The relationship between Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen got strained after the pair tangled in the second corner following the start of the Hungarian GP which resulted in the immediate retirement for the Australian driver.
The Red Bull duo got a better start from the third row compared to the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas and was challenging for the third and fourth place. After Valtteri Bottas squeezed Verstappen out on to the astro-turf at the first corner, the Dutchman got desperate to cling on to the fourth place.
In a desperate move, he lost the front end of the car after braking too late and understeered his Red Bull into his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. The radiators of the Australian’s RB13 sustained fatal damage duo to the impact and was forced to retire from the 70-lap-long Hungarian GP.
Ricciardo who set the pace on the opening day of the Hungarian GP weekend was deeply disappointed. He was dogged by reliability issues in the final practice session on Saturday which hampered his chances for the all-important qualifying. He then was knocked out by his team-mate Verstappen.
“It’s really frustrating as we know our car has been better than sixth all weekend so we went out there to push for a good result and get on the podium. We will discuss the incident in de-brief this evening and me and Max will talk privately also and sort it out. I would have loved to race today and now I have four weeks to wait until I can get in the car again. It’s a shame to finish the first half of the season and head into the summer break in this way,” Ricciardo dounded disheartened.
The Australian was hoping for a podium finish after a good getaway from the sixth position.
“The start wasn’t too bad and I got a good exit out of Turn 1, I saw Bottas on the inside of Turn 2 so knew I had plenty of room on the outside. I thought it was a good place to position myself and protect my position through the turn. I felt a hit but couldn’t see who it was, I knew Max was on my inside going into Turn 2 so assumed it must have been him,” concluded the four-time GP winner.
Verstappen thinks the root of the accident was the fact that he got squeezed out by Valtteri Bottas coming out of the first corner.
“My start was actually quite good but then I got squeezed a bit wide on to the astro-turf and lost quite a bit of speed. Then Daniel and I were both fighting for position at Turn 2 so we braked quite deep into the corner. I had a car in front of me so I lost quite a bit of downforce and locked the front tyres, from there I was just a passenger. I was trying to avoid Daniel of course but unfortunately that was not possible,” said the Dutchman.
The good relationship did not stay unscathed after the incident, but Max Verstappen hopes no fatal damage was done.
“It is never my intention to hit anyone, but especially not your team-mate, and especially with the relationship I have with Daniel, it’s always really good and we can always have a laugh. This is not nice and I apologise to Daniel for that and also to the team because we could have scored some good points here. I’ll speak with Daniel in private and we’ll sort it out.”