By Alan Baldwin
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Australian Daniel Ricciardo blasted Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen for ‘amateur’ driving on Sunday after the Dutch teenager shunted him out of the Hungarian Grand Prix on the opening lap.
The two started together on the third row and Ricciardo’s car was smashed into by Verstappen at turn two with the Australian ahead.
The impact sent him into a spin, damaged the radiator and left the Red Bull stranded on track with the safety car deployed.
“It was amateur to say the least,” Ricciardo fumed to Sky Sports television.
It’s not like he was trying to pass — there was no room to pass… I don’t think he likes when a team mate gets in front,” he added.
“You’ve got the whole race to try and repair the mistake but the pass was never on. It wasn’t even a pass, it was a very poor mistake.”
Ricciardo, a past winner in Hungary, had been fastest in Friday practice and had hopes of a good result with a car benefiting from aerodynamic updates and well suited to the circuit.
He said the team would sort things out between the two but suggested Verstappen needed to change his attitude.
“There isn’t an excuse for it,” he said. “He tried the outside at Turn One and all of a sudden what was a good start is a bad start. He sees me go past and thinks ‘I’ve got to fix this’ and then we crash.”
Verstappen, who was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty but still finished fifth, said he would be apologizing.
“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,” said the 19-year-old.
“This is not nice and I apologize 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.”
(Editing by Clare Fallon)