Daniel Ricciardo’s “friendly rivalry” at Red Bull came to a dramatic end on the first lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday night.
After both Red Bull drivers made a good start on the Hungaroring, Ricciardo was left fuming as his race ended at the hands of Verstappen in a manoeuvre that left the Australian fuming.
“Someone hit me. If that’s who I think it was, that’s f—–!”
Ricciardo’s race ended immediately after Verstappen ran into him, while the Dutchman was compromised with a 10-second pit-lane penalty as his much-criticised, aggressive style came back to bite his own team.
Verstappen went on to finish fifth, but his lock up on second corner that left Ricciardo’s Red Bull a smoking wreck will prompt much soul-searching at the team ahead of the mid-season break.
Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, retained his tenuous championship lead with a win, with Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen joining him on the podium in second.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton came fourth after making way for teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Starting from sixth, with Verstappen fifth on the grid, Ricciardo was enjoying a good start to the race before the tangle.
Ricciardo had given his teammate enough room and was furious when he spoke to the media in the paddock.
“I mean here is not much more to describe or say it was what it was,” Ricciardo said. “I saw I had a good run out of one and obviously there was a bit going on, so I saw Valterri (Bottas) on the inside and I could brake a bit later on the outside so I thought I will just go here and kind of protect that place and, yeah, then I felt the hit.
“For sure it is not on. That was amateur to say the least.
— Beercules (@chompy94) July 30, 2017
“It’s just frustrating, you know, it’s not like he was trying to pass there was no room … but I don’t think he likes obviously when a teammate gets in front of him.
“You know you have got the whole race to try and repair a mistake, but the pass was never on. It wasn’t even a pass, it wasn’t an attempt it was just a very poor mistake.
Verstappen offered up an apology immediately after the race.
“It is of course not what you want,” he said of the incident.
“The start was actually quite good but then we were both fighting for position into turn two. I had a car in front of me and I locked up and then I was a passenger.
“It was never my intention to hit anyone and especially my teammate, who I have a good relationship with.
“I apologise to Daniel and I will speak to him in private. We will sort it out.”
Asked if he’d expect the team to deal harshly with Verstappen, Ricciardo said everyone would have their say.
“Obviously the team will do there bit and I will do my bit, but yeah, there shouldn’t be too much, but for sure we will sort it out.
– With AAP