Verstappen: ‘Racing was fair with Daniel but crash was unnecessary’

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified his crash with Daniel Ricciardo in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix as “unnecessary”, but the Dutch vowed to hold no grudge against his team mate.

Verstappen gained the upper hand over Ricciardo in the early stages of the race, the former having to defend his position from the latter on several occasions, with a few close calls and minor contacts taking place.

After the better part of 35 laps, the Aussie finally overtook his team mate only for Verstappen to overcut Ricciardo by pitting a lap later than the #3 Red Bull.

On the run down to Turn 1, Verstappen – once again with Ricciardo in tow – covered his position as his rival moved right and then left.

It all ended in tears however as Ricciardo locked up and rammed into the back of his team mate, sending both cars down the escape road and into retirement.

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“It’s really disappointing for the team. We lost a lot of points today, unnecessarily,” Verstappen told Sky Sports F1.

“I don’t think we need to speak about whose fault because at the end of the day we are racing for a team. We are representing a lot of people and when this happens it is just not good for both of us.

“The tow was very strong so as soon as [Daniel] was in front I was catching up again and we were pretty similar speed. We were always very close to each other.”

Verstappen had no complaints about the hard but fair wheel-to-wheel racing that took place before the pair’s clash.

“Before that it was hard racing but fair, we gave each other space. We had this little brush with the wheels but I think in racing that can happen. What happened after that is not good,” he said.

“This has happened before and you learn from it. We have to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s not only down to us, we speak to the team as well what we will do in the future. I don’t think letting us not race anymore is the way forwards but we will talk about it.”

Verstappen insisted there would be no fallout between himself and Ricciardo.

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“Daniel and I are okay with each other,” he said.

“As racing drivers you go through every inch and of course you are not happy when you collide to each other as team-mates but we are very fair to each other so we spoke immediately after the race.”

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