, was at the Hungaroring.
“We discussed the first lap, and I said to both of them, ‘You are starting next to each other so please give each other enough room. Dietrich is here this afternoon, too.’
“Both drivers nodded in agreement but as soon as the red light goes out, a lot of that goes out the window.
“It was inevitable they were going to crash at some stage, but the most important thing is how the individuals have dealt with it. Max has been mature enough to hold his hand up and admit that he made a mistake. There was no intent in it. It was just frustrating.”