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"Amateur" Max Verstappen apologises to angry Daniel Ricciardo after Red Bull Hungary clash

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"Amateur" Max Verstappen apologises to angry Daniel Ricciardo after Red Bull Hungary clash
Jul 30, 2017, 6:18 PM

"That was amateur to say the least.

"That was amateur to say the least. I don't think he likes when a team mate gets ahead," said Daniel Ricciardo, after team mate Max Verstappen speared into Ricciardo in Turn 3, having lost ground in Turn 2.

Rather like the start at Spa last year, he wanted to insist, having made a mistake, rather than accept it.

It was an expensive mistake, not only did it cost the team valuable points, the signs were that this would be a very competiive race for Red Bull and with two cars in the game, ahead of Lewis Hamilton at that stage, they could have done some strategy moves to get a podium outcome.

It was the first time a Red Bull has retired at Hungary this decade and only the second time they've not been on the podium in that time.

Ricciardo looked dismayed when discussing the matter in the garage during the race with Helmut Marko, who clearly didn't support the Australian's position. The Stewards did; Verstappen was hit with a ten second penalty, which cost him the chance of a podium.

Max Verstappen

Verstappen extended his first stint on supersoft tyres impressively and his pace in the final third of the race was remarkable on fresh soft tyres, closing up to the Mercedes. He finished little more than 10 seconds behind the leader despite a ten second penalty. Although the difficulty of overtaking means that this is only a number and doesn't a win was possible. But it does show that this was a race where Red Bull should have scored serious points, instead they only managed fifth place with Verstappen.

"I don't think he likes where a team mate gets in front of him. He had the whole race to try and repair a mistake. But it wasn't a pass, it wasn't even an attempt. It was just a very poor mistake," said Ricciardo.

Unlike on some other occasions where his exuberance or ruthlessness have caused trouble, Verstappen put his hands up straight away and apologised to Ricciardo and the team.

"It's not what you want. It started at Turn 1, I got squeezed wide with Bottas and lost quite a bit of speed and then we were both fighting for position into Turn 2. We braked quite even into the corner but I locked the front and was just a passenger. I was trying to avoid Daniel of course, but unfortunately it wasn't possible.

"It's never my intention to hit anyone, especially your team mate and especially with the relationship I have with Daniel; it's very good and we can always have a laugh. So it's not nice and so I apologise to Daniel and to the team because we could have scored some good points here. I'll speak to him in private and we will sort it out."

Max Verstappen

Verstappen said that it would have been hard for either of them to make the podium as it was so hard to pass on the twisty Hungaroring with the 2017 specification high downforce F1 cars.

"He's on the limit and he made a mistake today," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

"We have lost Daniel and the same move gave Max a penalty and cost the team points, so it was very frustrating. He's stuck his hand up and said 'My mistake' and we will accept that. I'm sure Daniel will accept that."

Verstappen has had a frustrating 2017 season that has not yielded the points or results he was expecting. His fourth place in Silverstone ended a three race run of retirements, which was the worst for a Red Bull driver since David Coulthard had five consecutive non-finishes in 2006/07.

With reliability woes and mistakes, he has finished only six of 11 Grands Prix this year and has 67 points to Ricciardo's 117.

He had outqualified Ricciardo again, however, the seventh time this season.

So as the team and drivers head off for their mid season break there is strife, as was expected this year between the drivers, but that is nothing compared to the frustration of not being as competitive as they thought they were going to be. The second half has to see strong improvement from Red Bull otherwise the drivers and especially Verstappen will become unsettled.

The weakness of Red Bull's proposition is that it doesn't have control over its engine situation unlike Ferrari and Mercedes, so it is out of their hands. And with Renault now a works team and getting closer to the front of the field with each new chassis development, the customer Red Bull cannot rely on them to help get them there.

It looks like there will be no change in top team line ups for 2018, but after that there could be some movement and Verstappen needs to pick his next move very carefully.

Rather like he should have done at the start in Hungary..

What do you think of what happened in Budapest? Leave your comments below

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