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In the doghouse: Red Bull pair ‘screwed-up’, says team chief

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo (front) races teammate Max Verstappen during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku city circuit on Sunday. AFP
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo (front) races teammate Max Verstappen during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku city circuit on Sunday. AFP

In the doghouse: Red Bull pair ‘screwed-up’, says team chief

Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said his drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were “in the doghouse” and have been instructed to apologise to all staff following their crash in Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“They both recognise that they screwed up today and will be apologising to the team and to all members of the team,” said Horner, who was left speechless immediately after the pair crashed in the closing laps of Sunday’s chaotic race won by defending world champion Lewis Hamilton.

“We allow them to race and allow them to go wheel-to-wheel. We spoke to them in team meetings about giving each other space.

“This was the culmination of two guys taking things in their own hands, which shouldn’t have happened.

“There were probably three incidents between them through the race. They touched wheels and were told to calm it down.

“We don’t want to interfere with them going wheel-to-wheel. We are not apportioning blame one way or the other, but they are both to blame for this.

“Our intention is to continue to let them race, but they have to show respect and give space. They have been reminded that they are part of a team. They are highly paid individuals with the team’s interest at heart.

“The message was delivered very clearly. They are both in the doghouse. They will apologise to all of the staff before Barcelona.”

Ricciardo and Verstappen were both later given an official reprimand for their collision.

The pair were called to see the stewards after the race and blamed equally for the incident. Both apologised, but they were handed official reprimands for their contributions to the collision.

Verstappen said he and Ricciardo had met and apologised. He said the crash was “unnecessary” but held no grudge against his Australian team-mate.

‘Really disappointing’

The 20-year-old Dutchman said: “It’s really disappointing for the team. We lost a lot of points today, unnecessarily.

“I don’t think we need to speak about whose fault it was 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.”

“Daniel and I are OK 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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